If Beanie Sigel has learned anything while under the tutelage of Damon Dash, it's that if you truly want to capitalize on the public's love of hip-hop, you can't just rap. So during the past two years, the Philly rhyme colossus and head honcho of Roc-A-Fella imprint Criminal Records hasn't been concentrating on following up his second LP, The Reason, with a third smash. Until now.
"My album is coming out real soon, the business stuff is taken care of," Beans said Friday in New York while promoting Freeway's recent Criminal release, Philadelphia Freeway.
As might be expected, Beanie's business model closely mirrors Dame's, with income streaming in from record labels, movies and clothing lines. First there's Criminal Records, which puts out the releases of Beans' clique, State Property. In addition to the aforementioned LPs by Freeway and Sigel, Criminal has albums by groups the Young Guns and Oschino and Sparks on deck for this year. State Property's newest recruit, Peedi Crakk, is also waiting in the wings — he made an immediate impact with his first single, "One for Peedi Crakk," which became an underground favorite last year.
State Property starred in a self-titled movie and rhymed on its soundtrack at the top of 2002 (see "Beanie Sigel Holds Up Record Stores With State Property") And now, besides gearing up for the sequel to "State Property," which Beans is currently penning and hopes to begin filming later this year, the team from the City of Brotherly Love is starring in a cartoon series that Sigel created called "The Playpen." Details about the show, currently being shopped for a network deal, are few, though it has been let out of the bag that the program is aimed toward kids. Looking to further the State Property brand, a clothing line bearing the SP logo hit retail stores a couple of months ago.
Meanwhile, Beans is back to the job that landed him all these opportunities, and hopes to put out an album sometime this summer. He's been recording in Los Angeles and New York with such producers as Kanye West and Just Blaze.
While he hasn't put out too many of his own records in the past year, Sig has been running his mouth via cameo appearances, like on Scarface's "Guess Who's Back" and Freeway's "What We Do." A new Sigel/ Jay-Z duet hit the mixtapes in January; it's still up in the air where else that song might appear.