Dwight Grant copped his Beanie Sigel moniker, in part, from Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a man who became one of the first "celebrity" gangsters in the early 20th century. At age 41, Siegel was killed by a bullet to the face in a mob-style shooting. And over the last couple of years, it seems likely that Sigel may have pondered the wisdom of his choice of monikers.
In May, the rapper was shot in the arm during a botched robbery attempt outside a nightclub in his Philadelphia hometown (see "Beanie Sigel Recuperating After Being Shot During Robbery Attempt"). In August — the same month he was released from prison from a 2004 federal gun charge (see "Beanie Sigel Released From Prison") — police arrested him after finding him riding in a car with a convicted felon. In November, Sigel was hospitalized due to complications from a hernia. And in December, he failed a drug test — though his lawyer was later able to provide the probate judge with a prescription for Sigel's medication, codeine and morphine.
That brings us to last week, when a U.S. district court judge requested a hearing to discuss Sigel's recent activity. The result: The rapper's probation was extended by an additional six months after the judge concluded Sigel violated his probation by not reporting the August arrest to his supervising officer.
All the drama has forced Sigel — amid much larger issues — to retreat and rethink the name of his next album, which was originally set to be called Return of the Bad Guy. Now it's named The Solution and poised to drop in June.
"In the beginning, just coming fresh out my situation when I had to sit down for that year [in jail], when I came home, that was that attitude," Sigel said of his original album title. "But as I started recording, the content for this album became too great for that title. I'm still in limbo, but I've been playing around with a couple titles. I'm gonna stick with The Solution as the working title so far."
Beans wouldn't disclose what label he's signed to nowadays, whether it be Roc-A-Fella or Universal Records, as rumors have indicated. He's leaving that for his "marketing plan," he said, although he did list a number of guests he's currently working on securing for the project.
He cited Mos Def, Scarface — and potentially Eminem and Kid Rock, for a "crazy" posse cut — as artists he has his eyes set on. Sigs also confirmed production is being done by Philadelphia duos Dre & Vidal and newcomers Little Harry and Little Alex, revealing that the latter pair have done half the album so far.
"I said it before: I don't want to make music forever, I just wanna make that forever music," the rapper explained. "So that's just basically the course I been going on. Just making the right music, the right decisions on songs that I do. ... A lot of my music goes off of feeling. If it feels good to me, then I'll do it, I'll complete it. And that's what the world will hear."
After enduring court hearings and an uncertain fate during the recording of his last album, The B.Coming, Sigel said The Solution will be the first LP he's worked on for which there hasn't been an overbearing label pressuring him to finish by a looming deadline.
Sigel said he's always been satisfied by the outcome of his albums but added that he's looking forward to being able to put together The Solution at his own pace.
As for his former Roc-A-Fella and State Property mates, Sigel said his status with all of them is fine.
"I will always do music with them," Sigel said. Though he admitted he said certain things out of anger in the past toward them, mostly his fellow Philly rappers, Sigs is looking forward to working with them again. He even said a State Property reunion is possible.
"If everybody get together and we on the same page like we once was," he said, "then I'm ready to ride."