Beanie Sigel’s recent diss track “What You Talkin’ Bout (Average Cat)” has caused a new soap opera stir on blogs and within the Hip-Hop community. Our industry loves drama and you would think the majority of rappers are females by the soap opera drama that goes on frequently in Hip-Hop.
“Heard muthaf***ers saying they made Hov/ Made Hov say, ‘OK, so make another Hov’/ N—as wasn’t playing they day role/ So we parted ways like Ben and J. Lo.”
When listening to Sigel’s diss track and interview with radio personality Charlamagne, Sigel mentioned the word “emotions” more than four times and that’s at the heart of the problem. Rappers shouldn’t get “lost” or get it twisted, Hip-Hop is a billion dollar business and it’s a business first and foremost. This is why Jay-Z is worth upwards of $300 million and no other rappers come close to his “business” legacy and footprint. It’s more than having a tight “crew” who is respected, it’s more than friends having fun, it’s more than banging hot chicks, it’s about more than being known as the most famous rapper. It’s a business. The best thing Jay-Z could do for up and coming rappers and his haters is to write a book, “Hip-Hop for Dummies.”
Sigel is arbitrarily applying “brother” and “homie” standards to Jay-Z that he doesn’t apply to his own dealings. In the interview, Sigel says he turned down Roc-A-Fella tours with Jay-Z because he could make more money doing a concert solo. This was a selfish business consideration, an understandable one and one that I believe Jay-Z understood at the time.
Sigel also says he brought “street cred” to The Roc. Is he smoking rocks or sherm? Jay-Z is from the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, he has sold rocks before, and he was involved, in some way, in the stabbing of music executive Lance ‘Un’ Rivera in 2001. The Roc had “street credibility” from day-1, before Sigel was even in the game. If you brought street cred to The Roc, what do you want for that in 2009?
Your boy ain’t out there with dem toys and them pings at night
All dem cracks and the gats left that life alone
It’s the tracks and the raps and the microphone
Wish y’all would Fawk that up now
Shyte it’s all good now
We out the hood now
Beanie Sigel, Remember Them Days
One music industry executive and label owner says, “If more than a few of former Jay-Z associates and business partners are questioning his personal and business ethics, it makes you wonder what was going on behind the scenes at Roc-A-Fella. Beanie Sigel is not the first artist to question Jay-Z’s loyalty and character credentials.” It’s not a coincidence that a lot of people who were friends with Jay-Z on his way up have turned into negative haters now. Damon Dash, DMX, Dehaven, Biggs, Beanie Sigel, State Property, and others are essentially broke. Of course they have beef with the guy that is still standing tall in the game. It’s easy to be a hater when you’re broke and another man is doing well.
A prominent CEO of an influential media company who has closely followed Jay-Z’s career says “I believe there is always two sides to each story and am sure there is validity in some instances from both parties, but at the end of the day, there had to be some shady, slimy, backstabbing BS going down. Both Jay-Z and Dame were out for self, and unfortunately the members of State Property (the Philly crew that gave the Roc “Street Cred”) and other members of the Roc were left with nothing. The fact that Beanie Sigel is finally coming out and airing dirty laundry definitely sheds more light on the downfall of the Roc-A-Fella, but it’s painfully obvious that Jay-Z was the ‘smartest’ businessman out of the group.”
“Slavery 101.” When you’re broke or your career is in a downward spiral (Jay-Z Addresses Beanie Sigel Diss), it’s easier to find faults that you couldn’t find before. You get desperate. Jay-Z is not Santa Claus, he is not the Hip-Hop welfare agency, and he is not anyone’s father (at least on paper anyway (Hush Money). Sigel says Jay-Z could have “pushed him harder” with more music collaborations; however, Sigel got a “premium” in Hip-Hop for just being associated with Jay-Z . It could be argued that Sigel sold more albums, more quickly, because of his association with Jay-Z.
Sigel focused on what he brought to The Roc and he seems to undermine or dismiss what The Roc brought to his career. Sigel also does not discuss how his reckless street activities endangered “The Roc,” formal company business, and Sigel’s personal financial situation. Rather than blame Jay-Z for career stagnation, Sigel must answer the question, how did I sabotage my own career? Dash must ask the same.
This hater sentiment is no better than that guy on 125th street or Crenshaw who refuses to work, has a rap sheet of felonies, and preaches about how “the white man” and the “system” is holding him back. At some point, rappers and so-called Hip-Hop moguls have to take responsibility for their reckless bling spending, not becoming more educated about the business (library and the internet are free), and not saving a percentage of their earned income.
“Beans, I ain’t trying to change you, just give you some game/ To make the transition, from the street to the fame”
Jay-Z- “Momma Loves Me”
It appears Sigel now wants a “father figure” to take care of him. One editor from a popular blog who wants to remain anonymous says, “Beanie Sigel is looking for a hand out and Jay is not buying into that right now.” Like a lot of fathers out there, Jay-Z is often too busy focusing on his “business” and building his dream out. You can’t hate on that, not if you consider yourself a grown man who feels responsible for his own condition.