In 1998, Philadelphia native Beanie Sigel
was just another hungry voice in the crowd. However, after an impromptu verse on the Roots' Adrenaline, he caught the attention of Jay-Z, who quickly inked the young MC to a deal with his Roc-A-Fella empire. While the momentum of a few dazzling collaborations catapulted his meteoric rise up the hip-hop ranks, more importantly it showed an MC who was on the cusp of greatness. Beanie
's debut, The Truth
, is the culmination of that promise. While Beanie
's monosyllabic flow is methodical and offers little variation, his lyrics are remarkably detailed. "What Ya Life Like" is such a frightening depiction of incarceration that it warrants inclusion in any Scared Straight documentary. Also, Beanie
ingeniously parallels the life of a drug dealer to that of video-game characters on "Mac Man." Although Beanie
is not ready to supplant his esteemed mentor, Jay-Z, he is one of the most intriguing lyricists to emerge in the post-2Pac era.