Belly Reveals Three Decades of Musical Journey on the Cover of Billboard Arabia – Exclusive Interview Inside!

Belly, a hip-hop artist whose talent has graced the albums of music icons like The Weeknd and Beyoncé, has been on a creative journey for nearly three decades, crafting lyrics that resonate deeply with fans of the genre.

Throughout his illustrious career, Belly has released three studio albums – The Revolution (2007), Immigrant (2018), and See You Next Wednesday (2021) – as well as 12 mixtapes, with his latest, Mumble Rap 2 (2023), receiving critical acclaim under Roc Nation. His versatility is evident in collaborations with Jay-Z, Nas, DJ Khaled, Young Thug, Nipsey Hussle, and more. Notably, he co-wrote The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” which dominated the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.

In a recent two-part interview with Billboard Arabia, hosted by Yassin Alsalman (Narcy), Belly delves into his career, favorite bars, and life philosophies. Both artists, hailing from the Arab diaspora in Canada, share a common ground in the immigrant experience, intertwining tales of struggles, triumphs, and resilience that shape their music.

Belly’s musical journey began with his mixtape “Death Before Dishonor: Vol. 1”, serving as a coping mechanism for complex emotions. Through music, he found solace in self-expression, turning to the pen and paper as an outlet for his experiences.

Yassin’s intimate knowledge of hip-hop and Belly’s work shines through as they explore the rapper’s artistic process and influences. Belly credits artists like Jay-Z and The Weeknd for expanding his lyrical abilities and pushing him to new creative heights.

Despite his tenure in the industry, Belly remains humble, always striving to evolve artistically. He acknowledges the impact of joining Roc Nation and working with music legends, emphasizing the need to stay true to his roots while exploring new horizons.

Belly’s upcoming album, “96 Miles From Bethlehem,” is a passion project dedicated to Palestine, reflecting the current political climate and voicing the frustrations of many. The album features collaborations with Palestinian artists, serving as a platform for storytelling and resistance.

For Belly, hip-hop is more than music – it’s a platform for change and empowerment. He envisions Light Sonic Division, his studio, as a beacon for young Palestinian artists to share their stories and effect change through their art.

As the conversation unfolds in Belly’s L.A. studio, it becomes clear that his artistry extends beyond music, embodying a spirit of resilience, creativity, and a commitment to amplifying marginalized voices in the industry.

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