At the height of the Roc-A-Fella movement, Jay-Z was on top of the game. Due to his popularity, he began introducing the world to his soldiers. He helped to start the careers of DMX and Ja Rule, then he moved on to getting his family out there. Among the most notable names in the crew was Beanie Sigel. He was a hardcore rapper from the streets that was determined not to go pop.
No matter what Beanie Sigel was there to back Jay-Z up. When Jay-Z and Jadakiss began feuding, it was Beanie that stepped in to handle the feud for his boss. In return, Jay-Z took care of all of Beanie’s needs. While working with Jay-Z, he was able to create his own record label, State Property Records that was exclusively distributed by Roc-A-Fella Records. Jay-Z even sprung for the rapper to have his own clothing line.
Before the mid-point in the 2000s, the hits stopped coming for Jay-Z’s soldiers. Beanie Sigel’s career probably suffered more than any other artist on the label. In 2004, when the label split between Dame Dash and Jay-Z, Beans sided with Dame. However, before long, he ended up returning to the Roc. Despite Beanie Sigel pledging his allegiance to Jay-Z time and time again, people wanted to create friction between the two artists.
Right after the release of The Blueprint 3, Beanie Sigel spoke on the status of Roc-A-Fella and his relationships with the former artists. He also spoke on his relationship with Jay-Z and he said that the two rappers would always work with each other. Only a month after he made all of those positive comments about his former boss, he released a diss record that took aim at Jay-Z and his partner, Memphis Bleek.
The following day, Jay-Z responded to the diss and he took credit for all of the rapper’s success. It did not take long for 50 Cent to enter the feud and pick up the slack for Beanie Sigel. The feud became so much of a 50 Cent and Jay-Z issue that Sigel was almost forgotten. After months of silence, Beanie Sigel spoke on the feud. Recently, Jay-Z also responded to the questions surrounding him and Beanie Sigel.
When he was asked about the disses, Jay-Z said that he was shocked that Beanie Sigel was going at him in this manner. He said that there are some things that are off limits. Jay-Z did acknowledge that hip hop is competitive, but he did not see any competition between himself and his former protégé. Instead, all that he sees is Beanie Sigel trying to promote himself by causing friction with him and Memphis Bleek.
Aside from his feud with Beanie Sigel, Jay-Z was recently announced as one half of the highest-earning couple in 2009. For this upcoming year, he and Beyonce have major plans. She is currently working on a new album that may be released under Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Also, there is some new music set to come from Jay-Z as he is already back in the studio. He recently recorded a relief song for the disaster in Haiti, but he is also working on a new album.
Swizz Beatz worked with Jay-Z for a portion of The Blueprint 3. Once the album was released, both men said that the album was the most creative project that Hov had ever worked on. But, with his next album, Jay-Z promised that he was going to continue to push the creative envelope. For this new album, Swizz Beatz will have a much larger role. It is possible that he may be one of the executive producers for the album. He said that he is coming up with beats on a daily basis and he wants this upcoming album to have a more worldly sound to match Jay-Z’s international audience.
While Jay-Z wants to wait until late in the year to release his next album, he wants to spend the early parts of 2010 on his The Blueprint 3 tour. In an effort to promote the tour, he will also be promoting his Swizz Beatz-assisted single, “On to the Next One,” and will be shooting a video for his next single, “Venus vs. Mars.” Sometime late in the summer of 2010, he will begin the promotion for his next album. Every year is a big year for Jay-Z, but he hopes to become the top artist, overall, not just in hip hop.