Beanie Sigel – The Reason (Used)
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Arguably the hottest thing to come outta Philly since the Roots, Beanie Sigel had hip-hop heads from coast to coast bobbing along to the infectious beats and dark inner-city tales of his impressive debut, The Truth. But while emotional songs like "Mom Praying" make The Reason a solid enough follow-up, it essentially boils down to more of the same ol', same ol'. Sigel's familiar streetwise persona shines through on cuts that are more concerned with hustling and hanging out than glitz and glamour, but the repetitive tales of thug life and gangsterisms grow a bit redundant by album's end. The production is consistently banging, and songs like "Tales of a Hustla" and "Think It's a Game" (featuring Jay-Z) more than live up to the promise first glimpsed on The Truth. But ultimately, Sigel's sophomore effort isn't so much an artistic step forward as it is a step sideways.
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