In a recent in-depth interview, Black Thought reflected on the legendary verse delivered by his Philadelphia counterpart on The Roots’ 1999 single ‘Adrenaline’ from Things Fall Apart.
Black Thought (real name Tariq Trotter) disclosed that he believes Sigel’s verse on ‘Adrenaline’ catapulted the lyricist into the limelight and made him a star. Furthermore, he detailed how the two ended up collaborating.
Speaking about their friendship growing up in South Philadelphia, Trotter explained, “He’s a couple years younger than me and he had an older sister who was my classmate. So, when I was in the third and fourth grade, Beans was in the class maybe one year younger or two years younger than me; he was in the classes of some of my cousins who went to the same school.”
The two grew up together and rapped casually. However, it wasn’t until Trotter invited him to the studio to help with The Roots record their 1999 album Things Fall Apart that he realised Sigel was a certified lyricist.
Speaking about his epiphany, Trotter divulged, “I didn’t know it was a thing of his until we were working on the Roots album that introduced the world to Beanie Sigel! And that was just by chance: another close friend of mine who was from the same part of town as Beans and I had a studio at his house, and he was like, ‘Yo, guess who came to my house and recorded some vocals? And they’re crazy.’ I couldn’t even wrap my head around it being the same Beans.”
Speaking about how he visibly saw Beanie Sigel’s career change once ‘Adrenaline!’ was released, Black Thought explained, “It was that appearance on the song ‘Adrenaline!’ that really catapulted his career. That’s where he got the work ethic from because he came into the studio with The Roots, and he was doing a verse that had already garnered some street popularity; it was like a legendary verse in the hood!”
Beanie Sigel ended up signing with Roc-a-Fella alongside acts such as Freeway, Memphis Bleek and The Diplomats. The 1999 Roots album Things Fall Apart debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and helped many figures, including Questlove, Black Thought and others.