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Beanie Sigel leaves prison, but trial awaits

Rapper served one year on federal gun and drug charges
/ Source: The Associated Press

Beanie Sigel was released from prison in New Jersey Tuesday after serving one year on federal gun and drug charges, his lawyer said.

Sigel, born Dwight Grant, still faces a Sept. 19 retrial on an attempted murder charge in Philadelphia, said defense lawyer Fortunato N. Perri Jr.

The 31-year-old South Philadelphia native and Jay-Z protege released his third album, “The B. Coming,” in March while behind bars at a federal prison in Fairton, N.J.

Sigel spent at least some of his recent jail stint in solitary confinement, Roc-a-fella label co-founder Damon Dash said in a spring interview promoting the album.

Sigel had pleaded guilty to the federal charges, which stemmed from a 2002 traffic stop in Philadelphia.

The upcoming trial involves a July 2003 shooting outside a West Philadelphia strip club, when Sigel allegedly shot Terrance Speller repeatedly during a dispute. A jury deadlocked on the charges at an April 2004 trial, which was attended by Jay-Z and Beyonce.

Sigel’s three albums — “The Truth” in 2000, “The Reason” in 2001 and “The B. Coming” — each hit the top five on the Billboard album chart. Many of the rapper’s songs depict guns, drugs and violence.