Recording information: Abandoned Nation Studios; Hickory Street Studios; Stadium Red.
Photographers: Chad Griffith; Greg Hurdle.
If his official debut painted Saigon as the stern, serious man that could save rap, The Greatest Story Never Told, Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses suggests he could still save it, but maybe with a little love and flash. In contrast to the darkness found on Chapter 1, the opening "Plant the Seed (What U Paid For)" kicks this one off with a jazzy beat and hope for tomorrow, as if Common's grace had paid Saigon a visit and he took it under serious consideration. "Who the heck is listening, if everybody rappin'?" is the simple question here, while "Brownsville Girl" (nostalgia for the old days, and wondering what happened to socially consciousness lyrics in the mainstream) and "The Game Changer" (more sweet jazz and literate lines point to a better tomorrow) further the topic and make this a near concept album. Still, the beats are as varied and well selected as the guest list which counts Styles P, Chamillionaire, Marsha Ambrosius, and Lecrae amongst its most desirable guest shots. A couple more albums this rich and Saigon might actually save the game, begging the question: then what will he rap about? ~ David Jeffries