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Beanie Sigel: Fight the Power

Philly rap staple Beanie Sigel is mere days away from one of the biggest turning points in his life. Beanie’s fighting for his freedom, his family, and his future all at once. As the numbered days grow closer, the deadlines get tighter and he’s about to bless the public with what might be his best work to date- The B-Coming. In no laughing matter, AllHipHop wanted to delve deep into Beans’ brain with reckless abandon. And, the the analysis and candor herein is so uncharacteristic of Philly’s sacred son, we printed the full interview.

AllHipHop.com: Where were you five day ago, five moths ago and five years ago?

Beans: Five years ago I was on the Hard Knock life Tour, just got signed to Roc-a-Fella, five months ago I was in Federal Detention center, five days ago I was either in the studio or in the State Property office going to meetings making things happen.

AllHipHop.com: Tell me about your new album, how long did it take to record?

Beans: I took a little while, due to my legal situation. Before I was incarcerated I had seven songs that I was going to keep for my album. I have been out on house arrest for eight months and recently was able to come up to New York for two months; I recently just sent a letter to the judge to get my house arrest in New York.

AllHipHop.com: Due to your incarceration what is your position on projects you have been working on such as the cartoon?

Beans: My cartoon was intact two or three years ago. No one was thinking about a cartoon until I brought it to 106& Park. The cartoon is still in effect we are just shopping for a network the cast will be State Property.

AllHipHop.com: So you can really draw?

Beans: Yeah, I have been trying to do a cartoon forever. That would have been my profession if I weren’t into music.

AllHipHop.com: Would you want to be in the drawing process?

Beans: I probably lost my hand but that was something I was into.

AllHipHop.com: So what’s up with the Pro-Keds?

Beans: The Pro-Keds came about because they were throwbacks and that is how Philly do; we put that back on the map we are known for throwbacks and vintage. I use to rock them so much; there were a couple stores in Philly that had the Pro-Keds that weren’t really selling. Pro-Keds wasn’t selling in the United States for like ten years and there was only a couple of stores selling them like Sneaker Viller and City Blue who us to get the Pro-keds and I use to order a lot of them. They showed me a catalog book they ordered stuff from and in order for me to order the sneakers I liked I had to order twenty pairs. I was ordering damn near 200 pairs to get the kind I of flavor they had and when the State property clothing line launched off we went to the Magic show and a lot of root sellers that was buying from Pro-Keds they wanted to introduce me to them.

When they introduced me to them they told them I was buying a lot of pro-keds and they were coming up in Philly and they wanted to know who was responsible for that so they brought me to them. They wanted me to endorse them and just wear the Pro-keds but I thought why just rock the sneakers and they pay me? Instead of me looking at the small check I looked at the bigger picture like how about we do a cross market thing and I got a percentage of Pro-Keds. Instead of me taking that up-front money, I got fifty percent of everything they sold with the State Property logo on it. That launched off, and Dame ended up buying the whole Pro-keds company.

AllHipHop.com: So you also have a lot of cases? You said you like to look at the bigger picture so have you taken any precautions in case of the worst?

Beans: I am trying to do two more albums within two months or a three-month period.

AllHipHop.com: With all that over your head, you got your children the companies.

Beans: I don’t think that will put debt on any of my other ventures except for music. Because I won’t be there for people to see me. But the clothes are gone sell whether I am around or not.

AllHipHop.com: so what is your biggest concern if you do go in?

Beans: My family. It is the time away from my kids, that is my biggest concern. [I] got a strong team, I am not sitting there designing everything and stitching myself. The clothes will get sent out. I can go over it like how I do now, I don’t have time to do everything and be everywhere it is just so much that I am doing and be an artist at the same time. Everything will keep on moving. It might slow down, but say it was going a 100 mph, we might have to bring it down to 95, 80 that will still be good.

AllHipHop.com: There was a hung jury. Why?

Beans: I think whoever was strong about saying I am guilty, had their mind made up before they got into the courtroom. Due to the negative press they were giving me, nothing but negative press like, they don’t like Rappers and entertainers, period. They feel the system is lenient with entertainers and already had there mind made up. That is how I feel. Because, if you would have listened to the case and followed along with it, you would have said there is no way you can convict this man. You got two witnesses, one victim, and both of there stories are conflicting and both are saying each other are lying, the victim saying he got shot some where else, and the witness saying he lying and he got shot right here.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think it is even possible to have a fair trial being in the spotlight?

