Saigon: By Any Means Necessary (Pt 2)
HHDX: Do you think putting Pain In My Life out as a street single was a mistake in a sense, just?
Saigon: [Interrupts] Hell no! That was the best thing I ever coulda did.
HHDX: But it didnt get picked up by radio.
Saigon: So what? It dont matter. Radio doesnt matter. Radio is so overrated right now when it comes to hip-hop. I know artists who are getting thousands of spins and cant sell a record, and nobody comes to their shows. And I make just as much money off shows as they do.
Im touring the world right now. I just came from London. They treat me like Michael Jackson [overseas]. A girl fainted [at one of my shows] in Norway. I dont need radio.
HHDX: But my question was just do you think it was a mistake in the sense that it sounds like it ruffled some feathers at Atlantic?
Saigon: No, cause Atlantic didnt spend no money on the record. They know you gotta spend money on a record for a record to go, unless its a novelty record. Theres what you got called novelty records, the 1-and-done artist, where he follows the formula of whats going on with a catchy phrase. Those are radio records. Theyre made for radio. Pain In My Life was not made for radio. Its about a little kid who gets molested in church. I knew this wasnt gonna be a Top 40 record. I knew that shit. But that was never my objective.
HHDX: You suggested in your blog post that they want you to make a ringtone record, but you [just] said [to me] that thats not really the reason the albums being held up?
Saigon: Im saying I dont know why the albums being held up. I dont know why, thats what Im assuming. Thats what Im assuming, because if I went in there and created a song Its funny, cause I was just joking with my man, and I was like, Watch, Ima make some bullshit like [starts chanting] she got that donkey that donkey, she got the donkey kong jr. If I was to record that for real and get it up to 300, 400 spins Atlantic would put the whole team behind it, and then they would be trying to push my album out. Thats all they see is radio [spins].
HHDX: But just playing devils advocate, youre just speculating that this is the reason for the holdup. You dont know that its because they want a jingle.
Saigon: What other reason could there be though? If we come to an agreement where we both agree to do something, and youre not holding up your end of the bargain you leave me to make assumptions. Whether Im right or wrong, I have to assume something.
HHDX: I would march into Atlantic Records and plant myself there until I talked to the right people and found out what the hell was going on.
Saigon: I talked to the president of the company, Craig Kallman. Who else can I talk to?
HHDX: What did Kallman say to you?
Saigon: Craig Kallmans not telling me nothing. He just keeps saying, Hey, I had a great conversation with Just Blaze. I dont understand what the problem is.
The problem is We had Entourage. We had so many things going on with the same album that we have right now that we coulda capitalized off of. Im like, You dont see these windows of opportunity closing? You gotta strike while the iron is hot, and they didnt do that.
And now at this point, its June! They gave me a release date at the beginning of the year. They said we gonna give you July 31st, put you on the calendar. Its June and I dont even have a single out. So that July 31st shit was hogwash.
Im gonna tell you whats gonna go on [from this point]. Its June. It takes 3 months to at least prepare to put an album out, so that takes us to September. And then theyre gonna tell me, We dont put out a new artist in the fourth quarter. Next thing you know, Saigon is most anticipated of 08. Cmon man, I cant let that happen. I cant keep letting this happen.
HHDX: So whats your plan from this point, just realistically?
Saigon: My plan realistically is just go with the flow. Like I said, if they dont put my album out they can drop me. Im not scared to get dropped. I dont give a fuck. Im not motivated by money. I love money, and money is fun, its great to have and to have nice things, but I stand for more than that as a man.
HHDX: But what if they dont drop you? They can imprison you in the contract like Capitol did Ras Kass. You could be stuck there forever.
Saigon: Well, the difference between me and Ras Kass is I make great music. One thing you cant stop is the music. And theres a beautiful thing now called the Internet. You cant stop the Internet. You cant stop email blasts with a new Saigon record. Thats the thing that they dont understand, you cant really stop a true talent. And I consider myself, and everybody around me knows that Im a true talent. Im not a fuckin gimmick. Im not a nigga who got a lucky hook off or a jingle. This is genuine shit.
