New York City has not only been the breeding ground for many talented rappers over the years, but may be the breeding ground for the ones who can tell the street life better than any other. With a lot of artists rapping about cars, jewels, and all the money they have hanging out their pockets, some of us may have forgotten that economic times are tough and there are still a lot of struggles in the streets. However, there still are MCs out there who can put reality into perspective and bring both awareness and encouragement for the people who aren’t spending thousands on a chain. On Saigon’s latest offering Warning Shots 2, The Yardfather continues to do what he has done to get where he is. He simply keeps it real.
Although it’s not The Greatest Story Never Told (predicted to be released in 2047), Saigon shows he is still a rapper who can be very diverse with his lyrics, style, and flow. With fantastic production from Mr. Justin Blaze himself and Scram Jones, Warning Shots 2 has a variety of tracks for a variety of taste. Saigon explains in his album that the title Warning Shots is pretty much a sample of what is to come when we finally hear his long awaited official debut.
On the first rounds fired from the barrel, Sai delivers what we have come to admire about him as he gives the ultimate personification of “The street rapper.”
His first couple of tracks describe the fight and the struggle that is out there for the majority of people. While most rappers would go with whatever is hot to rap about now, Saigon takes a different route and speaks about the absentee fathers, economic hardships, welfare and cold blooded violence on the streets that needs to cease.
Tracks like “That’s Not What’s Up” embody the spirit of rappers taking responsibility for their words and realizing that they are in a position to direct and shape the minds of the future. Showing that no woman starts out wanting to strip for dollars as well as no man initially having aspirations to flip keys, he enlightens with conscious lines like:
“Gotta hurt you to be a woman who sells herself cheap…/See you sliding the pole, at the same time I see those tears sliding down your soul. You use to be on the honor roll!”
He then talks about bettering himself as a person and challenges you to do the same. Sai keeps it real by saying “we making it rain on our little sisters” and “we raising young gang bangers when we need to be teaching them the right way.” Too bad most rappers can’t be honest and real and rather stay exploiting the bullShyte.
Saigon then shifts his bars on “Fatherhood” to the woman who now inspires him to go hard at all costs, Rayne Dior. You can almost see him smiling on the track as the new father proclaims that he’ll do whatever it takes to be there for her. Although the song is being sung to his daughter and promising her even if mom and dad don’t agree he will always be there, you get the sense he is sending a message to the deadbeats to man up and raise their kids. You feel the admiration for his daughter when he rhymes:
“I wanted a boy but you came/ No pleasure can measure the joy you bring/ You got your father’s cheeks, you got your father’s feet, I know you got your father’s heart, so it’s the hardest beat.”
Despite the uplifting and stop the violence messages, Warning Shots 2, does shoot a few blanks and misdirected targets.
Like every male rapper Saigon can’t resist but to spit about something that has influenced males forever… women. Sai’s tracks “All Around the World,” “For Some P*ssy,” and “Cookies and Milk,” consists of the typical Jay-Z’s “Girls Girls Girls” or Ray Cash’s “Sex Appeal.” He describes and names a lot of women that he has hooked up with all over the world, which may have resulted in the birth of his daughter out in Cali. In the track “Cookies and Milk” (which will remind you of Wayne’s “Lollipop”), Saigon is sometimes a little TOO detailed about how much he exactly loves the female anatomy.
“If you got sour milk then we can’t make plans, get your dairy products right and then come holla at the man, I just need a glass of milk so I can stick my cookie in.”
“For Some P*ssy” finds Saigon continuing to show his admiration for the wet parted lips with a thousand and some annoying metaphors about smashing girls. At this point you get the message and possibly even a little irritated with the whole p*ssy concept. I mean, how many metaphors can you come up with for p*ssy? Every man may love it, but I’m not going to pay to listen about it for half an album. The auto-tuned hook does not help either as this is clearly what jigga meant with “D.O.A.”
As the CD spins to the last couple of tracks, we leave p*ssy behind and get back to real issues people are dealing with. “Rusty Gunz” features Lil Fame from M.O.P. and is accompanied by some head bobbing production from Oddisee. The song talks about the war everyone is going through in the rap game and Saigon declares he is not a solider going down anytime soon. Taking you back to when NY ruled Hip-Hop, The Yardfather and Fame straight spit fire as the hook is just icing on the cake as it’s supposed to be. Evidenced here, Saigon goes in:
“You a rapper? I might of heard of you/ F**k does that mean? I’ll murder you in that new convertible/ It’s sickening, I’m the type who blows kisses at my chick friends/ If she don’t respond, Fawk it I’ll show her my package then!”
Saigon continues the flow and mentality through the next couple of songs such as “Copping Pleas” and “Who Can Get Busy.” However, it is when Just Blaze works his magic on the track “Gotta Believe It,” you know the album is complete. Saigon spits hard on personal matters and goes in on a lot of issues we have been curious about. If you have never listened to Saigon and needed one track to summarize who he is, then this is your track.
He raps about the obstacles that have prolonged his career such as issues with Atlantic Records and the financial fallout because of it. Saigon maintains his composure while challenging not only you but the people around him.
“I tried to help the label see the vision, but they lowered me to a subdivision, you gotta be Fawking kidding! They rather me pretend to be something I’m not, I’m the new Public Enemy, I’m different than Young Joc.”
Warning Shots 2 is a very diverse album, if you could call it that, that shows the highs and lows of Saigon. With the exclusive release from the website only and the way the tracks are constructed, this seems more of a mixtape that allows Sai to experiment and have a good time so we won’t have to hear the unnecessary clutter and forced songs on his official debut.
The Yardfather still shows he can go hard with raw lyrics and sharp punchlines, while at the same time showing a real side of him that so many rappers are afraid to unveil. If half of this album is considered a preview to The Greatest Story Never Told, then the wait is still highly anticipated. Just please don’t be promising us the album this time next year as anticipation wears thin.