If you have been paying attention to any parts of social media over the past few weeks then you know Kanye West—excuse me, Ye—went on Drink Champs, the talk show podcast hosted by Noreaga and DJ EFN and said all manner of shit. One of the things he said was that Beanie Sigel, the Philadelphia, Pa. rapper signed to Roc-a-fella Records during the label’s heyday and State Property representer came up with the name ‘Yeezy.’
Yeezy, as you may or may not know—depending on your level of hypebeastiness—is Kanye West’s billion-dollar brand under Adidas that releases his multi-colored monochromatic shoe variants and clothes. And yes, that’s billion with a “B.” How many billions Kanye is worth is often in dispute—usually by Kanye—but what isn’t in dispute is that his Yeezy brand is worth billions. Anyway, in that interview, Kanye said he owes Beanie Sigel money and has been trying to give it to him for coming up with the name ‘Yeezy,’ which is a real stand-up thing to do. Love or hate Kanye, it’s dope that he said he owes him money for it.
And as it turns out, he apparently wasn’t selling wolf-tickets about that. Kanye’s folks apparently reached out to Beanie (and presumably his folks) and wanted to pay him $50 million and stock in Yeezy as compensation for the brilliance of coming up with the brand name. Even if, at the time, it was just a nickname; Kanye took the nickname and leveled it all the way up. Beanie Sigel agrees with as much.
Now listen here, a really real $50 million payday is nothing to sneeze at and you’d think that Beanie Sigel would be ecstatic to take that money (and stock) and use it to invest in himself and his family and whatever business ventures tickle his fancy. But that’s not where Bean’s head is at. Beanie Sigel told TMZ that Kanye owes him nothing and he would rather get into business with Kanye because he’s not interested in a handout. He believes that he can set himself up more by doing business with Kanye. You know the old adage: give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Apparently, this is where Beanie’s head lies. He wants to do music and fashion and get to work.
To sum it up, instead of taking the money, Beanie would like to soak up the game opportunities and flip that into opportunities to work with Kanye and make money for a lifetime. Basically, this is “dinner with Jay-Z or $500,000" playing out in real life—and if you’ll remember, even Jay-Z said to take the money.
Look, I cannot begrudge any of Beanie’s choices; if he truly believes that taking money from Kanye that Kanye believes he owes for business reasons is a handout, then I’m at a loss. And I can understand the pride of not wanting to be seen as taking money from another man. But fam, $50 million is set-up-your-family-for-a-lifetime money. And again, Kanye is saying, “you helped me create my business, here is what I believe that’s worth in an immediate way, and also I’d like to help you eat forever by giving you 5 percent stock in Yeezy.” For Kanye, this is 100 percent a business transaction, which is exactly what Beanie is interested in: business. Good business should involve financial transactions.
Hell, he can take that money and probably STILL talk business with Kanye, who clearly thinks favorably and fondly of Beanie. He can have a seat at Kanye’s table more than likely, and should business come from it, even better. Who knows what could come from it? But what I do know is that it’s a lot easier to come up with ideas if you know your livelihood doesn’t depend on that next hit song or million-dollar idea. And that seems like exactly where Beanie could be if he were to take Kanye up on this business proposition.
I wonder if anybody—wife, kids, etc.—in Beanie’s circle actually thinks he should pass up on this money. Hell, if I’m his inner circle, I still don’t even believe this is a real thing, though Kanye doesn’t seem like the type to be insincere about these things. The fact that he said he’s trying to get Beanie this money and they actually tried to make it happen makes me believe that maybe this is a real thing.
Maybe it doesn’t even matter. Perhaps since Kanye said he has money for him it’s just sitting in a business escrow account somewhere with Beanie’s real name—Dwight Grant—on it and if and when Beanie wants it, he can get it. And he should, for the record. Because it’s not a handout. People get sued for less ALL OF THE TIME. Every day, somebody is trying to sue somebody else for trademark infringement or for stealing an idea or a chord or a song or lyrics or for brand logo ideas. Niggas get sued every day, b. Kanye is like, “Beanie came up with this, he should be compensated for it.” Again, this is a business transaction that Kanye is trying to complete which might actually save his (Kanye’s) ass in the long run because you better believe that payment would come with paperwork that states Beanie couldn’t sue him in the future for using the name he came up with.
I like Beanie Sigel; always have. And I get the spirit of what he’s saying. But leaving money on the table that seems like you might actually be due is a bad idea and bad business. Take the money, Beans. And that’s the truth.
You see what I did there? Because...the truth...I’ll see myself out.