Something was missing from Jay-Z’s AMAZING “Answer the Call” 9/11 Benefit concert: State Property. When Jay was going through his medley of hits, including the rarely-performed “Feelin It”, I was waiting for “What We Do” or “You, Me, Him and Her” to come blasting from the speakers and for Freeway and Beanie Sigel to come and rock out on stage. Hell, I could even see Chris and Neef (The Young Gunz) doing the Philly bop on stage with their SP brothers. So when the concert ended, even as dope and outstanding as it was, I was like “Damn, I wish State Prop would’ve came out”.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. My Twitter timeline was filled with people who wanted the same thing: A pseudo-State Property reunion. Like others, one of my favorite parts of Jay’s “retirement” concert at the Garden was the “What We Do/You, Me, Him or Her/Roc the Mic”-State Property medley. Seeing Free do his verse from “What We Do” with Jay telling him to “keep going” was crazy. Sad thing is … that may have been the last time SP and Jay were EVER that tight.
The relationship between SP and Jay has been a rocky one since that concert. While Jay said in an interview recently that he still talks to Chris and Freeway, other SP members haven’t been so chummy. For a good portion of 2008, Peedi Crakk made his choice to take what seemed to be unsolicited shots – who knows what was said privately – at Jay with his “Camel Face Hunting Season” mixtape. Peedi contended that State Property got the short end of the stick when Jay and Dame Dash made their now-infamous split.
As reported, when the dissolution of the Roc happened, artists on the label had to choose sides, including State Property. While Beans landed with Dame, The Young Gunz and Freeway went with Jay while the rest of SP … well, it depends on who you talk to. In that same interview, Jay – who called Peedi Crakk “psycho” (I giggled profusely at that, sorry) when asked about him – said that he gave people an opportunity to have a career and that it’s up to them to decide whether they run with it. In true hip-hop contrarian fashion, members of SP, including Freeway, have aired their grievances publicly in the past, stating that Jay “hasn’t done enough”. Their history with Jay should be enough for him to throw a scrap or two their way.
That history is something that Hip-Hop has failed to repeat. The world knew they had something when State Prop annihilated everybody in their path with their infamous 2001 Hot 97 freestyle. As epic as it was to hear – you’ll be amazed how many people have that session on tape – and to see (check it on YouTube), it could only be matched by the collaborations. Who doesn’t know Beans verse from “Do It Again” word for word? State Property was also Jay’s henchmen, taking on their bosses’ competition, no holds barred (Beans v. Jada, nuff said) It was a partnership that would be fruitful for both: Freeway, Sigel and Young Gunz dropped critically-acclaimed albums and State Prop’s style rubbed off on Jay (some even say that he changed his flow thanks to Young Chris, but that’s one hell of a hip-hop conspiracy).
What isn’t a conspiracy is that hip-hop fans still clamor for the “Chain Gang”. While Chris, Free and Beans continue to drop music, Oschino and Omillio Sparks are still putting out music when they feel like it. As for Peedi, he’s state property for real. Hip-Hop’s wet dream of seeing State Property back together – the whole not parts –isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Jay is performing in Philly later on this year, so there’s some hope of Chris, Neef, Beans and Freeway cameos. While SP and Jay’s relationship may be up in the air, you can’t take away what those dudes from Philly have accomplished. If you can’t respect their impact, “get down or lay down”.