NEW YORK — and the Goodfellas are all back together at the table breaking bread — well, except for maybe Beans himself and the man to his left.
"It's a beautiful thing," said, as he passed on the endless plates of food from Italian restaurant Macelleria in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.
Free and Sigel were fasting due to Ramadan, but most of the crew (save for Oschino and Neef Buck, whom everybody insisted were still down despite their absences) were eating lunch before a late-night performance at S.O.B.'s. The collective has been together making music for the past several months but has only now decided to come up to the surface and speak about it.
Here they are again, world.
"We all been doing this together for a minute," Free said, as he watched Peedi Crakk devour some fries. "When we get together, we make good music. It's strength in numbers. We gonna put something on the streets for y'all real soon."
"This what they been wanting," said Young Chris, who sat at the head of the table. "People been wanting it for a long time. Due to the Roc-A-Fella split, people thought State Property split up. But we been all good. Been like that since day one. Everybody is neutral. We all here, man."
"This is perfect timing," added Omillio Sparks, the most charismatic and slept-on team member. "Even though it's the recession with the economy all twisted, you need music like this back in the streets to make the people feel like it's some sense of hope. Barack the vote, and we're back."
As of now, the State Property soldiers are free agents. They've been making dozens of records — some of which have been intentionally leaked online — out of their own pockets. Beanie is still very much the leader of the organization and said he's weighing his options for the family.
"The plan right now is to make sure ... the State Property project gets finished up," Beanie said. "Find a home for that and make sure everybody's individual projects be set up properly, so we can move forward from there. The State Property album will be good to put things back in perspective and showcase us as artists. At the same time, we got Chris working on his solo project that's long overdue. Peedi's working on his solo project. Sparks, Freeway, me ... we wanna make sure we line up our ducks in order so when this State Property thing pops off, and pops off the way we expect it to, everybody can come right behind it and not miss a beat. We've been sprinkling songs out there and letting people know the best is yet to come, but we're not missing a beat."
"This is gonna be the best State Property album," Peedi promised. "Everybody had time to grow individually. After the last album, we had a good two or three years apart, and we've all been independently putting out mixtapes and trying to create the most we can on our own time. Collectively, we're way more powerful. Nobody is a weak link."
The release-date order as of now goes Young Chris' Now or Never at the top of the year (he just got out of his Def Jam contract but is still signed to 's Roc-A-Fella imprint); Peedi Crakk's A Night in the Life on Amalgam Digital probably in March; then everybody else from there. Beanie and Freeway are both signed but are unsure of their status with Roc-A-Fella. They are sure of their disappointment over the way their last solo LPs were promoted.
"It's like being on a team with Jordan and you don't get a chance to make it to the championship, you don't even get a chance to play in the game," Sig said about the commercial failures of his The Solution and Freeway's Free at Last under the watch of former Def Jam President and CEO Jay-Z. "That's how I feel. It's like we're mechanics that helped get a car started up and pushing, somebody gets in the car and just pulls off on you, leaves you on the side of the road. That's how it feels."
Still, Sig harbors no harsh feelings for Jay-Z and even dreams of a Roc reunion.
"Its no fault to nobody, I guess, but it's just frustrating," he continued. "You got that within yourself, those expectations. We love Jay. We love him. Jay don't owe nobody anything, but it's frustrating because the public got questions, and they want answers. When they start asking questions, you can't answer or you don't wanna answer honestly. What can you say?"