The Broad Street Bully
With his fifth album Beanie Sigel comes one step closer to assuming the status of his mentor and sometimes collaborator Scarface. Album by album, Scarface solidified his reputation among his peers by consistently delivering detailed, emotion-oriented perspectives on street life. Broad Street Bully adopts a similar point of view. The rhymes and beats are never ostentatious or trendy, nor are they overbearing reiterations of the same old gangsta rap clichés. Beanie and his circle of friends (Freeway, Young Chris, Omilio Sparks and Murda Mill) demand attention because they speak with a lot of presence and a lot of conviction. Like Beanie’s rhymes, the bulk of these beats are unhurried and sturdy — the perfect complement to the unyielding brick row houses of Beanie’s South Philly neighborhood. However, special attention should be paid to “Sicker Than Your Average,” “Ready For War,” and “Run to the Roc,” songs that utilize smooth soul and reggae to underscore the uncompromising attitude of Sigel’s lyrics.