Beans: No, you’re never going to have a fair trial because people are already making up their mind about you already. A Rapper period already haves a dark cloud over them because you are using your gift to help your welfare and are able to express yourself how you want to and there is a stereotype about us.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think a lot of stereotypes come from the action within in it because this is not your first charge, is it possible to reverse that stereotype of the streets?

Beans: What goes on in the street is not what Hip Hop promotes. You can hear somebody talking about something all day. But if you see a visual, it is different. People identify with Hip Hop because it is something they see. But if you see it then it is what it is, you can’t blame me for saying what they see on they’re block I don’t live on their block. I speak about things that I see, I don’t suggest kids go out and do it. I have freedom of speech. In movies, they kill a thousand people like that is a lot of violence in that so if you say you are going to keep it real, keep it all the way real. But the thing with Hip Hop is stereotyped because of these young males are making a lot of money off of what they love to do. And when people are successful from using Hip Hop, and their money can take them to places were people think they shouldn’t be, then that is a problem because they can’t do nothing to stop that. And the only thing they can do is join in.

That is where the problem comes in, you can’t blame that on Hip Hop. Then, when you got the majority of Hip Hop young black males doing their thing and being successful – and then you got other people from different ethnic back grounds trying to imitate them, then you have to stop this. It is definitely a power thing because say you got a guy that sell twenty million records he is going to be under a microscope, because twenty million people bought his record. They want to make it so negative because what if that guy who is rapping about whatever might send a message to them, like we should do this. Like anybody whoever had a voice the government has destroyed it, like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King. What if Big and Pac would have got into some political s**t? Think about the kind of fire they would have had!

AllHipHop.com: Do you see yourself getting into any otherworldly things beside the streets?

Beans: Yeah! Every album I did, if you listened to it you’re going to hear it, there not all about shoot ‘em up or how many cars I got.

AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that your consciousness is expanding greatly?

Beans: It is due to my situation and being smart on my behalf; with me you have to go to the core of it you just can’t crack at the surface. For me at the beginning, I knew I had to get respected at street level first that is with Hip Hop. Once you got it on that street level, then you can take it to places you want to go so people can hear what you want to tell them. Like me just coming out I couldn’t say, “Fight the power,” from the gate. The game isn’t ready for a lot of things but you have to make them ready. You have to groom the first album I put the training wheels on them, then I took of one training wheels off, now it is time to take off all of both of them and push them and let them peddle for themselves.

AllHipHop.com: I always wonder why entertainers have so much things going for them selves but still get into the trouble that they do?

Beans: Some things you just have no control over if it is meant to be. That is not a cop-out. It’s like if you see a problem coming say you are heading to a brick wall and you try to get away from it and you turn off and an eighteen wheeler comes down the block and smack you dead in the face, that is not a cop-out, I am just being real.

AllHipHop.com: The other cases I can’t speak about, but what about the drugs in the wip how could you not avoid that?

Beans: Am I more different then some body who works in a corporate office and comes home and sip white wine every night and get twisted? You said you can understand the gun but that was worse than that, but you can justify that.

AllHipHop.com: They say the Roc is folding; speculation of the Roc is losing money

Beans: Rocawear is a half billion-dollar company so how is the Roc losing money?

AllHipHop.com: When you have a lot of things going on in your personal life does the game look different?

Beans: All of the beefs are getting crazy and corny. I would never be apart of that. I have been a part of beefs but the world will never now. It’s like wanting to know how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. You can judge the root of a man not y his friends, but by his enemies and you are only as good as who you are up against. So me knowing that Jay was about to retire and seeing that whole Roc-a-Fella like it was Jay-Z and people think if you cut off the head the body will fall. Like the rumors going around I wanted to solidify myself without having to be one of Jay’s young balls so I went out to get my own identity, so when I knew something was going on with a and d I just saw my way into it and knew if I just stood my ground in the situation then I would be cool because I had my own separate identity regardless of what happened.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think that they are ready for this album?

Beans: If they ain’t, they will never be.

AllHipHop.com: If you had your way where would you wan to be five years from now?

Beans: On somebody’s island, with my feet in the sand, smoking good [stuff], relaxing.

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