Beanie Sigel: From the Mountaintop

Beanie Sigel has crossed the burning sands and is now a brother in a distinguished fraternity that includes a select few Black men. Accused of attempted murder, Sigel was found not guilty by a jury of his peers even though he was completely vilified in the media. In the court of public opinion, still guilty […]

Beanie Sigel has crossed the burning sands and is now a brother in a distinguished fraternity that includes a select few Black men. Accused of attempted murder, Sigel was found not guilty by a jury of his peers even though he was completely vilified in the media. In the court of public opinion, still guilty based on his lyrics and street legend, as is O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson. Beanie Sigel is home, to the glee of his ever-loyal fan base, and now that most of his legal woes are behind him, Dwight Grant is a man re-focused. The Broad Street bully talks about Jay-Z, Dame, State Property and the life and times of man re-christened “Teflon Beans.”

Beanie Sigel: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling real good these days. What did you do right after the verdict was read?

Beanie Sigel: I went to sleep. Were you stressed out over the case or did you know you were going to be found not guilty?

Beanie Sigel: You never know. In that situation, I feel like I should have been acquitted the first time around. And, it wasn’t a case. There wasn’t no evidence on me. It was more after the case was over, after the not guilty verdict, that I started to feel it. Like, I don’t know why I felt like that after that [the verdict being read], but I just felt drained. During the trial and everything, I was cool. Last year, there were images of you smoking a cigar and it appeared in the media that you were gloating. Did you feel about the media’s portrayal?

Beanie Sigel: The cigar, that was just me being me. It wasn’t no mockery or nothing. The media is going to put a negative twist on things anyway. Good news is no news. Anything that’s negative, the media is going to put a twist to it, so regardless of what I did, they were gonna say something. Just to keep them from saying nothing period, it wasn’t the time for that [in the second trial]. Like I said, I thought I was gonna be acquitted the first time so I didn’t know how this one was gonna come out. You know people are calling you “Teflon Beans” now. What do you think of that?

Beanie Sigel: [Laughs] That’s funny. “Teflon Beans,” huh? [Keeps laughing] Like the Tefon Don, huh? Yeah, do you think that the State of Pennsylvania or even the feds have it in for you? We did a story were a Philly reporter basically insisted the feds were after you.

Beanie Sigel: It could be anybody, anybody with any kind of status that comes from where we come from, they gonna do that. As quick as we build something up, they are gonna want to tear it down. I don’t think its anything against me personally; it’s just anybody that would have be in my shoes. If they are gonna do it, they gonna do it and take it that extra step. They first thing they are gonna say is that we beat the system. Then you have to ask what is the system. They system is: you from the ghetto, you don’t have s**t. We can only turn to things that’s there for us to do. I don’t sell drugs, I don’t play ball, so the next thing for me is Rap.

[People who aren’t from the ghetto] own all the basketball teams. We made something out of nothing. Right now, this Hip-Hop culture is taking over the whole world and everybody wants a part of that. Anything they can do to tear us down, they are gonna do it. They system is designed for us to fail. Their system is, “We flood [urban communities] with the guns, we flood them with the drugs and eventually they gonna kill theyself.” They even wanted me dead before now. So, if I ain’t dead or in jail, then I beat the system. So will you be changing your ways? Are you going to be more chill, so to speak?

Beanie Sigel: What’s my ways though? People have this image of you, where you were with Jay-Z and you leap over the balcony and chase somebody into the crowd. And Jay runs into the crowd to get you.

Beanie Sigel: Yeah, that was just one incident. So, it’s just like when people get an image of me, they see that, they see the State Property movie, they hear the lyrics. So, they take that and think that’s who Beanie Sigel is. The music is just the music, I’m an entertainer. That’s anybody’s story that I’m talking about, that I’m talking to. When you see the movie, that’s me playing a character with my name attached to it. I didn’t know the movie was gonna take off and be like that, that was me playing a role. You once rapped “I speak the truth, everything thing I speak is the truth.” Do you think that was misinterpreted?

