Saigon – Warning Shots 3

Saigon – Warning Shots 3
Self-released: 2012

Okay. Let us establish that there is no such thing as an ubiased critic. It is literally impossible for a non-robot to remain objective about something. Objectivity, even in its purest form, is still something of an affect. With that in mind, let us also establish that I, personally, did not enjoy Saigon’s Warning Shots 3. If you scroll to the bottom of this review, you will see that I have given it one of those little discs out of a possible five, and that’s mostly off the strength of Lil Fame’s verse on “Another Man Down”. Let us further establish that I am a twenty-two year-old white male from North Carolina and have been an obsessive music fan since I was fourteen. In the past six months, I have attended concerts put on by Rick Ross, an ambient viola quintet and the Insane Clown Posse. I have a tumblr dedicated to an imaginary horse.

So. Saigon. He’s the type of rapper whose staunch commitment to “bringing New York Rap back” has earned him a hyper-dedicated, cruft-spewing following amongst people I’ve never met, mostly because they usually talk about how much they love him on the internet. This very website gave his album The Greatest Story Never Told a near-perfect score. That’s fine, the person who wrote it probably felt that way.  The point I’m trying to make is Saigon is a very hard rapper to review, and this review is probably not going to change anyone’s opinion on him.

I’m sure that lots of people will disagree with this, but when you think about, Saigon kind of sucks. In terms of subject matter, he’s got, like, three things he raps about. There’s (A) how Saigon is the best at rapping. Then you’ve got (B) how everything except Saigon is fake bullshit. And then there’s (C), how Saigon respects women but also weirdly hates them and will begrudgingly have sex with them. I think it’s safe to say that no one has ever needed to hear Saigon rap about having sex with some other dude’s wife in that 50 Cent-meets-Jadakiss voice of his, for example. At least the three-song “sex arc” of Warning Shots 3 was interesting, if only for its appallingness. Meanwhile, whenever Saigon gets into (A) and (B) mode things take a significant turn for the boring. While listening to through this mixtape, I at one point turned it off to listen to Childish Gambino.

Things are pretty grim on the beat front as well. Warning Shots 3 is (unsurprisingly) mostly composed of post-Slaughterhouse lumberers, the type of beat that’s a “banger” in theory because it has really heavy drums and squelching guitars and lets you know that this is Very Real Hip-Hop, but in all actuality sounds exactly the same. To relieve the monotony of these beats, I would periodically pause the mixtape, usually to play Final Fantasy and listen to Lady Gaga. To say that Warning Shots 3 features a Joe Budden guest verse is superfluous.

In closing, I will repeat that I did not like Warning Shots 3. Saigon is abrasive in ways that are not necessarily fun, his beats are all boring and this entire tape feels like it’s somehow a subliminal dis at ASAP Rocky. In closing, here are some haikus.

OJ da Juiceman.
Saigon disses him for
No real reason. Why?

Why so negative?
Saigon backwards is “No Gais.”
NO GAYS. Holy shit.

Hasn’t Jadakiss
Made this mixtape, like, sixteen
Times already? Yes!

Critical bias:
My favorite rap album
Is Flockaveli.

If Saigon were on
OkCupid he would get
Zero dates total.

Maybe Saigon is
On OkCupid. Does he
Have a girlfriend yet?

At one point I paused
This mixtape to play Final
Fantasy and nap.

★☆☆☆☆
1 out of 5

2 thoughts on “Saigon – Warning Shots 3

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  1. Abdul Shareef|

    “In terms of subject matter, he’s got, like, three things he raps about. There’s (A) how Saigon is the best at rapping. Then you’ve got (B) how everything except Saigon is fake bullshit. And then there’s (C), how Saigon respects women but also weirdly hates them and will begrudgingly have sex with them.”

    Maybe this is true on this tape (which, again, is only a tape; is a mixtape with straight bars a bad thing now?), but overall this doesn’t hold. Your opinion on this mixtape is informed by dismissing Saigon, but this dismissal is based on incomplete listening. You offer little to no justification or reasoning for any of the statements you made in this article, and ended up looking lazy.

    That was a fun little rant.

  2. Let’s make one thing clear: if you’ve heard it with Saigon, you’ve heard it with many other rappers out there. That said, you can say “XYZ” sucks b/c of the examples the critic said before.

    But think about it: when was the last time you’ve heard gangster New York Hip Hop say anything different? Not until you’ve heard of Action Bronson showing more fierce lyrics around a different part of the ‘hood, as an example. But then again, what else are you going to talk about if you’re in an area where it’s dangerous to live in, cops are corrupted, girls play games with you just like the models from almost any “thick n pretty” magazine that’s out there, etc? Would Saigon be considered a “better” rapper if he were to not a- talk about himself and brag about it, b- how everything he hears isn’t as swag as him, and c- hates some chicks but would just do them and leave em alone? Kinda makes you wonder how the other rappers in the biz (in the same genre more or less)
    would even grab a record deal with saying the same shit all the time. Given.

    But back to my argument stated before, if this is just the music people would want to throw down and pass it along, pass it to me. At least I’ll hear it and think what’s good and what isn’t- which I already HAVE at this moment- and I’ll be respectful to give this album 3/5 simply because I’d rather have Saigon sing the lyrics in this album rather than Childish Gambino or 50 any day. Matter of fact, bring in Evidence and Wale here and they’ll blow it up even more.

    My two cents. Don’t like it, make a nickel…

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