At Made In America 2018, rapper and songwriter, Belly, made a huge announcement. During his set on the main stage, the XO/Rocnation artist mentioned his new album, Immigrant, will be releasing on October 12th. He also shared merch and the official cover art which is him as a boy in Jordan.
We got up with Belly and talked about his start in music, meeting The Weeknd and Jay-Z, and his new album, Immigrant.
What is RESPECT to you? What is your definition of RESPECT?
I think RESPECT is leading your life in a certain way that people have to address you. They have to approach you in a certain way.
What was it like growing up in Canada? What was it about where you lived that inspired you to make music?
The first part of my life, my childhood was in the Middle East. That inspired me a lot. Then I moved to Canada and then the states. That inspired me a whole lot more. I think every piece of my life, every chapter of my life inspired me to want more and do better every single day. Once you hit this type of caliber, everybody is great. If you’re not great, you’re not keeping up.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I used to write poetry when I was mad young. When I first learned how to speak English, the first thing I started to do was rhyme words and piece sh*t together. I used to listen to Ready To Die by B.I.G.. That was my blueprint. From there I started writing raps, you know?
You’re one of the best lyricist out today. How do you feel about the current state of Hip Hop?
Thank you, man. Thank you for saying that. A lot of people overlook the fact that I could eat their favorite rapper so I appreciate you for that. But to answer the question, I don’t really look at that. As long as I sit down and craft my sh*t the way I’m supposed to. That’s what the market needs. It’s needs a bunch of different sh*t. There’s cheap wine and there’s expensive wine. The sh*t you can’t get in the stores. That’s the type of sh*t I like to have. I don’t care about that cheap wine out there. I’m trying to make that exclusive grape.
What’s your relationship like with The Weeknd and Jay Z? How did you meet them?
Me and Abel have known each other damn near 10 years now. It’s been a long time. It started as a friendship and became a working relationship. Now it’s still a great friendship and a brotherhood. I think with Jay Z, he heard my sh*t and signed me to the ROC based off one project. So idk, man. I feel like that was just the stars aligning for somebody like Jay to hear my sh*t and sign me, you know?
You just announced your new project, Immigrant. Is there any info you can give us? Upcoming singles or any artists you might’ve worked with?
Of course I got my brother Nav and my brother Abel on the album. Other than that I think it’s more like a diary, bro. It’s a diary of my life. It’s the most venerable I’ve ever been on any album. It means the most to me than anything I’ve ever put out. I purposely cut songs off that I felt didn’t relate to the album. To me, even if it was a hit and everybody felt like it was, it didn’t matter. If it doesn’t match the theme of this, this Immigrant sh*t, I don’t want it in my album. We can figure it out. We can put it somewhere down the line.
Who would you like to work with in the future? Artists or producers.
I think Swizz Beatz. Swizz Beatz is dope as fu*k. Swae Lee, my XO brothers 88Glam. We’re overdue. That’s about it right now.
It’s been a big year for you and it’s about to get bigger when the album releases. What’s next for you and what can we look forward to in the future?
I think we got to take it one day at a time, bro. I love to make music, I love to write music. I make music for a lot of people. I write for a lot of people. I think it’s a blessing in disguise to float around making music living my best life, man.
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