The code of the beat.

Rapper Saigon Joins Ranks Of Beatmakers


Acclaimed Lyricist, Now Also Beatmaker, Poised For New Appeal

By Amir Said (Sa’id)

From the looks of things, Saigon has added “beatmaker” to his bag of hip hop/rap skills. Bravo! to that man. Regular BeatTips readers know that I have long-stressed the plight of the beatmaker/rapper.

My support for the beatmaker/rapper (or rapper/beatmaker) is due to several reasons. First, I began as a rapper; and it was only after having to wait on beatmakers for beats that I decided to try my hand at making beats. So I have an acute understanding for that situation, which naturally makes me root for any solid rapper who makes the move to beatmaking. Second, I hold the “musician-singer-songwriter” in high regard. To be able to make your own instrumentals, then write and perform your own rhymes—at a high level—is very impressive. Aside from Large Professor, Lord Finesse, Q-Tip, and more recently, Nottz and Oddisee, there hasn’t been too many rappers who could really pull it off.

Now, in Saigon, we can add a complex lyricist to the growing landscape of beatmaker/rappers. Saigon’s lyrical style is gutty and direct, intelligent, and always underscored by the residue of honest experience. And this is what makes his move to the beatmaking side of things all that more promising. Now I don’t know exactly when Saigon began making beats, but one thing’s for certain: If he continues to tap into the same sort of nuances and elements of inspiration that he draws on for his rhymes and channels them into his beats (like he does in the song “Free Tru Life,” presented below), he will not only improve upon an already formidable hip hop/rap portfolio, he will increase the level of his appeal across the board.

Equipment note: From the video below, it appears that Saigon is working with an Akai MPC 2000 based setup, which features an M-Audio MIDI controller.

For educational purposes…

Saigon – “Free Tru Life”

Articles, Beatmaking, Drum Sounds and Drum Programming, Arranging, and Composing, Recording, Mixing, and Mastering, The Art of Rapping, The Art of Sampling

About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual