Real Name: Brian Daniel Carenard
D.O.B.: July 13th, 1977 Brooklyn, New York
Label: Fort Knocks Entertainment
Better known by his stage name Saigon, Carenard is currently signed to Just Blaze's Fort Knocks Entertainment record label and is awaiting the release of his label début entitled The Greatest Story Never Told.
The Early Year
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Saigon spent his upbringing in Rockland County. After his prison release in 2000, he established the company Abandoned Nation, which was partly a non-profit foundation that provided support for the children of incarcerated parents, but it also helped him and associated artists to pursue their music careers.
After Saigon was released from prison he started to appear on mixtapes and make contacts inside the music industry. His first important musical contact was DJ/producer Mark Ronson, who gave him studio time and access to other valuable contacts. The rapper later left Ronson's company, on good terms, in order to explore better options. In 2002, Saigon released his first mixtape Da Yard Father 1 - The Best of Saigon, which XXL ranked 14 on their top 20 artist-driven mixtapes list. Saigon quickly gained popularity in the underground circuit and on the internet. Saigon was listed on many "Artists to Watch" columns (including Time magazine) and graced the covers of many hip-hop publications throughout the early to mid-2000s.
In 2005, Saigon landed a recurring role in the popular HBO show Entourage. He appeared as himself in the second and third seasons of the show. Entourage is credited as being a big boost to his career, making him more recognizable to the mainstream U.S. population.
On the night of January 17, 2006, Saigon was stabbed in the temple with a wine bottle as he left a diner in the Chelsea section of New York. A man approached Saigon and attempted to steal a chain of his, worth $18,000. 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.
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. This escalated into an argument, which resulted with Saigon punching Prodigy twice in the face. 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.
The Moral of the Story is Saigon's street album, which consists of new original material and songs that were cut from The Greatest Story Never Told. This album was released to create hype for his debut album and to hold fans over until his major label début was released. Despite the mixtape not featuring some of his best material, Saigon claims that it's still better than most rappers' studio albums. The album was released on November 13, 2007.
On November 17, 2007, Saigon and fellow New York rapper Tru-Life announced they would be recording a collaborative album. Speaking on the album Saigon stated:
"We’re using what got us here, and that’s our talent. Our talent put us in this situation to get our music out there. At times we get sidetracked by the bullshit, but we have to bring it back to what made me love hip-hop and that’s the genuine shit, not the gimmicky shit. The radio is pretty much destroying hip-hop. The bullshit music is fucking it up because now everybody feels like they can do it. When everybody can do something, it gets so diluted and the music won’t be as potent. We’re not even going to call this a mixtape. We’re doing an album together." Saigon and Tru-Life have reportedly recorded about six songs for the album.
The Greatest Story Never Told
The Greatest Story Never Told is Saigon's highly anticipated début album set to be released on Just Blaze's Fort Knocks Entertainment. It was originally scheduled for a 2005 release, but has been constantly delayed. On June 1, 2007, Saigon posted a blog on his Myspace stating that he felt Atlantic Records didn't have the desire to release his album because he is an artist, and they only care about the money, not the music he's producing. He stated that the album will be released independently if Atlantic will not release it. Saigon later took down that blog because he thought it offended Just Blaze. On June 14, 2007, Just Blaze responded to Saigon's comments on his own blog. He stated that he was not offended by the blog but just didn't understand why Saigon would post it now when the only thing holding up the album release is a sample clearance for the single "C'mon Baby" which Craig Kallman—president of Atlantic—was personally handling. Saigon then posted an apology and announced he signed a deal with Violator Management. Just Blaze later posted that all samples had been cleared.The Greatest Story Never Told was set to be released early 2008.
On August 22, Saigon was arrested in Manhattan on felony weapon charges. According to the New York Post, a small knife was found by authorities in Saigon's car after he was pulled over on 11th Avenue and West 29th street for a traffic infraction. Saigon was released on $1500 bail, and appeared in court on December 5, 2007.