REVIEW: Beanie Sigel, The Broad Street Bully
A lot has changed in the time since Beanie Sigel’s 2007 release The Solution. The Philly rapper served three months in jail for parole violation, his longtime label Roc-A-Fella Records is in disarray following the public split between Jay-Z and Dame Dash, and his State Property crew is scattered throughout the industry. Through it all, Sigel kept a low profile until announcing the release of The Broad Street Bully, which was originally rumored to be called The Focus.
Released through Siccness.net, the project is labeled a studio album but has a distinct mixtape feel. In fact, most of the songs are leftover tracks from previously recorded material (think Ghostface’s More Fish). That probably explains the incomplete-sounding production of “Tear Drops” and the hookless “Where’s My Opponent.” The end result is a mixed bag of street anthems (“Bang Bang”) and gloomy narratives (“The Ghetto”).
While the inclusion of SP members Freeway (“Sicker Than Average”), Young Chris (“Ready For War”) and Omillio Sparks (“Run to the Roc”) is a welcome return to form after The Solution’s pop tart guest list—Diddy (“Shake it For Me”) and R. Kelly (“All the Above”)—Bully feels more like a compilation than a true solo effort. That’s not to say Beans doesn’t deliver bars by the bundle, it’s just this LP would have been better served being less broad and more focused. —Anslem Samuel