Album review: 'All in a Day's Work,' by Saigon & Statik Selectah

Patrick Varine

The saga of New York rapper Saigon is an interesting one. After being released from prison in 2000, he began appearing on mixtapes and in 2005, he landed a recurring role on HBO's "Entourage" as himself.

In 2007, he put out a "street album" comprised of tracks from his never-released "debut" album, "Greatest Story Never Told," which had been delayed time and again by Atlantic Records, possibly because Saigon kept getting alternately hospitalized and arrested (stabbed in the head in 2006, arrested on weapons charges in '07).

In late '07, he posted a MySpace blog announcing he was quitting the music biz ... which he recanted a month later.

So, now here we are, with "All in a Day's Work," a record supposedly recorded with DJ/producer Statik Selectah all in the space of 24 hours. Hard to believe? Yes, particularly since it's such a quality album.

Statik Selectah brings heady, solid midtempo beats, as Saigon's ashy baritone weaves nice, intricate rhymes. "Goodbye" and "The Rules" work pleading, Motown soul samples in with head-nodding drums, and "I Warned You" blends some old-school 808 percussion pings with echoing drums and warbling synths.

Considering all of the moral posturing on Saigon's "I QUIT" blog about rappers acting "larger than life when they know their music is detrimental to their *$&!ing communities," there is quite a big of gangsta aesthetic on "All in a Day's Work." Then again, for a guy who's been in and out of prison, there isn't a lot of glorifying his criminal past, just plenty of reminders that he has one.

All that said, "All in a Day's Work" is a solid slice of hardcore New York hip-hop. Supposedly, there's a second "24-hour record" in the works between Saigon and Statik Selectah.

Sounds good to me.

For more on All in a Day's Work, visit Amalgam Digital.

Sussex Countian