There was a time when a good rap album was based on quality “rap” and some damn good production, but somewhere down the line, it changed to where it was based on a publicist’s marketing efforts. The Greatest Story Never Told sounds like an album that would’ve been perfec if it was released in the mid to late 90’s, with the kind of integrity and freshness coming from someone who has a love for the music, and with confidence says “damn, I got a really good voice to do the job”.
The Greatest Story Never Told (Suburban Noize) features a number of guests that a lot of younger artists wish they had the luxury of knowing, including Q-Tip, Swizz Beatz, Bun B, Faith Evans, and a young cat ripping shit who goes by the name of (check this out) Jay-Z. Ha ha! But in the music’s essence is Saigon, who sounds like he’s ready to bust out on everyone with the kind of lyrics and music that make you want to say yeah, cheer, cry, and just go “damn, now this is what hip-hop should feel like”. It would be nice if this music became an inspiration for a generation, and if you don’t believe me, hear it for yourself. A quality hip-hop album that today’s revolutionaries should hear so they can hear what they’re not doing.
Brooklyn to Brooklyn, when you can have an artist based from a borough work together with a record label within the same borough, it can be helpful for both parties. Such is the case with Bekay, who is now down with Coalmine Records. Bekay’s own name comes from one of the many nicknames Brooklyn is known as, and if you’re an avid hip-hop fan, you’ve heard of BK from spending time on 106th & Park and maybe the Rawkus 50. But now Bekay is ready to take things to much higher levels with the release of Hunger Pains (Coalmine), and the title explains it all: the man is hungry.
First off, the anger. Some may known him as a battle rhymer, so by doing battle raps one has to ask what is he battling? In one of the tracks he condemns those who feel a need to constantly compare him to Eminem, from the way he flows to the shock value of some of the lyrics. But what does Bekay do? To make a point, he rhymes exactly like Em and does it with a fervor in his voice that you’re wondering if you’re hearing something from Brooklyn or from 8 Mile. That’s the purpose, to strip away the similarities in skintone and make blanket statements based on that.
The rest of the album is a nice attack of the senses, people who love nice rhymes and flows will be comfortable with the way Bekay sounds. In “Bloodsport” he confronts anyone who thinks they can step up to him and cut up Bekay’s shtyles. What is interesting is that he isn’t afraid to be in-your-face, so he’ll be saying words that normally one wouldn’t expect for an MC to say these days. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t give a fuck what anyone says, but then again, that’s Brooklyn. You’ll hear a sound that is very much not only a Brooklyn thing, but an NY thing, so he goes out of his way to use hip-hop traditions for his own benefit, without taking away anything from who and what came before. The battle rhymes are a nice kick to the teeth, but he’s capable of proper song construction, something some battle rhymers tend to have problems with. Bekay doesn’t. When you also have artists like Heltah Skeltah (in the great “Crazy”), Inspectah Deck, Masta Ace, and R.A. The Rugged Man helping you out, it doesn’t hurt. These guys could easily say “I’m getting money to be on this track, let me rip you open” but it’s not like that, each of the contributors are here to show support and say “now check out Bekay”. It’s a good thing, and Bekay is in full swing.