Saigon Warning Shots

After causing a buzz on the mix-tape circuit for the past few years, this release is a compilation of Brooklyn MC Saigon’s various appearances over the years designed to whet the appetite for his official full-length due next year. While the disjointed piecemeal feel of the project doesn’t do him any favours, there’s enough evidence here to see the excitement around Saigon, also known as the Yardfather for his prison-honed rhymes, is justified. His fearless delivery, creative concepts, visual imagery along with intangibles like the aura of authenticity and apparent willingness to diss anybody make him stand out against the average gritty street rhymer. Courtesy of the irregular sequencing, however, the first impression may be one of style over substance. But the dark humour of the Alchemist-assisted "Stocking Cap” and the unsettling, thought-provoking multiple choice format of "Pop Quiz” overcome this, bringing a fresh approach to tried and true reality rap themes. Saigon augments his uncompromising viewpoint from the seedy underbelly with sharp socio-political insights on class inequality on "Kiss The Babies” and "Shok TV,” that bulges with potential. Some of the freestyles fall short and at times he's weighed down by excessive machismo, but as Saigon himself says these are the "freebies” and if he cuts the fat for his proper bow his growing fan base will be even more willing to fork over more of their hard-earned cash. (Sure Shot)