In part two of our Beanie Sigel double feature (check the interview here), we run down his forthcoming album The Solution. This isn't a final judgment as we're sure this wasn't the final album, but we can say that first impressions are positive and we're optimistic that the core of what we heard could challenge The B. Coming if polished properly. It took awhile to catch up to that last one, too, so be patient. After the jump, read a detailed track-by-track account of our listening session with Beanie, including some major surprises straight from the studio.
Return of the Bad Guy (produced by Scott Storch)
It's a little predictable, but still sets the tone for the album. Storch whipped up the strings from the theme to Scarface and dropped a bunch of 808 drum licks in, and when Tony Montana isn't yelling "Fuck the Supreme Court, I bury those cock-a-roaches," Mack talks that anger talk.
Bravery (produced by Dre & Vidal)
This is a Beanie Sigel song that has James Blunt on it. No we are not kidding. It's just a James Blunt sample, but still. Also, it works. "This song is me lookin in the mirror goin back and forth with my conscience," Sigel says. "You need that. Anybody else can tell you the dumb shit you be doin but it doesn't mean nothin unless it's comin from yourself." Sigel is so vicious on the track that it's easy to forget that he's not ripping apart haters, bullshitters and enemies- his ripping apart himself.
Hail Mary (produced by Harry & Alex)
After talking up his "secret weapons" Harry and Alex, Beans cues up "Hail Mary," a Tupac referencing, Black Sabbath "War Pigs" sampling monster. The song has the best drums we've heard in forever, like Kanye better step his game up level drums. Ozzy! Please clear this sample. After the song ends, Sigel says of Harry and Alex, "And you know they two little white boys too. Them niggas ain't old enough to drink yet! Them niggas can't even get in the club!"
Untitled track (produced by Harry & Alex)
Kind of like "Change" and "Lord Have Mercy" off The B.Coming, the song has a "Children are the future," "where are all the fathers" hook while Sigel gets political referencing "that bullshit speech by the Commander-in-Chief" and the government's systematic programming of the black community. Sample lyric: Injecting us with HIV/ Only supply us with the leaf/ No vaccines. Again, the drums and psychedelic guitar gives a little edge to the soul feel, and has Sig playing air guitar in the studio.
Heh (produced by Harry & Alex with assist from Boola)
Sigel now switches to playing air bass while we listen to this ’80s bluesy knocker with a saxophone solo throughout it that sounds like it was played by Lisa Simpson. Sample lyric: When I'm dead and gone they gonna dig up my bones and study my poems and realize I'm more than the gun in the song. He also rips apart dudes who wear skinny jeans saying "whoever co-signed that was a sucker" and something about dudes being "halfway out the closet like Kanye." If you enjoy Sigel on fashion as much as we do, check the last interview we did with him. Also, Sigel is threatening to call this one "Mo Betta Blues," which is way better than his boy's suggestion that it be called "Jazz."
That is not the title of this song, especially since it's not even a weed song, we must have been stoned or something or misheard Sigel. Anyway, what's not speculation is that this jam is crazy, it has an incredible blaxploitation funk bounce to it and a pitched up voice yelling "Them niggas psycho! psycho!" on the hook. Beans reps hard for the Roc and State Prop here. In general you can tell the breakup of Dame, Biggs and Jay-Z just fuckin rips Beanie Sigel up. He's a grown ass man, but when he talks about it he sounds like a kid talking about his parents' divorce- dazed, hurt and disbelieving. His mood here is the opposite side of that coin, where he's psyched to still rep for family, no matter what state it's in. When the song ends, Beans handler and all around outrageously jovial dude Big Face Gary says, "Hov gonna go in the booth when he hear that joint! You gonna have to tell Big Homie he can't get on that joint! That's a personal joint!"
You Overdid It Holmes ft Young Chris and Murder Mills (produced by Sha Money XL)
A slick street record with a great Sha $ beat that will eventually have a Biggie sample on the hook. Each verse is like 36 bars or something - three dudes just flat out going hard. The song has the third Pac reference we've heard so far, and even though styles are different, it makes sense. Pac is the Godfather of rapping with flat out passion and self-reflection, and Beans seems to be the only MC out who is carrying that torch right now.
Untitled track (prod by Eric Hudson)
This has one of our favorite lines of the afternoon on it: The game needs me like Joe no Jackson, like Kobe no Shaq like James no Magic. Who else would compare himself to James Worthy!?!?!?!?!?!! Rap and basketball nerds get at us! Is Sigel the James Worthy of rap??!?!?!??!
Rock Out With Your Cock Out (producer unknown)
Sigel pulls out the white boy voice and says "duuuuuuuude" a lot on this one (ie Goddamn young man I'm gnarly duuuuude) while his crew argues about whether or not Kid Rock is over and whether or not he should be on the hook and whether or not that would get them a VH1 story. They ask us who isn't played out that they could get to yell the hook and the only rock name that come immediately to mind is, inexplicably, Nabob from Brightblack, so we keep our mouth shut.