Review Summary: Saigon and Just Blaze wrestle for control of the album, making it somewhat painful to listen to1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Saigon and Just Blaze make quite the rap tag team. Just Blaze and his typically epic-sounding beats and Saigon’s aggressive raps with a multitude of lyrical themes. They combine their two styles together to create an album full of swagger and confidence. Saigon shows himself as an already accomplished rapper making his big mainstream debut, trying to make his album sound as big as possible. Everything on [i]The Greatest Story Never Told[/I} sounds really big and slamming, like something you could bounce around a room to. That’s also due in part to Just Blaze’s production. He produces all but two tracks, constantly making songs into his signature “bangers.” Other production credits include Kanye West and DJ Corbett on two tracks, while other various co-producers show up such as Buckwild and Red Spyda, but none of them really compare to Blaze here. In essence, this is as close to a collaborative effort between Blaze and Saigon that we’re going to get. And you know what, it rules for the most part.
Saigon and Just Blaze make a wonderful combo, pumping out hot songs throughout. Just Blaze sounds the most inspired he has in years, while Saigon has remained a consistently good mc, developing raps around a variety of topics such as gang violence, sex, personal stories and life lessons to others. He opens up without being soft, he does conscious rap while never losing his thug sound, and he gets personal without being preachy and melodramatic. Saigon has such a wide grasp on the idea of lyricism and variety in hip-hop he could potentially appeal to any listener, whether it is fans of hardcore gangster rap or fans of personal storytelling acts in rap. Saigon has a sort of mainstream appeal that Eminem has always had, remaining lyrical while being approved of by fans of acts such as Drake and Rick Ross.
Just Blaze remains a decent producer, showing off his most inspired beats in years. He must really think Saigon is good if he’s giving him this kind of production. Every beat bangs with a sense of epicness and swagger you can’t help but just nod your head to each and every single beat of his. He mixes orchestral sounds with huge, slamming drums and various assorted sounds on his keyboard. His beats may be excellent, but it also follows the same formulaic pattern as listed earlier. There’s no variety or any differentiation in his signature sound so as such, there is little to no uniqueness. It’s really a double edged sword on Blaze’s part. On one hand, you know its Blaze, but on the other hand you find yourself wishing he would do something different. Even the beats Kanye and Corbett produce sound very Blaze-esque here.
Ultimately the downfall of The Greatest Story Never Told
is that each main performer overshadows each other. Just Blaze takes over on other tracks while Saigon’s commanding presence takes precedence over the beat on other tracks. They can’t seem to agree on a midway point, where neither producer nor rapper overshadows each other. Instead they decide to lazily put raps over the beats and see who comes out on top in the listener’s ears. It’s a knock down drag out brawl between the two, but we never truly know who comes out as the winner.
The guest spots aren’t anything memorable (even if they’re by excellent rappers), and the two main forces of the album (Just Blaze and Saigon) are constantly fighting for control. It’s a little forced and contrived when put together, but the beats and lyrics are wonderful separately. Unless they can find a point they agree on, Blaze and Saigon will never truly make an album worthy of praise. Hopefully they learn from the mistakes made here and produce something even hotter next time. A commendable, if nothing special effort, Blaze and Saigon try to make The Greatest Story Never Told
each other’s own solo albums, when really it should be a producer-rapper collaboration album. It won’t be regarded as classic, but it’s good enough for what it is.