Saigon (rapper)

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Saigon
Saigon Rapper.jpg
Background information
Birth name Brian Daniel Carenard
Born (1977-07-13) July 13, 1977 (age 36)
Origin Spring Valley, New York Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Genres Hip hop, Alternative hip hop
Occupations Rapper, Actor
Years active 2000 – present
Labels Squid Inc. Squad Records, CPXi (current)
Suburban Noize Records, Fort Knocks Entertainment, Amalgam Digital (former)
Associated acts Just Blaze, Tru-Life, Jay-Z, Scram Jones, Bun B, Fatman Scoop, Q-Tip, Trey Songz, Swollen Members, M.O.P., Kool G Rap
Website Official site

Brian Daniel Carenard (born July 13, 1977) better known by his stage name Saigon, is an American rapper and 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.[1][2] He is also known for his appearances in the HBO television series Entourage.

Background & Career[edit]

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.[3] One day 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.[3] 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.[3] While serving time, Brian named himself "Saigon" after reading Wallace Terry’s book about the Vietnam War.[3] 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."[3] Saigon was eventually released from prison in 2000, and immediately recorded 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".[3]

With the help of the underground buzz that he garnered over the years, Saigon signed a record deal with Atlantic Records in 2004.[3] 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.[3] Saigon revealed that he realized as early as two months into his deal with Atlantic Records that there were problems.[3] He later recalled how his early excitement at 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.[3] 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."[3] 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.[3] 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.[3] Saigon later suspected that Atlantic wanted to make sure he didn’t take the material elsewhere and benefit from the buzz he’d created.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3] Saigon was also managed by celebrity manager Glenn Toby.

In 2009, Saigon signed with Boston-based new media outfit and independent label Amalgam Digital.[4]

On April 14, 2014, Saigon announced the formation of his own record label - Squid Inc. Squad Records, which is partnered up with global media company CPXi, who specialize in digital media.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

On the night of January 17, 2006, Saigon was stabbed in the temple with a wine bottle as he left a diner in Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC.[7] A man approached Saigon and attempted to steal a chain off his neck. When Saigon grabbed it back, a fight started. Saigon, bleeding from the head, tried to hail down a taxi, but was unsuccessful. As a result, Saigon ended up driving himself to Bellevue Hospital where he received seven stitches. At the end of 2008, Saigon became a father. His daughter's name is Rayne Dior Carenard and she was the inspiration for his single "Fatherhood". She also appears in the music video of the song, which was directed by Derek Pike.[8]

Further details of his personal life emerged with his participation in the fourth season of reality TV show Love and Hip-Hop New York, where it was revealed that he also has a son (born to Erica Jean, i.e., not the same mother as the daughter mentioned above).[9]

Feud with Prodigy[edit]

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.[10] This escalated into an argument, which resulted with Saigon punching Prodigy twice in the face.[11] 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.[12] The feud has appearantely died down, since Saigon had expressed happiness that Prodigy was coming home, in an interview two months before the rappers release.[13] However Saigon kept the animosity going through his Facebook page, commenting on the recent 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).[14]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US R&B US Rap
The Greatest Story Never Told 61 15 7
The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses
  • Released: November 6, 2012
  • Label: Suburban Noize Records
  • Format: CD, Digital download
151 25 19
The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 3: The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard[15]
  • Released: May 13, 2014
  • Label: Squid Inc. Squad Records
  • Format: CD, Digital download
TBR TBR TBR
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with year released
Title Album details
Da Yard Father 1
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Da Yard Father 2
  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Warning Shots
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Abandoned Nation
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Welcome To Saigon
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
The Return Of The Yardfather
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Belly Of The Beast
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
The Moral of the Story
  • Released: November 23, 2007
  • Label: Amalgam Digital
  • Format: Digital download
All In A Day's Work
(with Statik Selektah)
Warning Shots 2
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Warning Shots 3: One Foot In The Grave
  • Released: January 24, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
US R&B
US Rap
"Say Yes" 2001 N/A
"Do You Know" 2002
"Favorite Things" 2004
"Pain In My Life"
(featuring Trey Songz)
2006
"C'mon Baby"
(featuring Swizz Beatz)
2007
"Gotta Believe It"
(featuring Just Blaze)
2009 Warning Shots 2
"Bring Me Down" 2010 N/A
"The Greatest Story Never Told" 2011 The Greatest Story Never Told
"Clap"
(featuring Faith Evans)
"Not Like Them"
(featuring Styles P)
2012 The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses
"Best Thing That I Found"
(featuring Lecrae and Corbett)
"Best Mistake"
(featuring G. Martin)
2013 The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 3: The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard
"Sinner's Prayer"
(featuring Papoose & Omar Epps)[16][17]
2014 TBR TBR TBR
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured performer, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
US R&B
US Rap
"Ooh Wee"
(Mark Ronson featuring Ghostface Killah, Nate Dogg, Trife Diesel and Saigon)
2003 Here Comes the Fuzz
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Wanna Know" 2007 Obie Trice N/A
"Weekend Jumpoff" Kevin Michael Entourage: Music From and Inspired by the Hit HBO Original Series
"Criminal" 2008 The Roots, Truck North Rising Down
"Hip Hop" Joell Ortiz, Jadakiss N/A
"To the Top (Stick 2 the Script)" Statik Selektah, Termanology, Cassidy Stick 2 the Script
"Critically Acclaimed" 2010 Statik Selektah, Lil' Fame, Sean Price 100 Proof: The Hangover
"God Forgive Me" DJ Kay Slay, Joell Ortiz, Jae Millz More Than Just a DJ
"Give It To Me" Rhymefest, ADaD El Che
"Where I'm From" 2011 Irv Da Phenom Dream Big, Hustle Hard
"Say It (Remix)" Termanology, Bun B, Joell Ortiz, Freeway "Da Cameo King 2"
"You Gon Learn (Early Service)" 2012 Chamillionaire Ammunition (EP)
"M.A.R.S." Large Professor, Cormega, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano Professor @ Large
"Hear Me" Journalist 103, Fashawn Reporting Live
"No Sympathy"[18] 2014 DJ Kay Slay, N.O.R.E., Torch The Rise of a City

