This is the 5th full-length LP from Brooklyn emcee Saigon. Breaking out in the early 2000s off his debut mixtape Da Yardfather, it wouldn’t be until 2011 when he would make his full-length debut by dropping The Greatest Story Never Told under Suburban Noize Records. The album would spawn a sequel to fulfill his contract with the Spade the following year & then a final installment on his own imprint Squid Ink Squad Records in 2014. He returned from a 6 year hiatus in 2020 by signing to Strange Music’s new subsidiary It Goes Up Entertainment & dropping the STREETRUNNER-produced EP 777: The Resurrection & fulfilling that deal on Pain, Peace & Prosperity the next spring. However, he’s linking up with Swedish producer Fredro for The Jordan Era after signing a new contract with Payday Records.

After the intro, the first song “G Miller” instrumentally kinda has this old school hip hop flavor to it talking about dressing like a tiger & biting like a killer whereas “Lyrical Genius” featuring Grandmaster Caz works in this danceable groove so both MCs can boast their prowesses together. “Think Twice” featuring Grand Puba has this prominent organ sample throughout only giving the listener advice 1 times, but then “1 Foot in the Door” featuring Big Daddy Kane points out that there’s something about the name Big whether it be the Kane himself or even Biggie Smalls & Big Pun.

“The Mobbery” picks up from there by rawly admitting that he wants to stick up the mob while the rugged “3 Digits” featuring Rock brings the 2 together explaining that this life all about the drugs, money, weed, women & standing out from the rest. After the interlude, Kool G Rap joins Saigon on “Make Money” menacingly discussing stacking up their chips just before “Home of the Wild” featuring Al Skratch finds the pair dustily talking about the wildest coming from New York.

One of my top 5 producers of all-time Pete Rock hops in the booth for “Get Loose” getting on some funky boom bap shit to show their recklessness, but then “Stop Poppin’ Shit!” featuring Craig G jumping over pianos mixed with kicks & snares calling to cease gun violence. “We Were Stars” menacingly talks about how things were back then while “Dangerous” featuring Sadat X returns to the boom bap bringing it hardcore lyrically.

“Tournament” orchestrally breaks down a tournament of torment that you can enter in for only 64¢ while the album’s proper closer “The Era” shows everyone what the real meaning of fortified is over kicks & snares. The bonus track “Sveriges Regenter (Sweden All-Stars)” featuring ADL, Ayo, Petter & Timbuktu truly wraps things up by thunderously showcasing amongst the nicest MCs that the Swedish hip hop scene has to offer.

Pain, Peace & Prosperity had it’s highlights although I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did 777: The Resurrection, but The Jordan Era has revealed itself to be Saigon’s best full-length in about a decade & almost matching the bar that 777 as amongst the 2 strongest efforts of his in this current decade. We’re taken on a journey through the culture from 84-98 seen through eyes of a young Saigon, complimented by guest appearances from the pioneers & production from Fredro paying homage to hip hop’s roots.

Score: 8/10