Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saigon Warning Shots 2

Okay, player?
Warning Shots 2
KR Urban : 2009

Saigon has several different personas that arrive in his music and in the public sphere. And they are chock full of contradiction. He is “Da Yard Father,” a name he earned during his seven years of hard time in the penn. Then there’s the character he played on HBO’s Entourage; a very hedonistic, non-gangsta whose creative energy is mainly dedicated to wiping down imported cars and cruising around the city of Angels with his makeshift manager. At the same time, he is the proud father of Rayne Dior, a little girl who brings joy, has her father’s the eyes, whose heart has the hardest beat, and who “better not come home from the prom late (quote).” And oh yeah, there’s the alliterative “Hitting hoes in Hamburg” rapper.

No, no, the juxtaposition of the last two roles is not a result of manipulative design. In Warning Shots 2, Sai Giddy’s album/mixtape hybrid, right before the official end of his track “Fatherhood,” a heartfelt dedication to his daughter, Sai effortlessly cues up for his next track: “I just had a beautiful girl in Cali. You know I’m an international playboy. I got mad broads out this piece.” The song is called “All Around the World” (produced by Beatnik & K-Salaam) with an implied “Pimping.”

Is this a parody? Nope. Is this a coincidental misplacement of songs? Maybe…until a scan down the rest of the track listing reveals that “Fatherhood” is not only followed by “All Around the World,” but also by “For Some P*ssy,” and the barely metaphoric “Cookies & Milk.”

Somehow, Saigon escapes from this paradox relatively unscathed for the simple fact that he claims like being a good father, and then calling somebody’s else daughter a hoe and other outlandish protestations or belonging in the top three alongside Jay-Z and Nas, falls within the unwritten license of absurdity that Hip-Hop has granted most gangster rappers. For Saigon’s sake, it’s good that most of his listeners can’t tell the difference between honesty and pure braggadocio. As a matter of fact, Saigon’s focus lays in blending the two seamlessly.

That’s why when Sai spits, “Give me the bigger gun, I gotta get rid of one/ I’ll show him I’m not the nigga to shun,” in “Copping Pleas,” the impressive part is not Sai’s eagerness for heavier artillery, but his nimble double speed flow. While the need to blow a competitors head off is not shocking or novel to the game, some of his musings get too outrageous. For instance, “Tell a b*tch I know Kanye, for some p*ssy.” That’s just too much information.

A far cry from the New York gems of yesteryear, Warning Shots 2 does not lack mic presence, however the topic shifts are extreme and almost comedic, imploring us to suspend our disbelief (and go for the ride.)

-Sidik Fofana

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