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Rap Sheet: Hip-Hop and the Cops Himself Documentary
Bring That Year Back 2006: Laugh Now, Cry Later TV Movie
2014 SP[19][20] Filming; Also Co-writer
2015 Entourage[21][22][23] Himself Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2005–2006 Entourage Himself 4 episodes
2013–2014 Love & Hip Hop 10 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.suburbannoizerecords.com/?page=album/view/130
  2. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.13347/title.saigon-the-greatest-story-never-told-tracklisting-artwork-revealed
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Mlyner, Phillip (February 23, 2011). The Seven-Year War of Saigon - Page 1 - Music - New York. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2011-02-23.
  4. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.8710/title.saigon-talks-about-amalgam-digital-deal
  5. ^ http://rapradar.com/2014/04/14/saigon-announces-new-album-label/
  6. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/04/saigon-launches-new-label-announces-new-album/#.U0xmWpQ_1tQ.twitter
  7. ^ Shaheem Reid (January 19, 2006).Saigon Assaulted Outside Diner In New York MTV. Accessed November 4, 2006.
  8. ^ Kayser, Brian (2009-01-22). "Saigon". HipHopGame.com. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  9. ^ XXL Magazine, Nov. 5th, 2013, http://www.xxlmag.com/lifestyle/2013/11/peter-gunz-struggles-keep-secret-saigons-baby-mama-drama-love-hip-hop/
  10. ^ Saigon, Mobb Deep Get Into Physical Altercation During Music Showcase In New York BallerStatus.com (September 20, 2007). Accessed December 19, 2007.
  11. ^ Saigon Punches Prodigy of Mobb Deep HipHopDX.com (September 20, 2007). Accessed November 21, 2007.
  12. ^ Saigon Talks Fight With Prodigy Sohh.com (September 20, 2007).
  13. ^ Saigon Talks Prodigy Coming Home From Jail YouTube, 01/21/11.
  14. ^ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=339106762814088&set=a.113142912077142.16195.100001443012208&type=1&theater
  15. ^ "New Music: Saigon Feat. G. Martin “Best Mistake”". MissInfo.tv. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  16. ^ http://rapradar.com/2014/04/14/saigon-announces-new-album-label/
  17. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/04/saigon-launches-new-label-announces-new-album/#.U0xmWpQ_1tQ.twitter
  18. ^ Big Homie (January 24, 2014). "New Mixtape: DJ Kay Slay The Rise Of The City". RapRadar. Retrieved January 24,2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.26917/title.saigon-confirms-film-featuring-omar-epps-papoose-
  20. ^ http://hiphopwired.com/2014/01/07/omar-epps-saigon-papoose-star-new-film-sp-video/
  21. ^ http://instagram.com/p/lxxyIjn0Zz/
  22. ^ http://instagram.com/p/lxvrm8H0WS/
  23. ^ http://instagram.com/p/lxvJ0Zn0Vk/

External links[edit]