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by
1 January, 2001@12:00 am
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Quickly following up his debut, The Truth, one year later, Roc-A-Fella upstart, Beanie Sigel looks to solidify his place in the rap game with his sophomore release, The Reason.

Once hailed by hip-hop journalists as the next great emcee to emerge from the streets and change the game, The Reason deflates these over-zealous predictions, proving Beanie Sigel to be merely your somewhat-better-than-average rapper. When dipping into old soul on tracks like “Nothing Like It” and “Man’s World”, Beanie is his best form - and even better when he pours his heart out to his father (“Still Got Love For You”), mother and grandmother (“Mom Praying”). He’s always good for your common summer anthems, such as “Beanie (Mack Bitch)” or “Gangsta, Gangsta”, but in general, between items he hasn’t progressed that far as a lyricist - still bragging about stick-ups, bitches, and pounds of coke he’s flipping.

Even with his qualities taken into consideration, they still are littered with faults. Much of the album is rehash of older material - whether it’s a shameless (and equally pointless) remake of EPMD’s “So Whatcha Saying”, the reuse of tired James Brown / Issac Hayes samples (“It’s A Man’s World”, “Still Got Love For You”), or a few too many salutes to Dre and his N.W.A. days, (with both “Mack Bitch” and “Gangsta, Gangsta” borrowing hooks from the docto’s office.) “I Don’t Do Much” literally defines Beanie’s work ethic - it not only breaks down his lazy lifestyle, but does it over a rehashed Rick Rock repeat that is a little too reminiscent of some of his other beats (of which in fact are a little too reminiscent of Dr. Dre’s own keyboard stabs). With Beanie’s half-a-hook bridging verses, listeners are only a step away from crooning “Parking Lot Pimpiiiiiiiin’” aloud in attempts in filling in the blanks. He don’t do much.

This album will get you through the day, but it’s certainly nothing to celebrate. While we’ve watched Jay-Z progress from album to album - and even seen simpleton Memphis Bleek step it up a notch between albums, Beanie Sigel has merely side stepped. And if Beanie’s future depends on his prot?’s Freeway, Lil Chris, and Sparks, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much brighter. Despite it’s title, Beanie’s sophomore release offers little insight into his reason for rhyme.

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