Real Name: Dwight Grant
D.OB.: March 6th, 1974 South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Beanie Sigel signed to Damon Dash and Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records in 1998. He founded the group and label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name. Sigel's name derives from the street in South Philadelphia where he was raised, Sigel Street. It is also a play on the name of the famous gangster, Bugsy Siegel. He currently has a home in Lansdale.
The Early Career
Sigel's début LP, The Truth was released February 29, 2000 on Roc-A-Fella Records. The album went gold and spawned hits like "The Truth" and "Remember Them Days" featuring Eve. The album also had Jay-Z's single, "Anything". His second album The Reason was released in mid-2001. The Reason was lighter material compared to his debut album and introduced the world to his own rap group State Property, a band of Philly rappers signed to Rocafella Records.
Around 2001, Beanie Sigel was involved in an incident that stemmed from a claim by New York rapper Jadakiss of D-Block, alleging that the rappers from Sigel's home city of Philadelphia were biting Jadakiss' style and flow. Sigel took offence to this, and they sent several diss tracks back and forth. Eventually Styles P, Jadakiss' ally in D-Block, also got involved. Sigel even called out DMX (from the Ruff Ryders crew, to whom Jadakiss was affiliated), which led to Jadakiss and DMX teaming together to release a Beanie Sigel diss track called "Un-Hunh".
The incident continued even after Russell Simmons, owner at the time of Def Jam (the label which Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella was under and Ruff Ryders was affiliated with through DMX) forced the two to declare a brief truce. Disses finally stopped flying after Sigel released a diss track over Jada's "Put Ya Hands Up" beat, recalling when the D-Block wore shiny suits in a Bad Boy video, among other things. The feud later dissolved and was replaced by accord, with D-Block and Beanie's State Property camp publicly saluting one another, Jadakiss signing to Roc-A-Fella, and Styles P appearing as a guest on Beanie's 2007 song "You Ain't Ready For Me". The two were also both invited to guest on Ghostface Killah's well-received song "Barrel Brothers", from The Big Doe Rehab, with Sigel's fired-up verse attracting significant notice.
In 2007, Beanie released a diss track towards Cam'Ron and the Dipset camp, entitled "Creep Low". Cam'Ron had previously been a fellow Roc-A-Fella signee and a guest on Beanie's B. Coming album; the alleged reason for Beanie's shift in attitude toward the camp had been adverse actions by Dipset member Jim Jones.
While Beanie Sigel was in jail, it is said that none of the State Property members except for Oschino came to visit him. He told Dame to pass the word on that State Property was no longer in effect, until after he was released. When the split between Roc-A-Fella owners occurred, Dame made it clear that Beanie's intentions were to move State Property to his new Dame Dash Music Group.
However, only members Oschino and Omillio Sparks chose to go. Members Freeway, Peedi Crakk, Young Chris, and Neef wanted to stay on Roc-A-Fella records with Jay-Z. When questioned, they claimed they were just in the mix. When he was released from jail, Sigel had a few choice words for his friends, claiming "I still love them like brothers... I just don't know if we can make music again."
It was thought that Sigel had chosen to sign with Dame; however, this is unclear, as he was present at Jay-Z's I Declare War concert in 2005. He recently stated his next Def Jam release would be a mixtape, which would fulfill his contract with them. He is currently working on his new album, The Solution.
It appears Beans has chosen to side with Jay-Z after all, as he recently stated that he would never work with Dame Dash again, and several members of Roc-a-Fella appeared at his birthday party. He has confirmed that he is still a member of Roc-a-Fella via a radio interview. His fourth studio album, The Solution, saw release through Roc-A-Fella.
April 2008 saw the re-emergence of State Property as a group, with six of the seven members appearing together on the new posse cut "Ocean's Seven".
A number of Beanie Sigel's songs deal with his Sunni Muslim faith, and the conflict between the conduct expected of a Muslim and the maintenance of a gangsta lifestyle. His on-record relationship to religion has been complex. Sometimes he berates those who would lecture him for not being observant enough, as on "This Can't Be Life"; at others he expresses anxiety and looks to God for mercy, such as on "Judgment Day" from The Solution and several songs on The B. Coming, such as "Lord Have Mercy" and "I Can't Go On This Way". On the latter he says: I pray Allah, forgive me for my actions / 'Cause I spit gangsta, think Muslim and act kafir.
One of Beanie Sigel's closest collaborators, and his personal favourite rapper, is Scarface, of the Geto Boys, himself a devout Christian who frequently makes reference to his own sincere faith. The two men are close friends, and one of their several collaborations, "Mom Praying" from The Reason, finds each man talking about faith and filial loyalty in his own way, with Beanie acknowledging that his mother and grandmother are kuffar (unbelievers), but proclaiming his undying love for them regardless.
Some of his other songs maintain the downbeat, ruminative tone of his religious songs, without necessarily touching on religious angst, namely "Feel It In The Air", the main single from The B. Coming and one of his most popular and acclaimed songs.