Four albums, a clothing line, a record label, acting, beef, and time in jail. All this within 10 years of being married to a game that Beanie Sigel chose to wed. The rapper has been through it all but found his time spent in jail as the most eye-opening time of his career. It was that experience that allowed Beanie to finally rethink his career and how his role impacted the lives of those around him. Upon this realization, the Philly native is releasing his fourth album, The Solution. “This album right here I believe is my best body of work,”Â he proclaims. With songs featuring artists like Diddy, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, and R. Kelly, it’s hard to disagree. Rap-Up.com sat down to discuss Beans’ new project, the alleged “demanding behavior”Â of Kells, and his collaboration with past rival, Styles P.
How was your time away from music while you were in jail?
I found it relaxing. I mean, just the aspect of being away from the music. I’ve been Beanie Sigel since ’98 and I haven’t had the chance just to be regular. It was relaxing without the stresses and frustration being on the go all the time, in the studio or on the road.
You’ve been in this game almost 10 years. How did you picture yourself 10 years ago?
I couldn’t really picture myself being a rap artist. It was really when I had to go away for the thoughts to really impact me. I had to understand that I’m a rap artist and that this is a career and a job for me. When I had that pause for a minute, it was like, “Oh shit, I’m really a rapper. Let me get this right.”Â
Why did you decide to title this album The Solution?
After recording the album and the collection of songs that I put together, to me it was the solution for the consumers to be able to buy an album and get their money’s worth. To be able to listen to the full album from front to back without skipping songs. I think now that a lot of artists are dependent on that one single, that club banger and then their whole album is just repetitive.
Yeah, just trash. I wasn’t going to be so harsh but since you put it that way, yeah.
On this album, you have a lot of features on it including the R. Kelly track, “All The Above.”Â How was it working with R. Kelly, being that a lot of artists that he has previously worked with say he has diva demands?
Actually, it was easy. I didn’t go through some of the things I heard he put people through. When I got the record, I sent it out to him and then I got the record back within four days. He sent it back with not only the hook but even a verse.
How was he at the video shoot? Was he like, “I need a bigger trailer than Beanie?”Â
No. I didn’t go through that either with what I heard he does on a video set. We were behind the schedule because the producers scheduled a two-hour gap thinking that R. Kelly was going to be late, but he was actually an hour and a half early.
How has the feedback been for the first single?
It’s all love. You’re only as good as who you go up against. Me, Jay, and Jadakiss just did the “Roc Boys”Â remix. It looks like it’s going to be the beginning of that street hard rap coming back.
Styles P is also on the album on “You Ain’t Ready For Me.”Â Now everyone knows that you guys had beef a few years back. How did it feel being on a track with him knowing that back in the day he was dissing you on a record?
Rap is like a competitive sport. That’s like two teams meeting on the ball court. That could be your man and ya’ll got love for each other off the court but on the court, ya’ll going at it. It was more of like a sport with us than it was personal beef. During the time we were doing the records, we would run into each other and it wasn’t no problem. It was all good.
I saw you in a video getting your Alicia Keys on, playing the piano. You also are very talented at drawing. Is there anything that you do that people wouldn’t expect?
I’m learning how to play the piano, the drums, and the guitar. I was always taught that you don’t have to know everything, just a little bit about everything. I just bought me a MP4000, so in the future I might be making beats. Produce my own albums.