Soul By The Pound
The B. Coming is the most pleasant surprise to date in 2005. In a year when hip hop has been overshadowed by G-Unit drama and the ensuing battle records, Beanie’s third release is a desperately needed breath of fresh air. Beanie continues Roc-a-fella’s soulful tradition with a humble tone and the musical integrity that is missing in so much of today’s mainstream rap.
One could criticize this album for its abundance of guest appearances but they don’t have a negative affect whatsoever. On paper it seems overwhelming but after a listen or two the guest spots are secondary to the arrangement of these 15 quality tracks. The B. Coming is a great listen from beginning to end, ranging from the club friendly old school flavor of “Got To Have It” to the smooth pacing of “Purple Rain” and “Change,” which both employ a beautiful old school R&B feel.
The album’s centerpiece, “Bread and Butter,” featuring Sadat X and Grand Puba of Brand Nubian, places these three outstanding vocalists against a classic arrangement of strings and organs put together by producer Just Blaze. “Bread and Butter” punctuates the soul that makes this album truly remarkable and certainly deserves consideration as one of the top songs released this year.
The most respectable aspect of The B. Coming is that Beanie continues to do his own thing regardless of today’s trends. His primary focus is music and the vivid expression of his views and emotions. Beanie has finally come into his own with this, his best release yet. One can only hope that other rappers take a lesson from this.