Written by Hector De La Rosa
If you are a blue collar, everyday hustler making ends meet with who also seeks an overthrow of a corrupt system, then Saigon’s sophomore album, The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses is the album for you. Not only is Bread and Circuses heralded as a revolutionary masterpiece by hip-hop heads, it has a symbolic importance. After listening to the album in its entirety, I was inspired and empowered to go and make my vote count where he felt uncertain of America’s future.
It is perhaps Saigon’s transmission of applied truth in said perception of poorly shaped reality of suffering impoverished urban communities or disturbing lyrical descriptions in songs like “Plant The Seed (What U Paid For)” and “Our Babies 2 (Crazy World)” that forged the writer to make a difference by voting. Conceivably, the forthright single “Rap Vs. Real” that confronts the destruction of our beloved genre that once inspired generations in becoming pioneers, move makers, and moguls now conspires ignorance, hatred, and violence.
It is where the spread of brotherhood, sisterhood and unity become dismantled. The youth become easily misled as expressed in this song by new age rappers who employ minstrel antics and gimmicks in pursuit of monetary happiness. Saigon scolds the innocence of a genre that could potentially manifest greatness (as the title Bread and Circuses suggest).
Due to Saigon’s skillful lyrical content and cinematic approach, it is safe to say Bread and Circuses is not comparable to the original. It stands on its own for its melancholy littered sound that compliments Saigon’s lyrics that construct street tales like “Yeah, Yeah,” “Not Like Them” featuring Styles P, and “Keep Pushing” featuring Chamillionaire. Saigon fans and hip-hop heads are cognizant of recognizing artistry matters. He refuses to become apart of that “Electric Circus” of merry-go-gimmicks of hip-hop, making him “The Game Changer” featuring Marsha Ambrosius.
Indeed, Chapter 2 is the best thing that I have heard, alongside Nas’ Life Is Good, in hip-hop for the year 2012. Bread and Circuses is bursting with sociopolitical themes that reflect on sociopolitical conditions infesting optimism to a powerless people. It is an album that demonstrates the conflicted spirit between Americanism and blackness. His discography pledges to dispel societal and genre decay. If Saigon were to run Vice President, he would be that dude, and The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2 would be the proclamation of High Power Rap!