The bottom line
Saigon’s Strange Music debut is a preview of what happens when a talented lyricist meets high quality production.
Saigon is back after a six-year gap between his last project release and 777: The Resurrection. The veteran has recently inked a deal with Strange Music which I believe to be a great move for his career. Being 43 at the time of this writing, he has always appeared to put lyrics and wordplay above all else and I think Tech N9ne’s label is going to give him the production value he never had in the past.
He starts the first track off with an announcement that “we” are sick of the pain, the mistreatment and it’s time for a change. The song features the ever-talented Marsha Ambrosious and she sings the chorus beautifully. Saigon jumps in with his trademark style:
But it's normal to us now / We immune to the gun sound / Howl at the moon when the sun down / Shorty wanna run around with a gang / Until a bullet hit his brain and it shut down / Wow, I'ma give you the rundown / Now, you a crip you a bloodhound? / Now, if you would stand up, n****, you would man up / Put your hands up, put the gun down, clown /– Pain In My Life, Pt. 2
The MF Effect is the highlight of the EP to my ears. Saigon and the legend Kool G Rap trade verses using words that begin with the letters M and F (for the most part). Lyrically, this is an extremely impressive track considering the constraints they put on themselves. What’s equally impressive is Kool G Rap’s ability to continue to rap like this. He’s one of the pioneers of multisyllabic rapping plus he’s a legend so to still have this kind of dexterity is crazy.
My fault. My face might favor my father, my fearless / Mind frame from mama, favorite material Ferragamo (MF) / Misfortunate m************ misleading / For my fate is to be more famous than Morgan Freeman / More fire making fucking microphones malfunction / With MF, I DOOM, you m************ moist as a muffin /– The MF Effect
Something that stood out to me while listening to this EP was how much energy Saigon had throughout the project. He sounds refreshed, hungry and ready to make the most out of this Strange Music chapter in his career.
Saigon has always been a clever lyricist and the track “Lil B.I.G.” is proof. The entire track is basically Saigon name dropping other rappers but there are a few bars in here where he creatively puts a spin on it. You’ll probably hate the track if you’re not a fan of name drops but considering it’s only an EP, one should be able to make an exception here.
My gat'll bang yet I'm still repping that good daddy gang / Slang off of my aura is rawer than Big Daddy Kane / Big bottles of Ace, Cristal, was tryna front on us / Now we pour Cris'/Chris in Rivers like the son of Big Punisher / I used to like Big Mike / But not nearly as much as Big Syke / They both was gangsta, but consciousness get the kid hyped /– Lil B.I.G.
He follows up that song with the last track on the project titled “The Middle Finger Song”. It’s a nice transition because it has the same beat and sounds like a continuation of the song prior. He opens it up by saying “Let's do this shit for real, yo, let's go” insinuating that the previous song was just him having fun.
“The Middle Finger Song” is much more serious as he’s getting a few things off of his chest. Saigon is giving the verbal middle finger to anyone who gave him issues in the past including record labels, Ebro, whoever started the Coronavirus, and his father who left his mother.
And to that sucker that left my mother to suffer / You call yourself a father you fraudulent m***********? / I even resent the fact that we resemble one another / Despite the fact that I still love ya /– The Middle Finger Song
- The MF Effect
- The Middle Finger Song
Although only an EP, Saigon sounds refreshed throughout this entire project. Lyrically, he’s just as good as he’s ever been and the production sounds good with his style of rapping. There really isn’t anything that stood out that would bring me back to give it more listens, but it’s a solid EP regardless. Looking forward to a full LP release under Strange Music.