CD Reviews

The Greatest Story Never Told, The Slaughterhouse EP and The Prestige

East Coast Reality Rap

Saigon The Greatest Story Never Told (Suburban Noize Records)


The irony of Saigon’s album title is that it almost became a story that would never be told. Issues with his old label Atlantic put the Brooklyn rapper’s debut on hold for nearly a decade. But finally Saigon will get to tell his story on a new label, and his tale is worth the wait. With Just Blaze holding down a majority of the production, Saigon tears through 18 songs with tales about the struggle (the Kanye West-produced “It’s Alright”), words of inspiration (“Clap”) and relationship narratives (“What Lovers Do”). “Come on Baby” may be nearly four years old, but it still resonates. Saigon is joined by Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz, and the trio tears the J. Geils Band sample to shreds. Although it is a bit heavy-handed at more than an hour in length, it’s hard to believe that Atlantic Records nearly shelved an album with this much quality. ★★★★☆

Super Duper Lyrical Hip-Hop

Slaughterhouse The Slaughterhouse EP (E1)


With their recent signing to Eminem’s Shady Records, Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5’9” and Joell Ortiz decided to give fans a sample of what’s to come with a six-song EP. One thing is for sure, these four MCs can rap their asses off. But we already knew that. With only six songs to work with, the margin for error is small. Which is why songs such as “Put Some Money on It” alongside the Lox do more harm than good with its redundant production that weighs down the EP and sticks out like a sore thumb. There are still songs where the production matches the rhymes (“Everybody Down”). If you are a fan of lyrics, this is what it is all about as there is no weak link in the crew. But it’s when Royce recounts his ups and down with Eminem on the “Move On” remix that you realize that this foursome are more than rapping machines. Still, as an EP we would have preferred a project where every song holds its weight. ★★★☆☆

Pure Hip-Hop

Money Making Jam Boys The Prestige (Self-Released)


Everyone has always wondered what the Roots frontman Black Thought would sound like without his band. His collaboration with Dice Raw and up-and-coming MCs Truck North, P.O.R.N. and S.T.S.–under the guise of Money Making Jam Boys—is about as close as we’ll get to hearing Thought solo. The results from this free project are a tantalizing dish of hip-hop in its rawest form. However, no matter how well the other four MCs rhyme, this project is all about Black Thought. Arguably the most underrated MC walking the Earth today, Thought is in full beast mode on The Prestige as he dismantles songs such as “Judgment Day,” the dirty drums of “Look Funny” and the channeling of Ol’ Dirty Bastard on “Philadelphia Zoo.” There’s nothing radio friendly here. So if you are in the mood for hip hop with no gimmicks, The Prestige is for you. ★★★★☆