Saigon

Warning Shots

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Saigon opens his 2009 record, Warning Shots, Vol. 2, with the melancholy "Nothing Comes Easy." The Brooklyn rapper has a right to be frustrated. Sidetracked by a seven-year prison sentence, Saigon emerged ready to rhyme, rather quickly caught the ears of Atlantic Records, and recorded The Greatest Story Never Told, a record he felt was his masterpiece, slated for 2005 release. Four years later, the story still had yet to be told, as the record was tied up in major-label red-tape. While he briefly quit the industry in a swirl of cyber-emotion, he redoubled his efforts and channeled his pent-up rage into his music. While ostensibly a follow-up to a 2001 street release, Warning Shots, Vol. 2 is more Saigon's heavily polished introduction to a wider audience. While his record's topics are far from original, and when he languishes in hip-hop cliché hell (see "For Some P***y"), a topic the rapper himself has decried, he stalls a bit. However, Saigon possesses an acrobatic wit and when his passion takes hold, as on "Fatherhood (Rayne Dior)," his ode to his one-year old daughter, something beautiful happens. While this may be a prelude to the unveiling of his purgatory mired "debut," there are plenty of hints on this record as to why Saigon stirred up such a buzz in the mid-'00s.

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