Beanie Sigel is one of the most authentic rappers that we’ve had. With tracks like “What Ya Life Like” and “What A Thug About,” Mack Mittens continuously tells listeners that he lives the life he spits about. One line from his classic Public Enemy #1 mixtape–released after beating a federal gun charge and before serving a year and change for another– speaks to just how real Beans’ life has been. On “Mack 10’s and 44’s,” Beans spits, “They tryna incarcerate me. I went to war with them buls in ’94, so of course they hate me.” Beans did, indeed, battle with the dirty South Philadelphia cops in the 1st District in the early ’90s, on the street and later in the court room.
It all started with Beans’ friend (and Sigel Street neighbor in South Philly) Calvin Saunders. A federal lawsuit, filed by Saunders’ mother, alleged that 1st District police officer Darien McBride and other unnamed officers attacked her son. A few weeks later, 19-year-old Beans found himself facing McBride alongside Saunders. The duo allegedly laid a mollywhomping on McBride for harassing them, while he was off-duty. As Beans and Saunders pummeled McBride, the dirty cop passed off his 9 mm to onlooker Nathaniel Thomas. In turn, Thomas clapped multiple times, striking Beans in the calf and Saunders in the ass. McBride was also hit by the gunfire. Though the officer handed his gun to a civilian, Beans and Saunders were arrested for shooting McBride. Those charges were dropped.
A city lawyer contacted Saunders’ mother and Beans’ mother (and future manager), Michelle Brown after McBride was named in a grand jury investigation into the 1st District for false arrests, perjury and aggravated assault. The laws had also allegedly been stealing drugs from dealers and selling them to other dealers (like the Philly cops today). A settlement was reached out of court for $35,000. The city was eager to squash the “potentially very troublesome” ordeal before the grand jury got busy. Michelle Brown also filed a suit on behalf of Beans’ little brother Duan, then 16. After Duan was arrested after a “neighborhood altercation,” accusations were brought against the 1st District cops for planting crack on him. Beans and Saunders were also arrested for disorderly conduct during this incident.
There you have it. Beans whooped a cop for fucking with his friend and took a bullet at 19. It gives more credence to Beans’ moniker, “The Broad Street Bully.” We’re looking forward to the follow-up to Public Enemy #1, Still Public Enemy, produced by Jahlil Beats. The game needs the authenticity and lyrically daggers back.