Brian Daniel Carenard, better known by his stage name Saigon, is a rapper and occasional actor. Saigon is currently signed to Suburban Noize Records and Just Blaze‘s Fort Knocks Entertainment record label. After years of delay due to former record label interference, his album The Greatest Story Never Told was released on Suburban Noize Records. He is also known for his appearances in the HBO television series Entourage. In the late 1990s, Brian “Saigon” Carenard was sentenced to jail time at Napanoch’s Eastern Correctional Facility, serving a sentence for first-degree assault after shooting at someone in a bar. While in the recreation yard, Brian met a fellow inmate named Hakim, who rapped and had a reputation for incorporating positive messages, and heavy use of prestigious vocabulary in his rhymes. Carenard would later state that battle rapping with Hakim would help instigate his personal rehabilitation, as he set a course for redemption through hip hop music. While serving time, Brian named himself “Saigon“ after reading Wallace Terry’s book about the Vietnam War. This book helped realign the content and diction in Saigon’s raps, as well as the advice of a prison lifer: “There’s no right way to do wrong.” Saigon was eventually released from prison in 2000 and immediately recorded a few mixtapes, with the goal of obtaining a record contract as a means to release a debut album, which he wanted to be titled “The Greatest Story Never Told.”
With help of underground buzz he garnered over the years, Saigon signed a record deal with Atlantic Records back in 2004. Despite the co-sign from producer Just Blaze and collaborations with several acclaimed rap artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Kool G Rap. Saigon’s record label repeatedly balked at setting a release date for his debut album. Saigon revealed that he realized as early as two months into his deal with Atlantic Records that there were problems. Saigon later recalled how his early excitement when signing to the same label that “had so much history with black music, like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles“ was quickly dampened when they suggested he record a radio-friendly song with the Miami-based R&B quartet, Pretty Ricky. He also recalled a meeting with an Atlantic executive who told him “We need our three singles, then you can bust your artistic nut on the rest of the album.” Saigon however, wasn’t willing to compromise with this request, and only one year after signing with Atlantic, he hired a lawyer to work out a release from his label.
He explained “They signed me knowing the kind of music I was making, but then they try and change the direction.” This however didn’t prompt a break from his record company, as they offered a few stipends, leading him and his fans to believe they’d still eventually put the record out.Saigon later suspected that Atlantic wanted to make sure he didn’t take the material elsewhere and benefit from the buzz he’d created. While caught in this issue with Atlantic, Saigon continued to perform freestyles on hip hop radio shows, release mixtapes, and also continued to write and record The Greatest Story Never Told. Despite not having an official album out, Saigon gradually became somewhat of a high profile hip hop artist, as he appeared on the covers of several magazines and had a recurring role playing himself on the hit HBO show Entourage. Saigon was also being managed by celebrity manager Glenn Toby.
In the video seen above Saigon talks about the meaning behind the title of his brand new album that’s available in stores now “The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread And Circuses.” Brian comes clean and tells listeners a story of when he used to be around 50 Cent back in the day and so much more that we didn’t expect to hear him say. The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread And Circuses is the second studio album by Saigon. The album was released on November 6. It features many guest appearances from Corbett, Styles P, Marsha Ambrosius, Andreena Mill, Rayne Dior, Lecrae, G Martin, Tony Collins, Chamillionaire and Stic.man.
On the night of September 19, 2007, after an impromptu performance by Saigon during a Mobb Deep show, words were exchanged between Saigon and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. This escalated into an argument, which resulted with Saigon punching Prodigy twice in the face. Two video versions of the events have since emerged. One version with slow motion footage shows a clear look of Saigon punching Prodigy, while another video being endorsed by Mobb Deep shows Saigon being chased and running out of the club. The feud has apparently died down, since Saigon had expressed happiness that Prodigy was coming home, in an interview two months before the rappers release. However, Saigon kept the animosity going through his Facebook page, commenting on the situation between Mobb Deep (The one half of Mobb Deep, Havoc, had allegedly spoke of Prodigy in a hostile manner through Twitter. However, he has since denied that he did so and stated that his Twitter account was hacked at the time). In the video above Saigon cleans the slate and explains what happened.
The last video above is very interesting. As most of you know, Saigon has been out on the grind conducting lots of interviews, where he goes outside the box and talks openly about the wrongs in hip hop and rap, the extremely polluted entertainment industry and society as a whole. In the latest part of his sit-down with Young Jack Thriller from This Is 50, the New York City rap veteran discusses the extreme controversy surrounding the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. and why he believes that it was deeper than the East Coast vs West Coast rap beef publicized in the media at the time. Saigon explained to listeners why he can’t sell his soul to the Illuminati, despite how appealing it can be for his bank account. These are the interviews that matter and are really needed to expose the underground bullshit happening behind the scenes. Yup, Saigon isn’t holding any punches!
Let me know what you think about the interview above in the comments below…