Beanie Sigel reinforces his reputation as a lyrical beast on This Time. The Broad Street Bully dives right in with the album’s title track, a story of tribulation and redemption, including Beans documenting his tumultuous fall from grace. “I went from caviar dreams to champagne sippin’/Back to Four Lokos, four wings fried crispy,” the veteran Philadelphia rhyme slinger spits on the record. “Trucks, Benz and Bentleys, Black Maseratis/Now, it’s rentals from Thrifty’s and ’98 Bonnies/Daaaamn, where I fell/All the money I tucked, where’s my money for bail?/I’m in and out of jail, waiting on mail/Captain of the yacht, swallowed by the great whale/If you get cash, take half and bury/If you gotta gun and won’t blast, don’t carry it.” The latter line about stashing money directly speaks to Mac’s legal situation, which will have him turning himself in for a two-year Federal prison sentence for failing to file his federal income-tax returns.
After slinging street heat on the Akon-tinged “That’s All I Know,” Sig paints a destitute-derived picture on “Bang Bang Youth,” spitting ravenous lines like, “I survive cold summers, hot winters/No slumber, no hot dinners/Pockets could not get thinner…on an edge/Searching for a lock to pick inner/Feeling like a pigeon, pecking for bread around park benches/Surviving in the dark trenches.”
“No Hook” is Beans’ own solid version of a Jay-Z track by the same name, while “Bad Boy Mack” shows just how clever Beans can get with his wordplay and lyrical command, as he slickly references plenty of Bad Boy artists, both past and present, and more, “Bad Boy Mack, far from Craig/He put ‘Flava in Ya Ear’, I put a laser to your head,” Sig raps on the track. “Yeeeaaah, I bet a shotty to your face, will make you ni–as lose your Faith/And pick up a bible like Ma$e/And I don’t know what ni–as told you/We ain’t coming for the sum, we want the whole Total/And the Property be my Mafia/Dressed in all Black ready to Rob/I give ni—as the Crooked I/And I’ll merrily oblige on who’s Ready to Die.”
With plenty of slick metaphors, complex wordplay and hard-hitting rhymes, Sigel comes out on top This Time. It’s just unfortunate that he has to do time. Hopefully—for the sake of rap fans—it’s his last time. —Mark Lelinwalla