NEW YORK - Rapper Beanie Sigel, a one-time protege of Jay Z whose career dived after stints in prison, was shot and seriously wounded Friday at a house near Atlantic City, reports said. The rapper, real name Dwight Grant, was shot in the stomach after an apparent altercation at a home in Pleasantville, New Jersey, that left another person injured. The 40-year-old Philadelphia-based rapper - also shot in 2006 but not seriously hurt on that occasion - was taken into surgery for potentially life-threatening injuries and then put under sedation, The Press of Atlantic City reported, quoting police.  The motive of the shooting remained murky.

The police did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Sigel starred in the 2002 film ‘State Property’ playing a young gangster who decides to build up his career aggressively but butts heads with both the police and a rival - played by Jay Z.

Alongside the film, Sigel created the State Property rap collective of which two members, known as Young Gunz, scored a mainstream hit and Grammy nomination with ‘Can’t Stop,

 Won’t Stop.’ But Sigel was repeatedly involved in fights and brushes with the law. He was sentenced in 2004 to one year in prison on weapons charges. More recently, Sigel served a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion. He was freed in August and was supposed to be on probation at an undisclosed house.

Sigel had initially been close with Jay Z, who promoted him when the hip-hop tycoon ran Roc-A-Fella Records. But the two had a falling out, with Sigel accusing Jay Z of not visiting him in prison and not promoting his work.  The relationship deteriorated to the point that Sigel in 2009 released a song dissing Jay Z called, ‘What You Talking Bout? (I Ain’t Ya Average Cat).’ Jay Z later hit back as he rapped in Drake’s song ‘Pound Cake.’