Beanie Sigel: Everything I speak is the truth. I speak on what goes on in the hood every day. It’s where I am from. It’s the truth. It seems like Philly rappers are increasingly involved in legal troubles ñ from Steady B to Cool C to Cassidy and State Property. Philly, legally-wise is on par with any city.

Beanie Sigel: It’s the same thing everywhere. When I came in, there really wasn’t no big Hip-Hop scene in Philly like that. Like, The Roots crew, they are look at as a Hip-Hop band. Then you got Will Smith who is look at as an actor or a character from the movies. People talk about it like it’s a new thing. It’s always been here, but people didn’t get that chance or that opportunity to talk that. It’s the same thing anywhere. I heard you have a new label situation.

Beanie Sigel: As an artist, I am coming straight through Universal. Like, I got my own situation through them, because of the Roc-A-Fella split, Jay and Dame, and I was in a position where I didn’t want to choose between my friends. I thought the best thing for me to do was to back away and create my own situation. Is it still Criminal Background Records?

Beanie Sigel: No, no, no. Everything is totally new. It’s State Property Records. I’m still pushing my brand. I’m going to push State Property to the fullest. Do you have anybody signed like some of the members of State Property?

Beanie Sigel: No. You already know they already chose to stay with Roc-A-Fella. They went with Jay-Z. Well, I thought Oschino…

Beanie Sigel: The only one’s [that didn’t were] Oschino and Sparks. Do you have any animosity towards those guys?

Beanie Sigel: Ain’t no animosity. You gotta keep it moving. I think that The B.Coming is one of the best albums this year. Do you feel that it got the credit that it deserved in light of the situation?

Beanie Sigel: For it to not have no promotion and for me not to be there, I look at it like it did good. For me not being there, it could have been promoted and pushed a little better. But, just from me not being there, I didn’t have any control over that situation. I was still signed to Roc-A-Fella Records at the time, coming through Def Jam/Universal. One the album comes out, it’s kind of out your hands. Pushing your album, all you can do is radio dates and stuff like that. As far as the marketing schemes like that, I didn’t have nothing to do with that. I think I did my part with me doing all the [promotional] shows and by me shooting six videos in for the album. I feel I did my part and more. All the work should have been with the company. I don’t know if people believed in the company or what, if they were like they were like “He’s in jail so forget about it.” I think it did good. I know its gonna be certified gold. So, that’s like me going double platinum, for me being in jail and coming out selling the units that it did. Some speculated that Dame’s issues with Def Jam might have come into play because it appeared that you were riding with him…

Beanie Sigel: Being that people [at Def Jam] that thought I was going to be signed to DDMG and the back and forth of people not really being able to talk to me. They might have been like, “If you are going to be on Dame’s label, we don’t need to back this or push this.” Technically, that project was under Roc-A-Fella Records, because I was still a Roc artist. Is it true that you turned down a label deal by G-Unit?

Beanie Sigel: No, we never really discussed me being an artist on there. We were just discussing future business opportunities that we could do. Like what?

Beanie Sigel: Anything. We are trying to do anything we can do to make a dollar, and we doing it. Was your time in jail difficult for you?

Beanie Sigel: It was always going to be difficult being away from my family. Did your kids come see you during that period?

Beanie Sigel: Of course. Was it hard on them?

Beanie Sigel: Of course. They knew the situation. I don’t think it was so hard, I think they were happy to see me. Are you still engaged?

Beanie Sigel: Nah, that’s something that happened with the media. You know how it gets. Somebody gets hit on a pedal bike and then it turns into a dirt bike and then it’s a motorcycle. It went from girlfriend to fiancé, don’t know what that was about. Do you think you and Jay will still do records together. You had some real heat on The B.Coming.

Beanie Sigel: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, that why I didn’t make any choice between my friends. Me and Jay cool, and we gonna always be cool. I guess the perception is that you were closer to Dame…

Beanie Sigel: Nah, that ain’t it. What’s up next for you?

Beanie Sigel: Hip-Hop, the clothing line, the cartoon, the label, more movies. Now, that my time is back, I’m doing all that. It’s full steam ahead on everything.