L. Vicious: What’s good Sai, what’s going down with you right now, what you got on the plate?
Saigon: Chillin man just came back from the University of Maryland, which was crazy we tore it down.
L. Vicious: So literally all in a days work then last night?
Saigon: All in a days work man, tryin to do it every day, we tryin to just keep workin, keep the music fresh, you nah mean.
L. Vicious: I understand you were able to do that whole album “All In A Days Work” with no promotional funds and were able to make it happen, that must have felt pretty good?
Saigon: Yeah man, we did that with no recording funds, no promo funds, no nothing. We did that all in Statik’s studio, we didn’t have nothing but energy and Hennessy.
More after the jump...
L. Vicious: Hey sometimes that’s all you need to fuel a fire, so what was the entertainment scene like growing up, what kind of influential records were in the household that you were listening to?
Saigon: Growing up, like the early stages was from my moms because she was heavy into music, The Temptations, Anita Baker, a lot of old school R&B, my father wasn’t really around but when he would come through, he would drop me off hip hop tapes like GFO, Fat boys, LL Cool J, Run DMC. So I started off early, and from that point Hip-Hop has been my thing since I was like Five years old.
L. Vicious: How has it been working with Amalgam Digital, it seems like they’re helping you push into the game?Saigon: Its been cool, we did this album with no money so I cant really gauge how hard they’re gonna go when we do a real project, or if and when we do something else, but I got a lot of respect for those guys, because they’re innovative. I think they have some good ideas. Not just with me, but with a lot of artists that they work with, I think that if they keep following through with their ideas, that they’re going to be successful.
L. Vicious: Are there any other artists on Amalgam Digital that you would want to work with?
Saigon: Well, I’m not on Amalgam Digital, but they definitely are helping get this last one out, but there’s some artists I would like to work with like Max B…Max is my homey and we never worked together, Peedi Crack, Peedi is dope too. Those are two of the artists that I like, that I’d like to work with.
L. Vicious: I understand that when you were coming up, you worked with Mark Ronson, how was that?
Saigon: It was wonderful man, Mark is a great dude, he showed me a lot, taught me a lot. I learned from him how to just keep going and never stop, his first album was a fantastic album and it never got the promotion it deserved from Elektra, but it never discouraged him and he just kept going. Now look at him.
L. Vicious: With hip hop being questioned by a lot of the purists these days because of the commercialism, and a lot of the bullshit, how do you feel as an emerging artist in these times?
Saigon: You know how I feel, I feel like what happened to hip hop is that somebody needs to come break the mold, every so often an artist comes and goes against what’s popular and sways the whole direction of the music, you know DMX did it when Mase and the whole shiny suit shit was hot, and the bullshit bubble gum rap was at its peak or peaking, and then DMX came with the pitbulls and the dog chain, and just rapped from his heart and he really kinda made all that shit kinda seem what it was, which was bubble gum-ish. And I think 50 cent did it when the whole Ja-Rule era was going on, the singing rapping shit. And now the whole singing and rapping is really back, and its time for somebody to come shut it down. Hip-hop is so geared towards women now and it was never like that, like when Wu-Tang came and broke the mold, they weren’t going in the studio like we gotta make songs for the bitches, and that’s what niggas do now, they go in the studio and come out of the studio with a record for the girls. I mean, I go make records and I’m like I didn’t make this just for the girls, but now that’s what hip hop is geared towards, we got a bunch of LL Cool J’s runnin around.
L. Vicious: Most cats are doing this so they can sell records and start getting some coin, you know what I mean?
Saigon: Yeah but you know, if that’s what your in it for that’s you, but I think when it comes down to the labels, they’re trying to take over the art, and say hey, we need you to do this and you may not be that kind of artist. So it takes away from the creative aspect, you don’t get room to grow because everyone is trying to do the same fucking thing.
L. Vicious: What kind of legacy do you see yourself leaving in the hip-hop game?
Saigon: I think I’m going to be far more appreciated when I’m gone, I think people are going to reflect on my art, I think there’s certain artists that aren’t appreciated in the moment, and hopefully I don’t die untimely, lord willing I don’t, but I think in retrospect people are going to appreciate me more than they do now because I’m probably more ahead of what’s going on, and rap more about social commentary in America, and even in this recession, even with the fucked up economy you get all these people rapping about money and driving nice cars and shit like that, when that’s not the average persons life, the average person is losing their job, their home, but if you listen to hip hop you would think everybody is doing great.
L. Vicious: That being said, with a recession in the mix how do you feel that Obama is doing in his first 100 days in office?
Saigon: I think so far in his first 100 days he’s doing well, because he’s showing that he’s on top of it everyday, and he’s showing that this is his major concern. I mean he was put in a fucked up position, and I don’t think that he will turn it around in one day, but you know so far what he’s doing, with the stimulus plan people are getting checks, my own sister she lives here in NY, and she got some assistance to help her get her mortgage rates lower, and help her so she wouldn’t have to go into foreclosure on her house. I mean I’m feeling the effects so far and I think he’s doing a pretty good job.
L. Vicious: What can we expect from you over the course of the next year or so?
Saigon: Well I got Warning Shots 2 coming out, which is me reintroducing myself to the game like in a major way, because I’m learning how to play the game. I’m never gonna’ go totally over, but at the same time you gotta’ get in where you fit in. You know an old timer told me one time in prison, if you put a Hustler or a Playboy cover on a bible, more people will read it. So it’s like, that’s pretty much what I’m tryin’ to do to get my message across, is come to the people where they are. A lot of people don’t like to be preached to, some people don’t even listen to my music, but they think “Oh he’s a conscious rapper”, so they wont even give it a chance, because people are in party mode. So I’m gonna’ come to the party. I just don’t know how I’m going to leave the party.
L. Vicious: Solid, is there anything else you wanna add before we get out of here?
Saigon: I just wanna’ say go get that “All In Days Work”, go support that because its real hip hop, its authentic. Look out for Warning shots 2, and look out for “Greatest Story Never Told” because it will be told…eventually.
L. Vicious: Aiight homie, thanks for coming out.