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[B. Coming of Beanie Sigel] Beanie Sigel: The B. Coming of Beanie Sigel
Label: Damon Dash Music Group

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

Back in March of this year I wrote a detailed review about Beanie Sigel's latest album The B. Coming in which I speculated about Sigel's ongoing legal problems, and the fact that (in my own words) "his hustler ways [are now] his undoing instead of his becoming." It's apparent I wasn't the only one interested in his legal problems, Damon Dash Music Group decided to release a DVD about his 2004 murder trial called "The B. Coming of Beanie Sigel" this past August. One of the more interesting things about this DVD is the insert on the front lefthand side. Usually these DVD inserts are a brief summary of the chapters on the DVD, and/or the menu options available. In this case though DDMG put in an insert advertising a bunch of forthcoming releases: ODB's "A Son Unique" on August 9th (never released), Nicole Wray's "Lovechild" (never released) and Rell's "Long Time Coming" (which apparently is still a long time away). The flipside advertises everything from DVD's to Pro-Keds sneakers. Say what you will about Sigel and Dash, but you can't say they're not hustling.

It's a little weird/ironic watching this DVD though, a Damon Dash production from the inside to the outside, knowing that he has severed all of his remaining ties to Roc-A-Fella Records. You'll hear nothing but praise for the Roc throughout this documentary style presentation though, including how nearly everyone on the label (including minor bit players like Oschino & Sparks) came and sat through Beanie's murder trial. There's even footage of Roc members calling Beans on a cell phone during a live concert and having the crowd yell in support of him. You'll also see him and various other members of the Roc flashing the diamond symbol, the same one that wrestler Diamond Dallas Page is suing Jay-Z over now claiming trademark infringement. I guess DDP has better file an additional motion to include all the members of the Roc from 1995 through now. Silly shit.

The whole of this DVD basically IS the trial though, and all the related drama that revolved around it: how the press tried to portray Beanie as a gangster (in his own words and in those of his supporters, at any rate) and how they constantly questioned him about his fashion sense instead of about the facts of the trial. Beans also offers his own assessment of the trial itself, including his opinion that two witnesses who were brothers-in-law offered conflicting testimony about who did what. He scoffs at the assertion he was trying to rob anyone, proclaiming himself a successful entrepeneur and businessman who wouldn't be wasting time on petty stick-up jobs. Fair enough, but Young Buck shouldn't have been assaulting people with a knife either. Just because you're successful and have money doesn't mean you can't do stupid shit. In fact it sometimes seems like the more money people have, the more stupid shit they try to do (and get away with).

One observation about watching this whole process - which eventually ends in a mistrial - is that a lot of things in the DVD are censored. Now you're probably used to that considering BET and MTV became pussies about ten years ago and don't let anybody sport their own gear or anybody else's clothing lines in music videos without blurring out the logo. They consider it to be free advertising. So I'm not surprised Dash would censor out anything that's not from his own line of clothes and sneakers, but what shocked me was everything ELSE that got blurred out - the logos on the mics and cameras of reporters interviewing Sigel, the picture that's hanging on the wall behind Beanie as he speaks, on and on and on throughout. It probably wouldn't be so noticeable if this DVD weren't so short. SUSPICIOUSLY SHORT. They purposefully don't list a running time for the length on the longbox, and you won't find one if you look it up with any online retailers either. Incidentally if you're wondering whatever happened with the re-trial, Sigel was acquitted in September. The only bonus of any sort on the DVD is the music video for his song "Feel it in the Air." The documentary style is pretty interesting but ultimately the lack of focus on Sigel's musical career undermines any interest for fans of his work outside a courtroom, who may feel cheated since this DVD is sold in the music video section at most stores. I for one feel like I could have watched this on Court TV and saved fifteen bucks.

Content: 4 of 10 Layout: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10

Originally posted: December 13, 2005
source: www.RapReviews.com

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