FROM THE INQUIRER: In prison, he hadn’t written a word. “I wasn’t in that state of mind,” said Sigel, who’s as well-respected a lyricist within rap as he is notorious outside it for his run-ins with the law, which include a 2003 attempted-murder charge. (He was acquitted.) “I wasn’t Beanie Sigel then,” he says. “I was 57613-066.”
When he came up with “Return of the Bad Guy,” Sigel thought it would be the title track of his next album. But “Bad Guy” did not even make it onto his fourth album, which comes out Tuesday. It’s called The Solution. “I want to get off that bad-guy thing,” says Sigel, 33, sitting for an interview in the control room Studio 609, the North Philadelphia headquarters of Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, the hit-making duo whose platinum records, produced for Jill Scott, Usher and Musiq Soulchild, hang by the pool table. Harris and Davis helmed the lion’s share of the 14-song CD The Solution (Roc-A-Fella ***). That includes “The Day” and “Dear Self,” soul-searching cuts that try to position the 5-foot-10, 260-pound Sigel as more than just the scowling capo on Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records crew.
In an interview Monday, just before a scheduled meeting with his probation officer – last year he beanie received two years’ probation for an assault conviction, for breaking a man’s eye socket in 2003 — Sigel shows no signs of the snarly menace he so skillfully conveys on his CDs. Sigel says his time in prison made him a different man, a point Davis agrees with. “You can sense the change in him,” the producer says. “He’s gotten older, and more wise.” Going to jail “was a good thing for me at the time,” Sigel says. “Just to be away.” MORE