How Beanie Sigel Flipped Beef Into a Second Coming

The veteran rapper got his second wind. Here's how.

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Hip-hop travels in tweets, memes and 140-characters (or less) and nothing is more provocative and gets the people going like beef. But what if you don’t have your own beef? Whip out a fork out and take a bite off someone else’s plate. Philly veteran rapper Beanie Sigel reignited issues between Drake and Meek Mill seemingly out of nowhere. In the process of throwing his two cents in, he’s given his own career a jump start. Beef isn’t just what’s for dinner. It’s the new comeback.

By the time Beanie Sigel sat down with the Taxstone podcast back in August, the grievance between Drake and Meek Mill was well documented, yet had cooled to an uncomfortable simmer. When Beanie threw his shots, the beef was on and popping again. Now, it’s unclear as to how Beanie was really associated with Drake and Meek’s issues in the first place, but it doesn’t matter. Beanie prides himself in being a true O.G. and an O.G. doesn’t ask permission to speak up. He just does it — and you’d better listen if you know what’s good for you. A respected lyricist, Beans put Philly on his back and held down Roc-A-Fella in the early aughts. Don’t forget he went to war with the equally gifted Jadakiss. If anyone has the authority to say whatever the f**k he wants in hip-hop, it’s Beanie Sigel. So when he took it upon himself to rant against Meek Mill, it made sense. Here was a veteran schooling the progeny from his hometown; analogous to a father reprimanding his son: “So what’s the real reason why you was mad at Drake? In my point of view, you was laying in the bed one night, you rolled over and you looked at [Nicki Minaj], and you asked her, ‘Did you f**k that n**a?’ And she ain’t answer in the way you wanted her to. That’s what I think,” he said in the now infamous podcast episode. In one deft move, the Broad Street Bully eviscerated Meek as a rapper and as a man.

The interview went viral and since then, Sigel fever has swept hip-hop. Beanie Sigel’s career has been largely dormant for the past decade. At 42 years old, he’s not signed to a major label nor cosigned by an affiliation to Jay Z anymore. His last certified hit album was The B. Coming in 2005Aside from true hip-hop heads, Beanie Sigel was considered a relic, a heritage artist. Not anymore. Following his interview, the rapper trended on Twitter— for ostensibly the first time ever. He’s released two diss records about Meek Mill and appeared on Power 105.1’s popular morning show The Breakfast Club. When he showed up during the State Property cypher at the 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards, Beanie wasn’t a throwback nod but the most relevant artist in the room.

Like a 1-up in a video game, this beef has added intrigue and controversy to Beanie Sigel’s legacy. ‘90s heads rejoice to see a familiar name getting a second life and millennials better get familiar. Beanie has positioned himself as a wise man with an opinion. Everyone wants to know what the rapper is thinking — not just about Meek Mill — but about everything. The rapper’s appearance on The Breakfast Club for instance, was monopolized not by Drake or Meek, but by the topic of homophobia in hip-hop. His incendiary comments on that show will probably book him more publicity gigs and further social accolades. Publicity is a fickle cycle, but Beanie Sigel is back in it now. What he does with it next is his move.

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