The street-savvy gleam in his eyes. The seemingly magical, extra beat of time that exists within his rap bars. The unmistakable storytelling that paints color on the hood life and aspirations of the good life.
“(Beanie, Beanie)/ Sigel was the name/ that they gave me…”
He is Dwight Grant, a.k.a. Beanie Sigel, the ultra-talented namesake son of Philadelphia’s hard-knock Sigel Street and the emcee who has stood the test of time because of one thing, his timeless, effortless skills on the mic.
Some say Beanie’s back. But, was he ever missing from a somewhat lacking Rap landscape that wouldn’t be quite the same without him?
Setbacks are a reality of life, but what’s true always exists – Beanie Sigel refuses to be overlooked or outdone by his competition. He’s built his name on dominating tracks, collaborating with the greats and just being himself. And he’s not done yet.
To know Beanie Sigel is to travel back to his neighborhood where he grew up in the best of times and the worst of times, an existence filled with family, friends, Islam, music, hustling, girls and the typical libations of the lifestyle.
But as a youth his outside world was channeling inward, meshing with an intellect that allowed him to mix the clever with the brazen, the passionate with the poetic, and the gully with the grime. That he survived the negativity of his urban environment is a wonder. That he made it to the top of the Hip-Hop world on sturdy emceeing with a unique and sought-after flow is no wonder.
“It’ll take a quarter key/ to survive in my game…”
Philadelphia’s underground Hip-Hop scene was infatuated with Beanie Sigel early on. It was the 90s, and Rap had grown into a commodity where his rare wit, standout cadence and street sensibilities couldn’t be ignored. He bullied the mic from the start, generating a reputation for powerful punch-lines and a descriptive delivery that left witnesses mesmerized.
Along the way, he rubbed elbows and traded verses with rising local stars like The Roots while cultivating his own crew, State Property, a collective of some of Philadelphia’s finest underground Hip-Hop artists including Emilio Sparks, Freeway, Young Chris, and Peedi Crakk.
“You know how Mac come through/ on the club tip…”
Beanie Sigel would eventually rap his way into the spotlight via a highly publicized co-signing between Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam. Jay-Z, whose career was simultaneously launching into the next stratosphere, was quick to recognize Beanie’s value to the team and the overall Rap game. Arguably, Jay-Z made some of his most memorable music and live appearances alongside the Philly emcee.
It was evident from the start that Beanie Sigel’s profitability reached far beyond the recording booth where he has collaborated with countless industry giants including Scarface, Jay-Z, Eve, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly, 50 Cent and beyond. With State Property by his side, Beanie Sigel has starred in numerous films from the group’s hugely successful movie franchise which to date has generated over $130 million at the box office and $1 million in DVD sales. He also established the State Property clothing line which ranked as one of the top million-plus, urban fashion lines when it debuted.
“I can feel it in the air/ I can hear it in your voice…”
Setbacks are a reality of life and by the mid-2000s internal differences eventually led Beanie Sigel to leave Roc-A-Fella along with others from the label. Yet he continued to record, releasing heavy-hitting Hip-Hop solo classics such as “The Solution,” “The Broad Street Bully” and” The Roc Boys” with State Property.
A subsequent stint behind bars may have taken away precious time, however, it left Beanie with a renewed sense of being, new material for recording, a book concept and a voice that wouldn’t and couldn’t be silenced.
“Guess who’s bizz-ack?”