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Saigon Talks 'Greatest Story Never Told', How Jail Might Change Lil Wayne & Just Blaze Vs. Kanye

For a while, it looked like Saigon's full-length album, The Greatest Story Never Told, would hold true to it's title. But through unbending label demands, questionable side projects and retirement threats, the project has endured, and now that Sai has got the right label behind him—indie imprint Suburban Noize—the project will finally hit listeners' ears February 15, 2011. Here, the Yardfather speaks on finally getting out his masterpiece. —John Kennedy


 

VIBE: Congrats on finally getting the right deal for The Greatest Story Never Told. How many labels were hollering at you for that album?

Saigon: Like every indie in the world wanted it. [Laughs] Every indie. I went with Suburban Noize because the artists over there have a great touring following, and that's what I want to establish for myself. I want to jump on these tours and touch the people. Make new fans, 'cause they have Kottonmouth Kings and Swollen Members; they do hip-hop with a rock influence, and that's a world that I wanna explore. I always loved the mesh between rock and hip-hop since "Walk This Way" and "King Of Rock" with Run DMC. That's why I do songs like "Come On Baby" and "Bring Me Down."

Before you finally unveil the album, though, you’re dropping The Prologue EP. How’d that project come together.

I just went back into record mode. Warning Shots 2 was a year ago and I haven't put out anything since then, so while people are waiting and anticipating the album, I'm gon' give 'em this EP. All brand-new records. I wanna remind people that I am of the upper echelon when it comes to rapping ‘cause hip-hop fans are fickle, man. They'll forget about you in two days. People are gonna be surprised 'cause I try to do different things. 

You tried different things on Warning Shots 2—namely a collaboration with OJ Da Juiceman—that didn’t work out too well. Did you accomplish what you were looking to do?

No. Warning Shots 2 was actually me being lazy. Amalgam Digital offered me like 50 grand for a mixtape, so I just threw some songs together and was like, Here's your mixtape.' [Laughs] A lot of those songs were throwaways, but I wasn't caring at that point. The money was good, but I wasn't thinking of my fans at the time.

Surely GSNT will make up for it. How much has that album changed since you first finished it a couple years back? 

It hasn't changed much. We just crossed some T’s and dotted some I’s, tightened up. Change a few lines here and there, but overall, we thought we had a great project that will stand the test of time. [It] was never like I rapped about the latest car or the "in" drink; I rapped about things that we still face every day. [People] would never know that the album was done for two years. 

The only other rapper with a verse on there is Jay-Z. Is that by design?

I really wanted it to be about me on my first one. Other artists, they just either do a hook, but that's it. That was definitely by design. I want to establish who I am. I'm working on this last song, though, with Black Thought from The Roots. One of my favorite emcees of all time.

You’ve famously called it the greatest album of the past 20 years. Still feel that way?

Well, I know that's saying a lot, but I shoot high. I think social content-wise, it's definitely one of the best. And Just [Blaze] did an absolutely great job. So yeah, overall it’s one of the better albums of the past era in this genre of music.

Just Blaze produced half the album, but Kanye pitched in a beat, as well. Putting you in the hot seat: Which of the two is the greater producer?

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Cook County Medical Examiner Reveals Juice WRLD’s Cause Of Death

Juice WRLD’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. The “Lucid Dreams” rapper, whose birth name was Jarad A. Higgins, died from oxycodone and codeine toxicity, the Cook County’s Medical Examiner’s Office revealed on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

The 21-year-old recording artist suffered a seizure at a private hanger at Chicago Midway airport after his plane landed on Dec. 8, 2019. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.

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Juice WRLD was candid about his battle with addiction and vowed to kick his codeine addiction last summer. “Addiction kills but you can overcome,” he tweeted in July 2019.

In an emotional statement released a few days after his death, Juice WRLD’s mother addressed her son's struggle with substance abuse. “Addiction knows no boundaries and it’s impact goes way beyond the person fighting it,” she said. “Jarod was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.”

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Officer Suspended For Filming Delonte West While He Was Arrested

A day after reports of a video of a detained Delonte West began to gain commentary, an officer who filmed him recounting the situation has been suspended. According to NBC News, local Maryland police authorities believed a bystander recorded the viral video of Delonte in handcuffs but soon discovered it was one of their own. The authorities are unsure as to how the video appeared on the Internet.

Another view of the incident, which occurred on Monday (Jan. 20) near the MGM National Harbor casino, shows West laid out on the road as an unidentified person proceeds to hit him. The officers stated that morning, West and the other person, who are familiar with each other, engaged in an argument.

A former college basketball teammate of West's, Jameer Nelson, posted a message to Twitter following news of the former pro-athlete's situation. “To answer everybody that’s reaching out to me about his situation… all we can do is pray for him and his family and hope that he seeks the proper help," Nelson said. "Mental illness is something that a lot of people deal with and don’t even know it, until sometimes it’s too late. I’m not sure what exactly is going on with Dwest but he knows I’m in his corner and will help him get through this."

pic.twitter.com/W3QxPsbYSu

— Jameer Nelson (@jameernelson) January 21, 2020

In 2015, West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Previous reports state the former NBA player has family and friends that are providing him with support. According to TMZ, the NBA is also offering West assistance.

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A photo of victim Botham Jean leans against Judge Tammy Kemp's bench during the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in Dallas. Guyger is accused of shooting Jean, her unarmed black neighbor, in his Dallas apartment.
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

NFL Releases PSA On Botham Jean As Part Of Responsibility Program

Since August 2019, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partnership with the National Football League (NFL) has sparked massive dialogue as to what spectators can expect. Under the "The Responsibility Program," the entities aim to pin awareness on issues that communities “need to come together to create change,” a statement to ABC News reads.

For the program’s latest installment, a public service announcement (PSA) featuring Botham Jean’s family premiered on Wednesday (Jan. 22), which was narrated by the slain St. Lucia native’s family. In 2018, a 26-year-old Jean was fatally shot in his apartment by off-duty officer Amber Guyger. The former Dallas cop believed Jean’s apartment was hers and that he was an intruder. Guyger is carrying out a 10-year prison sentence.

In a statement given to ABC News, Jean's sister Alissa Findley said this PSA will hopefully serve as a learning tool for those who watch. "I truly hope that our society learns from Botham's story—and the stories of many others—so we can make a lasting change in this world," Findley said. "Together, we must all set a better example for future generations and leaders."

https://t.co/OtzZOFlqrT We are in this together.#EveryonesChild #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/De2tJakPtE

— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 22, 2020

According to The Undefeated, another part of the Responsibility Program’s mission will be to administer grants to families impacted by police brutality. Within the PSA, Jean’s family also highlight a foundation in his honor. Part of its goal also places a lens on police brutality and supports families affected by those instances. Additionally, the Botham Jean Foundation also assists people “in need of immigration guidance.”

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