Let's be honest: before Beanie Sigel came along, Roc-A-Fella records was kind of a joke. Maybe not a joke, but it was at best nothing more than Jay-Z's vanity brand, a crew that consisted of limited MCs like Memphis Bleek and Sauce Money, and R&B acts like Rell and ChristiÃ³n. But it wasn't until the Broad Street Bully came into the crew in the late '90s that the Roc finally got a lyrical heavyweight who could really go toe-to-toe with the the God MC, Jay-Hova.
10 years later, the New York-Philly alliance is finally over. After floundering in the wake of the Roc-A-Fella breakup, Beans finally put out a diss song directed at Jay-Z last night, along with an in-depth interview about his reasons. We can't say we didn't see it coming, but it's still a sad day for old fans of the Roc. Follow us as we look back at the good days with The 10 Best Jay-Z/Beanie Sigel Collaborations...
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel, The LOX and Sauce Money "Reservoir Dogs" (1998)
Hova's young gunner from Philly first popped up on this Eric Sermon-produced posse cut from Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life. When we heard him rhyme "testicle" and "vestibule," we knew Beans was onto something.
Memphis Bleek f/ Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel "Murda Murda" (2003)
This joint was originally a Jay-Z-only outtake from The Blueprint, but it always seemed a little weird that Beans wasn't on it, since the chorus includes the line "South Philly muthafuckas kill at will!" Luckily they recorded an official version for Bleek's third album with the Broad Street Bully.
Beanie Sigel f/ Jay-Z "It's On" (2003)
This stand-out track from the second State Property album is a laid-back duet from Hov and Beans. Jay even spits the line, "Young Vito, voice of the young people/If my life a movie, then Sieg gon' be the sequel." Damn.
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel & Memphis Bleek "Change The Game" (2000)
Hov's fourth album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia prominently featured Beans on nine songs, including this West Coast-flavored hit that was produced by Rick Rock. Something about Beans on a crip-walk beat just works.
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel "Ignorant Shit" (2007)
This Just Blaze-produced outtake from The Black Album popped up as an official version on Hov's American Gangster concept album in 2007. With the exception of a forgettable album cut on Beanie's The Solution, which dropped a month after American Gangster, this stands as their final collaboration.
Scarface f/ Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel "Guess Who's Back" (2002)
There's something magical that happens every time these three get on the same track, most famously on this hit collaboration from Scarface's sole Def Jam album, The Fix. We're still smellin' crack on our clothes.
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel "Where Have You Been?" (2000)
The emotional crux from The Dynasty features Jay and Beans rapping about their twisted relationships to their fathers. You thought Ghostface and The Game were the only rappers crazy enough to actually cry on tracks? Think again.
Freeway f/ Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel "What We Do" (2003)
This classic posse cut from Freeway's debut Philadelphia Freeway features an amazing performance from both MC's. Their chemistry is especially apparent in the way that they actually flow from one verse to the other. "B. Sieg in the third lane!" MAYNE.
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel & Amil "Do It Again (Throw Your Hands Up)" (1999)
The lead single from Vol. 3...The Life & Times of S. Carter seemed to catch people a little off-guard when it came out, with its unusual beat that sampled a go-go song. But as the years have gone by, this stands as one of Hov's most reliable club-bangers, aided greatly by Beans' memorable verse: "Got bitches in the back bounce-in-to-Jig-ga-what. Got ya hands up and I ain't even stick ya'll up." Just make sure you change the record before Amil comes on!
Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel & Scarface "This Can't Be Life" (2000)
The original Jay/Beans/Face collabo from The Dynasty remains one of Jay-Z's greatest songs ever. On the classic early Kanye beat, each MC shows their vulnerable side, telling autobiographical stories about loss and personal frustrations. "Don't worry, if it was meant to be, it'll be soon."