Philadelphia rapper Beanie Sigel is in jail right now, where he has been since September, and where he has spent far too much of his time on the planet. He is serving two years in a federal prison for tax evasion—and will likely serve more since he was caught with guns and drugs two weeks before he went in. The above video is a reminder of what the world misses when he is behind bars. No one raps better than this.
So Jay-Z's booked to perform "Empire State of Mind" before the opening game of the world series at Yankee Stadium. Hard to beat something that makes that much sense. A big, bombastic anthem about the bright lights of the big city to match the big, bombastic Bronx Bombers and the bright lights of their big new stadium. (Even as that googolzillion-dollar monument to avarice and ostentation is already falling apart.) Alicia Keys on the chorus and everything. A-Rod's bound to pop a boner. The Evil Empire is stacking the deck.
How's Philadelphia-a place already afflicted with a severe second-city complex-supposed to compete?
If you're looking to counter the oddly antiseptic aftertaste left by Jay-Z's ostensibly warlike hit "Run This Town," there's this new video from Jay's old Philadelphia recruit, Beanie Sigel. Sit through the corny Vincent-Price-from-"Thriller" voice-over in the beginning, settle in to the swaying organ line and the tinkling piano and, um, brace yourself.