Hip Hop Vibe’s biggest Bust of the Decade: Saigon

29 Dec

By 2003, Roc-A-Fella Records had been established as the best hip hop record label. Not only did the label provide some of the radio’s biggest hits, but they also had a staff of in-house producers that were among the best in the game. Among those in-house producers, the most notable one was Just Blaze at that point. Not only was he known for his work on the Roc, but also his work on music from others.

Due to his popularity, Just Blaze felt that he should start a record label of his own. On the other side of the spectrum sat Saigon. He was a street emcee in Brooklyn. At the time, he was on the mixtape scene, waiting for his big break. There had been times where Saigon had come close to reaching national fame, but something always got in the way. But, people who knew Saigon knew that he had talent. He was just never given a fair shot.

Just Blaze decided to launch his own label in 2004. He first pitched the idea to Roc-A-Fella Records, but they were going through the infamous breakup. So, he ended up pitching the idea to the parent company, Def Jam. With a transition taking place at Def Jam and the label gearing up for big releases from LL Cool J and others, they could not do this, financially. Finally, Just Blaze ended up leaving both Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam in order to pursue this deal.

Realizing the talent that Just Blaze possessed, Atlantic Records quickly snatched Just Blaze up and they allowed him to create his own label. Late in 2004, Fort Knocks Entertainment was born. To headline the label, Blaze needed to find a rapper. Since his label was based in New York, he wanted a New York rapper. After a failed attempt at joining G-Unit, Saigon was still without a deal.

It would not take long for Saigon and Just Blaze to meet. Soon, Saigon signed to Fort Knocks Entertainment. After he signed with Just Blaze’s label, Saigon finally began receiving national attention. Due in early 2005 was his debut album, The Greatest Story Never Told. When describing this album, he said that it would go down as one of the best albums in hip hop history. Soon, Saigon was featured in such magazines as XXL and The Source.

Five years have passed since all of this took place and Saigon is still waiting on his debut album to be released. By now, he should have already gone pop and he should be working on his sixth or seventh album. Had things gone right, Hip Hop Vibe would be sitting here pitting Saigon against 50 Cent for the biggest rapper of the decade. But, things happen and 50 Cent has yet to live up to the initial hype that he came in with.

Saigon was supposed to be the man after he got signed way back in 2004. But, he never quite caught on with the executives of Atlantic Records. This did not change the fact that he still has to put food on his table, so he had to return to the mixtape scene. He and Just Blaze remain as good friends, but the status of Fort Knocks Entertainment is unknown.

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