Saigon: “God Is Coming For All These MFs!”

Saigon In this podcast conversation, Saigon pulls no punches. He rolls through a series of topics, ranging from the current Diddy situation to detailing the old beef with Mobb Deep to his thoughts on waning conscious rap. He reveals his new project, a reality show called "Baby Daddy Duty" available on Tubi and a new album. The show features footage of his children growing up, which he has been filming for 12 years. Saigon explains that the show is a testament to his active role as a father, despite having children with women he didn't know well enough. He encourages other single fathers to be proactive in their children's lives. The conversation also touches on the importance of guidance for the younger generation, with Saigon expressing concern about losing spiritual values. He criticizes the materialistic focus of many influential figures in the industry, arguing that it only impresses those who value material possessions. He wishes he had a bigger voice to share his experiences and wisdom with the younger generation.

Rapper Saigon is not about to stand around and let Hip-Hop just be overtaken. He’s taking a stand and it isn’t just about Diddy either.

Saigon pulls no punches. The New York heavy hitter, cares and wonders why racism and inner turmoil seem to tear Hip-Hop apart at the seams. The current Diddy situation has sparked a deeper conversation around waning conscious rap, the lack of leadership in Hip-Hop, and the declining moral compass in the culture. He viscously blasts the capitalistic, materialistic mindstate of many influential figures in the industry. At the same time, he continues to share his voice with a looming album Jordan Era coming May 3.

Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur: We had a nice conversation last night. That was dope. I don’t know if you remember this, but we both went to Baltimore a long time ago. I was doing a thing called “City for Change.” And I took you to Baltimore to talk to the youth and everything.

Saigon: Yeah. That was probably 2001 or ’02. Very early.

DJ Thoro: One thing about you man, as long as I’ve known you that I highly respect about you is that you what I call you never pushed poison or glorified violence in your music. Nowadays people, they rap about the s### they did or going to do or doing, but there are no records about the consequences of that.

Saigon: Where are those records at? That was always my thing. I used to be like, “Bro, don’t send these kids to the graveyard or to the penitentiary man. Because we see how influenced we was by music. Right When I was growing up, Onyx and them m############ was coming out.

DJ Thoro: “Throw Your Gunz In The Air”

Saigon: I went and picked up a gun like oh yeah, some s###. “What’s cool? [Quoting “Shook Ones”] “To all the killers in the hundred dollar billas.” I remember hearing that at 14, 13 years old. I’m about to go clap something. And the music has that kind of, it’s almost like you ever make love to a woman with no music and then you put music on some slow songs and start performing? The music has power, bro.

DJ Thoro: And that’s why it keeps going because the kids see gets rewarded so they want to keep doing it.

Saigon: That s### hindered my career so much. And you know what I respect about Blaze? When I went into the studio and we started making The Greatest Story Never Told, and he started to see the direction I was going. And he told me, “he said, sir, “I’m going to keep it real with you. They’re not going to push this.” He knew from experience, he said, “But I’m going to stick by you if this the way you want to go. More positive. Yeah, more positive.” He was like, “I’m with it and I’m going to make it sound amazing.” And I was like, “Let’s do it.”

And we made a crazy album that sat on the shelf for seven years because Julie Greenwald, I’ll never forget, told me one time she was like, “We like you Saigon here at Atlantic Records and you can bust your artistic nut on the rest of your album. But I need my three singles to push.” Pretty much saying I need three of them bulls##t records and then whatever else is on your album, who cares?

DJ Thoro: How does that make you feel knowing that she wouldn’t tell her own to do that? I keep it a hundred.

Saigon: Because I was in prison and I had experienced racism at a close until you’ve never been called ni##er – hard – “er” – you see a hatred in a m###########’s eyes because them cos up north when you are up in prison, Buffalo will lose a football game and they won’t feed you. They walk around with tattoos of Black babies and nooses. They don’t hide the racism. They don’t hide it so you get to see it. A lot of black people, especially growing up in New York City where it’s diverse, we don’t see that s### blatant.

So when I had that experience, so when I got into this game I kind of knew what I was dealing with. I was like, “Oh you one of them.”

DJ Thoro: We’ve always had that, but there was also an alternative to that.

Saigon: And another thing because it’s funny because I just seen myself on HipHopDX. I put out a tweet and then the next thing you know it’s all the blogs. If you look it up right now, it says “Saigon blames Diddy.”

Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur: Of course we saw it. Everybody saw it.

Saigon: So what I was trying to say was, because I said I think Diddy was the change between conscious rap and just money rap. What conscious rap ever came from Bad Boy Records?

DJ Thoro: Nobody conscious came from Bad Boy. It was mostly party rap.

Saigon: Party. Money and materialism. Materialism. It was materialism. Materialism. Diddy knew about the business before everybody. Everybody he signed was kids. Diddy had a $10 million deal with Clive Davis. He had already did Mary J. Blige and Uptown Records. So he understood the power of music by time he signed you got to The Lox and BIG. It was kids.

Saigon: God is coming back for these m############. We ain’t even got to trash ’em. We can sit right here and talk about Super Mario Brothers. Them n##### are still going to get they fate.

Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur: This is probably not going to land, right? But Hip-Hop’s a young culture in the eighties, seventies, eighties, nineties. It was still young. And then we started getting money in the nineties. Is it possible that they were as ignorant as we were but on a different level? You know what I’m saying?

Saigon: We was talking about last night, every revolution starts with young people. The Panthers were 18 and 19, 20 years old. Young people are fearless. Now, we are using our fearlessness and it’s going in the wrong direction. That’s why you got gang bangers. That’s why gang bangers ain’t scared to die. They’re not scared to go to jail.

But it takes older people to go channel that energy. It’s almost like the army, right? The general’s going to be an old guy. The private on the front lines going to be a 19, 18-year-old kid. But it’s up to the general to tell him what to do and how to move.

Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur: We don’t have generals anymore.

Saigon: The elder statesmen became all about get a dollar. Right? It’s the money that f##### us up. I think it’s starting to happen with athletes now. Right now too. I don’t think it’s a good idea to start giving if you give these people all this money, right? Where’s my incentive to go hard now?

Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur: Who do you like out here?

Saigon: Now? Oh, nowadays. Yeah. There’s this new kid from Philly named Kur. J. Cole of course. I like Lar Russell. I just think he’s himself. He is not trying to be like anybody. He remind me of a Ye in a way. There’s not too many doing nothing too innovative. I like innovative s###. Know what I’m saying?

DJ Thoro: Do you think Hip-Hop has reached its creative peak?

Saigon: Nah. Nah.

DJ Thoro: Do you think there’s something that hasn’t been done yet? That we haven’t seen?

Saigon: I wouldn’t say I think it’s been done, but you could always make something better. Make it better. I think we’re going to have to go back to meaningful s###. Meaningful s###.Because we can’t keep sending these babies to the jail, to the strip club or to the f###### graveyard.

For the full, unedited and raw interview, watch it here.