Saigon Interview: Speaks On Album, Beef, & More

It’s a new year. What should we expect from you in ’09?

A lot more music, man. I kind of pretty much took the whole ’08 off. I pretty much put out two songs. Expect a lot more work and a lot more productivity. The album should come out. I’m tired of promising people the album but hopefully it comes out. I know I made a timeless piece of work so I’m really not that anxious. Expect a lot more activity and a lot more work.

At this point why don’t you just leak The Greatest Story Never Told?

I did want to leak it. Trust me, I’ve thought about it, but it’s not just me. Just Blaze worked hard on the album as well. He put in hours and I put in hours. If I just leak it to the internet I don’t think it will be as impactful as if I put it out through an indie. I’ll put it out on some small label instead of giving it away for free.

What do you need at this point from a label to put it out?

I’m looking for somebody who understands the project. It’s not just a Saigon thing. New York is dead in the water right now with East Coast rap. The record companies, they’re trying to get the quick buck, the quick dollar. They don’t care about the music really. They just care about what’s happening right now. For instance you have Soulja Boy who sold a million and a half records with his first record and he just sold 40,000 records in his first week. Pretty soon he’s going to disappear from the face of the planet and nobody’s going to remember him anymore. That’s how they do. They do the fly-by-night shit and that’s not the type of artist that I am. For me to be relevant eight years later, I must be doing something right. I’ve been touring a lot this year. That’s partially why. It’s surprising to anyone that I get booked so much without even putting out no music.

Will you still work with Just Blaze after The Greatest Story Never Told comes out?

Me and Just are always going to work together because me and Just established a friendship. If I need a beat he’ll throw me something and if he needs something he’s got it. He’s my brother, man.

Will you still be under Just Blaze’s label Fort Knocks?

We don’t know. I’m always going to rock with Just Blaze. Fort Knocks, however he wants to twist and turn it, that’s how we’re going to do it. That’s for the people working business. I don’t get caught up in that. Of course I’m going to take more control moving into the future. I’m not going to wait for somebody else. I’m going to go and eat. But when we collaborate I’m trying to put the business shit aside. I don’t care about a name or a label. As long as it’s dope that’s all I care about.

In your opinion what’s the biggest problem in hip-hop today?

Greed. And the corporate part of it. I was watching a special documentary on Motown Records and back in the day you had to have talent. It wasn’t about a gimmick. You had to know how to sing before they would even fuck with you. Now it’s not about talent. It’s about marketing. It’s all business and it’s all about marketing. It’s not about talent at all. Can you believe Soulja Boy just said Nas killed hip-hop? How ironic is that! How is Soulja Boy going to say Nas killed hip-hop?

If you were going to sell out and make your jingle, how would it go?

I made a jingle! I did it now that I’m producing! I made a song called “Pussy” just bugging out and I played it for this girl and she was like, ‘I like this!’ I was like, ‘Oh no.’ Being a producer you just fuck around but the thing is, I made this song called “Pussy” and I know it will work if I put it out.

You said you were going to single-handedly change hip-hop. You know you have to give us at least a rough outline of your timetable.

This year. You’re going to see more activity. I’m not stopping this year. I’m doing everything I should have been doing. Like last year I pretty much took the year off. Last year I was going through a lot of shit with my family and my mother and my sister. My niece died and it was a bad time for me, man,. I wasn’t thinking about rapping and hip-hop. I was trying to get the personal shit in order but all that shit is behind me. You’re going to see a lot of me and Tru. We just sat down. A lot of people don’t understand Tru. They just think he’s this goon.

He did talk about how he’s still making it rain in clubs.

You have to do that shit to get motherfuckers to pay attention. If you put a motherfucking Playboy cover on The Bible more people will read it. If you put a motherfucking Hustler cover on The Koran you’ll have a lot more Muslims walking around. (laughs) It’s a sad reality but sometimes that’s how you gotta attract motherfuckers – with the ignorance. I don’t want to talk shit about niggas. The whole Mobb Deep and Joe Budden shit, they started it with me. I never wanted to entertain it in the public and shit but when everybody sees a fight, they run to the fight so if I gotta beat up a few niggas and run to the shit, I’ll do it. I’m not going to shoot a nigga but I’ll box somebody. There’s nothing wrong with men having physical combat. We might even go and have a beer afterwards. But that’s what you gotta do.

But at the same time motherfuckers love to run to the shit and it’s a sad reality in hip-hop but it’s one of the things that creates attention. Beef creates attention. The thing about me is I don’t bother nobody but because I’m a “conscious” Black rapper, niggas pick on me. Joe Budden, I never did anything to this man in my life. Why would you just start up with me? Prodigy, he told me to suck his dick. Me and Prodigy seen each other and he didn’t want to fight and that was that. I told him we could square up right now and he gave me a pound and it was peace and love and then when he was with 100 niggas, he wanted to jump me. Come on, man. That’s sucker shit. And then it’s, ‘Oh, Saigon, you sucker punched me.’ How do you sucker punch somebody who just tried to set it on you? I’m telling you…(laughs) I don’t even want to talk about that no more. These niggas is comedy.

And I hope Prodigy is all right in jail because I know those crackers don’t give a fuck about him. They don’t care about celebrity status. I actually like P as a person. Me and P was cool at one point. That’s what a lot of niggas don’t know. Me and Hav is good. It’s the niggas around him that are telling him to be gangsta. Come on. This is a father with children. Y’all not thinking about a nigga’s best interests. If he dies are you going to take care of his kids? No. Of course they’re not. But they’re right there to egg them on. I got love for Prodigy but I’m never going to back down. Much love to Prodigy. Hold your head.

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