In House With Beanie Sigel: MC Talks ‘This Time’ Album, Jail Sentence and His Rap ‘Brothers’
For a man with an impending jail sentence looming over his head, Beanie Sigel, 38, is in a halcyon state. A smile is plastered on his face while describing some of the tracks featured on his sixth studio album, This Time, out Aug. 28. While his eyes are covered by a set of black sunglasses, he can't hide his attitude, which is a rather positive one under the circumstances.
"Pay your taxes -- simple and plain," he says of the lesson he's taken from tax evasion, a charge that he plead guilty to and will serve a 24-month sentence for beginning Sept. 12. "And learn. This brother that my mother have that I don't know, his name is Sam [laughs]. I didn't know my grandmother had a son named Sam. So I guess I got to pay Uncle Sam his money."
The rapper, born Dwight Grant, dodged the government and will do the time for his crime, but before that, his new LP is the focal point. Eleven tracks comprise the effort, featuring collaborations with Akon and producer Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie ("That's All I Know"), State Property ("The Reunion"), Junior Reid ("Bang Bang Youth") and beatmaker Alex "Don Cheegro" Chiger ("Kush Dreaming"), among others.
"I'm growing as a person and as I'm growing, my music is going to be different," Sigel states of the album's direction. "I think This Time was a perfect title because there's a change."
See Photos of Beanie Sigel's In House Visit With The BoomBox
One song that moves This Time's dynamic in a different direction is "Kush Dreaming." The jazz-flavored, trance-inducing cut could very well find an R&B singer crooning over the beat, but Beans delivers confident verses, adding in a few notable names in the process.
"I got it locked like the dreads hang from Wale/ You play with fire you get burnt, that's what my mom say/ Says she wants some hard bottoms like your prom date/ Push your wig back, that's what my nine say/ Girls rule the world, shit, that's what Beyon-say/ Where your destiny lies, that's Beyonce... Compared to Beans you wack, that's what Nas say," he rhymes.
He's admitted to rushing the effort before heading to jail, but as a whole, the LP doesn't sound as if it was made in haste. The "Broad Street Bully," as he's been called, is looking to hit the same mark with this release as he did with his third album, which debuted in 2005, while he served a previous stint in prison.
"Hopefully I can repeat history with this album again, like I did with The B. Coming album that I was away for," Sigel explains. "That album, with no promotion and no video, it still went gold."
Beanie Sigel's life at this moment is bittersweet. He can revel in the accomplishment of serving a new body of work to his fans and still lean on his rap "brothers" to get him through the rough patch to come.
"I've been getting a lot of support from 2 Chainz; we good, that's a brother from another," the Philly native reveals. "Of course, Scarface. Another good friend of mine in this business, N.O.R.E. been supporting me, calling me, hitting me up. So that's a good thing. Jadakiss, Styles P."
His friends and colleagues will undoubtedly feel his absence come September, however, it's his wife and children he's most concerned with. "She's stressed out," Sigel says of his wife. "But she's strong. I got a beautiful, strong wife."
Then there are his fans, who he aims to please with his current opus, even while in the pen. "There's still somebody that's rapping, that's not just a gimmick, that's not robbing them of their $9.99," he declares. "There's still somebody out there that wants to give them good music." Now is his time to deliver.
Watch Beanie Sigel's "The Reunion" Video Feat. State Property