HHDX: Do you have any plans, any like mixtapes on the horizon, any other stuff [coming out]?
Saigon: Yeah man. If they keep pulling my leg about this single and saying, We cant clear this single and nobody wants to go back in the studio and make new songs, then hey, I got many songs that I recorded without Just Blaze [that I can put out], with other producers, with Scram Jones, with Alchemist, with Buckwild. Me and Preemo just started working together. We already coming up with crazy records. Theyre not gonna be able to stop me.
HHDX: Why would you have to put out your music sans Just Blaze? Is he somehow connected to Atlantic in a way that if you break off from them youre gonna have to break away from him too?
Saigon: No, it seems like Like I said, the reason I took the blog down is because it seemed like it offended him. Im like, How is this offending you? I didnt say nothing [in the blog post] about Just Blaze. I said Atlantic did this.
At this point I dont understand why me and Just Blaze havent just put out records on our own. He makes fantastic beats. We coulda put out a record on our own and shot a video for it out of our own pockets and went ahead and got the ball moving. Youre Just Blaze. Like, what are we doing?
Me and Just Blaze is good money. The only problem is that Atlantic can potentially play divide and conquer between me and him. Cause for him to get offended by that blog kinda threw me off.
HHDX: Thats just gonna I think hit your fans hard if they know if you walk away from Atlantic that youre gonna be walking away from Just Blaze too.
Saigon: But what has Just Blaze done up until this point that the world is familiar with me and him for? Nothing. Me and him coulda never made one song, or we could have the best thing in the world, and nobody would ever know because were not putting out no music.
HHDX: Well people are still checking for you. The Clinton Sparks mixtape, that got a whole lot of love.
Saigon: Thats all me. Atlantic didnt have nothing to do with that. A lot of people coulda felt disrespected by me putting out that music, because I didnt pay nobody for those beats. Those [producers] were just like, "Fuck it, man, get the music out there." Just [Blaze] is the only one who dont wanna leak records. Like dog, we got all these records, a lot of em we not using, lets leak these records. Lets keep the people hungry, cause they will forget about you.
HHDX: So contractually can you go back to the Warning Shots situation? Like, go back to Sure Shot and put out a side project?
Saigon: No. I been trying to do that too. Im like, let me put out another album to hold me over, cause yall waiting years, it aint like yall waiting months. I been waiting years over here. I been sitting over here for years. And the perception to the people is it must be Saigon [causing this delay], cause Just Blaze got a new song with this one, he got a new song with that one. So when hes still actively working and keeping himself on the market it dont seem like were just busy in the studio.
HHDX: So there was a Saigon vs. Atlantic Records Round 1, will there be a Round 2 post, you gonna keep us updated?
Saigon: Who knows what the future holds. I dont even know what they got going on. Right now Atlantic is upset with me. Like, how does that make my situation any worse? You wasnt doing shit for me anyway! So what, its gonna be, Now were not gonna put it out. You wasnt gonna put it out anyway!
HHDX: But is that gonna leverage them into cutting you loose either?
Saigon: Whether they cut me loose or not Im still gonna get my money. Im still gonna do shows. Thats where you make money at anyway. You dont recoup fucking with these record companies.
HHDX: And the people are still gonna get music?
Saigon: People are still gonna get music, even if I gotta put it out myself. My album that I made, I didnt look at it like an investment. I made that album from my heart. A lot of those rhymes, I wrote those rhymes when I was in the penitentiary sitting in a box. So this was something that I always wanted to express. Im not gonna let them put tape over my mouth because they dont think its gonna get radio spins. These are my expressions. I own those words regardless of what they say. They might could take Just Blaze beats, but Ill just go and put them same rhymes to another beat and put it out myself.
HHDX: Its still kinda fucked up though that Greatest Story Never Told is about to become a literal statement.
Saigon: Nah, never that. It might not be told through Atlantic Records, but it will be told.