With the past year having been filled with court problems and label changes and the dust finally starting to clear in 2005, it seemed as if was a good time to drop Beanie Sigel's third album (first on Def Jam), The B.Coming. Although the promotion was last minute, with one video and two television specials, it was probably the most he has ever gotten for any of his albums.
Beanie Sigel is one of those emcees that is well-received by his fans, yet his albums are slept-on. The B.Coming could be one of those albums, and it would be a shame, because the Beanie Sigel fans might just doze off on his best effort yet. Beanie has stepped his game up since his second album, as he showed his realer side with introspect in his life and what he is dealing with and the lyrics speak for themselves.
Two singles were released before the album dropped, with one getting a lot of love on the mix tape circuit and the other a video. "Feel It in the Air" was the first single, with dope production from Heavy D. So dope, in fact, that the beat sparked controversy between Beans and Black Rob over who would get to use it. It was the Alchemist fiasco all over again. But back to the single at hand: "Feel It" is easily the best track on the album, as Beans rip it with poignant lyrics that makes you feel his pain: "I sit alone in my four corner room/staring at hammers, ready to go bananas/two vests on me, two teks, extra clips on me/I know my mind aint playin' tricks on me/I aint schiz homey." Shit is hard!
Produced by the Neptunes and featuring Snoop, the second single, "Don't Stop", is the most mainstream track that has been heard from Beans. One moment you think that this is a pretty good track and something you could ride to, and the next moment, you're screaming at the stereo and wondering "Why in the hell is Snoop collaborating with Beans in the first place?!" Sometimes, two different emcees coming together can do beautiful things on a track, but this is a cheap attempt at a commercial hit single.
The album has more highlights than throwaways which is always a good thing. "Bread And Butter" is one of the few collaborations that works. The story about women is often told, but the way that Beans puts it down--on a track about spending cash on women--is done nicely. The appearance of Sadat X was surprising and amusing, as he ripped his verse, especially at the beginning: "Now you know I was your bread and butter/You had a shot to my baby mother/Aint no sorry, I aint Ruben Studdard/I cant apologize multi-platnium times".
"It's On" is a track that at first, you skip by it, but after a couple of listens, you begin to like more and more. Plus, the appearance of Jay-Z is always nice for a track. Other album gems include "Lord Have Mercy," where Beans explains his mindset in life and its pressure and "Purple Rain," a cool, laid back track about a beverage that is reminiscent of the syrup Three 6 used to sip on.
Even though this is Beans' best effort, it is not a hip-hop classic, as it does have its fair share of tracks it could do without. For this, we have Peedi Crakk to thank. The two tracks that feature Peedi are problematic from the start: "Flat line" is the typical track about looking for an enemy and pulling a trigger on the enemy. "Got to Have It" is another poor track, with plain-sounding production, an annoying hook and an average verse from Twista that can't even help the lame attempt.
Aside from a couple of tracks, this album had the feel of realness. It was the first album I've heard in a long time where I could feel what the artist was feeling. It is very introspective and Beans wasn't afraid to let you know where he was in life. Not many emcees in the game do that anymore, as they have an image to maintain, and the formula to success cannot be changed. They are scared that it will affect their SoundScan numbers. Beans did a nice job on this album, and while it wasn't as dark as, say, Royce Da 5'9's Death Is Certain, you could feel the emotion of Beans which sometimes gets lost in music.