Friday, May 26, 2006

Philly Music: Beanie Sigel - Public Enemy #1

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DJ Green Lantern and Beanie Sigel, Public Enemy #1

Everyone knows now that Beanie Sigel was shot early Thursday in an attempted robbery. Sigel was treated at UPenn Hospital and released quickly, sustaining a superficial wound out of the incident. So much to say about this, nothing really good or profound. It's sad that this is the first I've heard of Beanie in a while, sad that we were all close to having to write obituaries of the man, saddest of all that it happened in his old neighborhood.

I'm not sure it's appropriate to feature Beanie and his music in the wake of his shooting, but we'll see. It's hard to delink the man's music with the trials and tribulations of his real life. They seem so intertwined, for better or worse, moreso than any one else in rap today. This mixtape is the perfect example, made following his acquittal on murder charges. The intro is Kurt Loder announcing the news on MTV and what follows is an entire CD of murder tales, redemption, freedom, crime, North Philly and paranoia. There's no sense of a "Beanie Sigel", playing a role or telling stories about his past. This is Beans here and now, take him or leave him. While I wish that he would disengage so that he could get away from trouble, I'm not sure that he would be able to be as effective an artist if he did.

I've got so much to say about this guy, one of my favorites, that I'm gonna save it for a seperate post on his last album, The B. Coming. In the meantime, check out this mixtape, Public Enemy #1, which Beanie did with DJ Green Lantern a few years ago. It's one of the best mixtapes I've ever heard, something that I still turn to after all these years, an almost unheardof thing in the mixtape world. Anyway, go to mixtapeunit and cop other Beanie mixtapes, as you can't really go wrong.

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