Essentially picking up where "The Greatest Story Never Told" leaves off (and that was an excellent album also), Saigon returns with his sophomore album, and needless to say, the hunger and drive are still present, and we get another excellent album as a result.
The album starts off with the great "Plant the Seed (What You Paid For)". You would think a song like this would close the album, instead, it starts the album off on a very good note ("I hope you got what you paid for", Saigon says.) One of the driving forces behind the boards on his first album, the talented Just Blaze, produces five songs on this one, including the awesome "Rap vs. Real" (as well as the album's closer "Rap vs. Real Homegrown"), as Saigon expertly discusses the key differences between what's "rap" and what's "real", parts one and two of "Blown Away" (the latter featuring stic.man of the group Dead Prez), which has to be heard to be appreciated. On "Blown Away", he talks about many famous names (former presidents, artists, leaders, etc) who all did their part to make a difference in this country, but were all unfortunately taken away at the peak of their careers. Great material. The fifth Just Blaze produced track is the Marsha Ambrosius assisted "The Game Changer". The first verse on this song talks about his experience with Atlantic Records, and if anyone from that label is reading this, you made a BIG mistake by forcing this real artist off the label, bottom line.
Speaking of guests, Styles P shows up to bless "Not Like Them", as well as Chamillionaire on "Keep Pushing". Another key thing to note about this album is the R&B inspired hooks, and in this case, it's NOT an attempt at radio/video play, but rather the hooks fit well on NICE songs such as "Let Me Run" (featuring Corbett), the aforementioned "The Game Changer", "When Will U Love Me" (featuring Andreena Mill), "Best Thing That I Found" (featuring Lecrae, who drops a very good verse & Corbett, and Saigon's opening verse on this song is one of the most touching letters/verses to God I've heard in a while), and the Chris Lighty tribute "Forever Dreamin" (featuring Tony Collins), just to name quite a few! "Intervention (Let It Go), featuring G Martin, Saigon continues his entertaining yet eloquent real world views, as he discusses letting go of the negative and embracing the positive, and I feel songs like this is what today's generation need to hear without a doubt, and I can say the same for the apply titled "Our Babies 2 (Crazy World)".
Overall, as I mentioned up top, this is an excellent album, as he put his heart and soul in this project, and you can tell it in the lyrics and his voice, and there's little to no filler found here. It's not about gimmicks, it's not about who has the most money or the most women, it's about presenting what's real and what's going on in our communities today, and Saigon explores that and then some on this album. It's not better than the first "GSNT", but it does give it a run for its money. Definitely one of the year's best albums.
Predicted rating- 4.5 stars
Actual rating- 4.5 stars
Replay value- Strong
Recommended listening- If you liked this album, you'll definitely enjoy the first "Greatest Story Never Told", especially the Deluxe Edition.