saigon-1Hip-Hop without question is the most abrasive form of music there is, and some of its artists (not all) mostly rely on the all mighty “street creditability” in order to gain acceptance.

While some rappers have to go out of their way to achieve the respect factor, others don’t try at all because it’s just a natural progression—and one of the MC’s who have maturated to that level is none other than Brian “Saigon” Carenard.

The native of Brooklyn’s rundown includes a stint in jail, a slew of mixtape projects, an alliance with Jay-Z hitman Just Blaze, a premiere role on HBO’s Entourage, getting stabbed, punching out Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and most recently a quick beef with Joe Budden. [Click to read Joe Budden album review]

Taking the more adult route, the lyricist decided to dissolve the disagreement with the New Jersey MC and focus more on his music, which includes his first release from Amalgam Digital titled All In A Day’s Work.

Completing the entire album in one day with the help of DJ/producer Statik Selektah, it’s obvious to see that the talented rapper with the once troubled past has his mind focused on making big boy moves that will equip him with “financial creditability,” leaving the streets far behind…

iHipHop.com: Now you’ve teamed up with Amalgam Digital. After all this time of looking for the right situation, what made you choose them?

Saigon: It made sense at the time… I haven’t put out music in a long time, and the people were waiting, so I figured it would be a good fit because they were giving me an opportunity to put my music out…

I didn’t have to do it the traditional way of trying to have certain kinds of songs for the radio. Right now I can still make the kind of music I want, and it’s my opportunity to get it out there…

I felt like this move was going to be a lot more accessible to the people… At this point in my career, even though I’m an artist I have to start thinking like more of an executive.

Right now handling a lot of my own business instead of putting it into someone else’s hands…

iHipHop.com: Is it difficult at time wearing two hats, one as an executive, and one as an artist?

Saigon: Oh yeah because this is something new to me, so of course it’s very difficult being hands-on, but at this stage I’d rather work for myself… If you don’t “boss up” and you don’t own something, then you don’t own your own music or your masters. You’re not going to reap the benefits of all your hard work… 

iHipHop.com: Obviously Joe Budden [Click to read Joe Budden album review] also does business over there too, and you two just recently buried the hatchet; no more beefs or any of that nonsense. How did that come about?

Saigon: With me, I don’t go halfway with drama or with beef… Either its beef where when we see each other something is going to happen—and it didn’t make any sense for me to keep egging it on when [he] really didn’t want to take it to that level… Plus, it didn’t need to go to that level, because it’s not like he violated me to the point where I had to do something to him…

So it was either one of two things: Either we squashed it, or we took it all the way… It didn’t make sense to keep on making diss songs back and fourth, to me that sh*t is corny, and it got corny real quick…

iHipHop.com: Talk about your album, All In A Day’s Work. What made you and Statik Selektah decide on literally doing the project in one day?

Saigon: We didn’t decide on it until we were on the sixth song… I went over to his crib and he was throwing on beats, and I was just putting songs down… By the time we got to the sixth song, it was my idea, and I was like, “Yo, lets do an EP.”

Then he was like, “Okay, cool,” but then we kept going and when we got up to like eight songs, he was like; “Two more songs, and we have an album.” So we finished it up and did the album… It just happened like that and it was magic…

iHipHop.com: Was it a case where you were writing on the spot, or did you already have unused material?

Saigon: It was a little bit of both… Some of the rhymes I already had 6-8 bars written so all I had to do was finish it… It just all came together, it was a little bit of everything…

I didn’t go in there and write the whole thing, nah… [Laughs] Some of the rhymes I had, and some of them were brand new… But I think it came out fairly well for the amount of time that it took us to do it…

saigon-2iHipHop.com: After it was done, you didn’t have any second thoughts on changing anything when you played it back? You guys left it as is?

Saigon: I probably went back and did one adlib… [Laughing] But that’s it…

iHipHop.com: [Laughs]… And you doing this project with Amalgam [Digital] doesn’t effect what you have going on with Just Blaze and Fort Knocks Entertainment?

Saigon: Nah, and that’s what I mean by making executive moves… This right here is just Amalgam and me; and they saw my vision.

Every artists dream is to get someone to see their vision, and to get it across, and that was my problem was Atlantic [Records]; we didn’t share the same vision.

They wanted radio songs, and that’s not my thing… I don’t want my whole career to be based on me making songs that fit radio formats, and Amalgam saw my vision… So these two things are totally different entities…

iHipHop.com: I always wanted to ask you about your stint on Entourage, how did that come about?

Saigon: A good friend of mine who is an executive asked me if I wanted to audition, so I flew all the way out to LA and I auditioned. I met all the executive producers from the show, and they liked me… I was only supposed to be on there for one episode, and I ended up being on there for two seasons so it was a blessing…

iHipHop.com: How was the experience like working with Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, and Jerry Ferrara?

Saigon: They made me feel real comfortable… I hung out with them dudes for like three days before we even started shooting, so I felt like knew them already… It was like I was kicking it with my homies…

Them dude’s job is pretty easy man… [Laughing] Of course you have to come across funny, but it was easy for them because they’re all friends and they all get along…

iHipHop.com: Did the acting come easy for you?

Saigon: It was a lot of fun, I have a lot of friends and family out there, so it was all love…