Beanie Sigel Shares Stories On The Roc-A-Fella Days: "I Just Know That I Wanted To Be Behind Jay Z"

The Broad Street Bully talks his collaboration with Pusha T, State Property, Jay Z and more.

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Complex Original

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Beanie Sigel is back stronger than ever after recovering from a gunshot wound last December.

In May, the Broad Street Bully rocked the stage with Jay Z in back-to-back ‘B-Sides’ concerts with his fellow State Property brothers that have become a memorable moment for fans. As far as new music, Beans appeared on DJ Khaled’s I Changed  A Lot on “I Lied.” More recently, he will contribute to Pusha T’s Darkest Before Dawn on a song called “Keep Dealing.”

“The song is about taking that lost and being able to bounce back,” he says on the Rap Radar Podcast. “You know, I always keep something in the ceiling.” He described the verse as him “dropping that pain.”

Sigel also shared some great stories from the Roc-A-Fella days. As history goes, he and Jay Z were feuding after State Property broke up that ended up in Beans dissing him on wax in 2009. But to see them reunite in 2015 and end their beef marked a significant step forward. Sigel, Freeway and others have hinted at a possible collaboration in the works, so hopefully a State Property reunion could be a reality.

Check out some highlights from his interview:

He didn’t have ambitions of being a rap star at first: “Some people look for this life. They wanted to be a rapper; they wanted to be an MC. They couldn’t wait. They had dreams, so they had time to plan it out. ‘I think if I do this...’ I was on the block fighting dogs, and doing a bunch of other stuff. So I wasn’t looking for the rap thing. So the first year [on Roc-A-Fella], it was just like, ‘Man, I’m getting money a different way.’”

But he was widely regarded as the next up on Roc-A-Fella: “I think it had a lot to do [with]—my voice was different, the way I was rapping. It was different. And I was from Philly. You didn’t have them type of rappers that came out of there in a long time. The hardest rapper that came out of Philly was Schoolly D. Like back then. You got Will Smith. You got The Roots. Black Thought a monster. That used to be a my rap partner when I was a kid. We from the hood. He a beast. But his thing is different. He’s a lyricist. He didn’t have a street vibe. I was the first to bring that street, hard to it. With that, and I was just going hard."

"The music dictated who was the major force on Roc-A-Fella. ‘Cause it wasn’t like that to us personally. [Memphis] Bleek, that’s my bro. We weren’t battling for position. We in the studio together everyday. He working on an album and I’m helping him. Whether I’m giving him lines or he giving me lines and we vibing out. It was just the same, it wasn’t no competition. But in my mind, I just know I wanted to be behind Jay. I said it before, steel sharpen steel. That was my go-to right there. I had to use him as leverage to get my skills on."

Their chemistry was so good on various records, and here's why: "I would say Jay is a little older than me, and the things that he was doing. When I started rhyming about them and knowing about those things that he knew at my age, we saying some of the same [things]. He like, ‘Damn, what shorty know about that? Damn, what Playboy know about that?’ I think that was it. We had moments where I see him and he tell me to spit something and I spit it and then we had said the same thing. Almost the same pattern and everything.”

Does he deserve credit for the business model of State Property? “I never been a dude who looked for accolades. It is what it is. And people know. I just wanted to put out dope music. Just real music. Just stuff you can feel.”

You can listen to the whole thing here, where Sigel touches on meeting Freeway for the first time, Kanye West, rehabilitation, and much more.

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