Deep Album Cuts Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel

This is the second playlist I've done in this series upon request (after Alicia Keys a few months ago). I tend to focus this series on artists who've had a lot of hit singles, and Beanie Sigel was never really a big radio staple. But he's got a strong catalog, and sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to dig into some great albums. So shout out to @YoungPapi_215 for requesting this on Twitter.

Beanie Sigel Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Everybody Wanna Be A Star
2. I Can't Go On This Way featuring Freeway and Young Chris
3. Nothing Like It
4. One Shot Deal featuring Redman
5. Mac Man
6. Bread & Butter featuring Grand Puba and Sadat X
7. Gangsta, Gangsta featuring Kurupt
8. Mack And Brad featuring Scarface
9. Mom Praying featuring Scarface
10. Rain (Bridge) featuring Scarface and Raheem DeVaughn
11. Da Rain featuring Mook Jones
12. Purple Rain featuring Bun B
13. Who Want What featuring Memphis Bleek
14. Shake It For Me featuring Diddy, Ghostface Killah and Peedi Crakk
15. Why Wouldn't I
16. Raw & Uncut featuring Jay-Z
17. Get Down
18. What Ya Life Like

Tracks 1, 5, 8, 13, 16 and 18 from The Truth (2000)
Tracks 3, 7, 9 and 17 from The Reason (2001)
Tracks 2, 4, 6 and 12 from The B. Coming (2005)
Track 11 from Still Public Enemy #1 (2006)
Track 10 and 14 from The Solution (2007)
Track 15 from The Broad Street Bully (2009)

I thought about just sticking to Beanie's big Def Jam albums, but since there are only four of them, I threw in tracks from two of his independent album/retail mixtape things that charted on the Billboard 200 and are available on Spotify. His career started with about as good a three-album run as anyone's had in rap in the 21st century, and his music since then has been pretty good too. So it's been sad to see his career and life decline over the past decade as he's kind of fallen back into the life that inspired some really harrowing, dark lyrics. A year ago he was shot, and it was reported and then retracted that he'd needed a lung removed after the shooting. And he sure sounds different on his recent guest appearance on Pusha T's "Keep Dealing," like the wind was permanently knocked out of him.

But back to the good old days: like most hip hop fans in the late '90s, I first heard Beanie Sigel on a couple of very good, very different albums that came out a few months apart: Jay-Z's Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life and The Roots' Things Fall Apart. Soon after that, I started reading about how Jay signed Beanie on the spot after hearing him rap, and he was featured on "Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up)," and I have to admit, I didn't get it. The rhyme style Beanie used on that song and a lot of his early work, ending lines with the same word and embedding the rhymes in the middle of each line, seemed stupid or simplistic at the time, to me and some other people. But it's a completely accepted and respectable writing style now, and a lot of that can be directly traced to Sigel's influence.

In addition to influencing how people rapped, Beanie Sigel had a huge hand in shaping the sound of Roc-A-Fella and hip hop in general. The Truth was the first Roc-A-Fella release to feature beats by Just Blaze, Kanye West, and Bink, 8 months before all three would turn up on Jay-Z's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia and well before The Blueprint cemented that soul sample-driven sound as the label's musical signature. Kanye West once said "This right here is my favorite beat I ever did" of the opening track from The Reason, "Nothing Like It," which he lamented not being released as the album's second single.

Beanie Sigel was never a huge star -- three gold albums doesn't sound so bad at anytime, especially now, but he did that at the time when it was never easier to go platinum. Memphis Bleek sold more records, but Beanie was the one that brought the label its production stable, who brought his crew State Property and rappers that Jay-Z clearly valued like Freeway and Young Chris. If you have any doubt that Jay loved these grimy dudes from Philly beyond whatever commercial potential they had, think about the fact that Roc-A-Fella released 10 albums by State Property members without a single one of them going platinum.

Beanie never needed guests to make his albums compelling, but he also had a knack for working well with veteran rappers, and a lot of '90s guys had one of their last great moments on a Beanie album. And then there's Scarface, who had incredible chemistry with Beanie on 3 of his 4 major label albums (I feel like we were really deprived of a Face verse on The B. Coming). plus the more well known tracks where they formed a trio with Jay-Z on "Guess Who's Back" and "This Can't Be Life." We'll probably never get that full-length duo album from Mack and Brad but I can dream.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment