After winning numerous Juno Awards, collaborating with Hip Hop icons and breaking barriers as a Palestinian rapper you’d think he’d be hip hop’s most talked about international artist. But with the insurmountable popularity of Drake, it’s not bad to know his country still has his back. Check the interview below I did for HitHipHop.com as he talks about his ‘Sleepless Nights’ mixtape and the fun play on game we played!
I don’t think it’s what I’m doing different, I think it’s just me basically taking control of my brand and making sure I’m putting out music consistently. I’m giving the fans what they want and you know it’s been helping me grow my fan base exponentially day by day.
Belly gets ReBellyus!
HitHipHop.com: After winning numerous awards for your accomplishments with music as a Canadian Hip Hop artist, you stated that you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything until you win a Grammy. What do you think will get you to that level?
Belly: I don’t really think about it, you know I just make the best music I possibly can. My fan base and my cult keeps growing, I know that’s really going to lead me there. I’m not trying to over think it; I’m just making music that’s what I do best.
HHH: That’s understandable. ‘Sleepless Nights’ was your sixth mixtape and you have gotten a lot of positive reviews. What was the creative process like for this mixtape?
Belly: I think it just came a time where I knew I needed to put something out, I flew down to Miami. I got in the studio and many sleepless nights later that mixtape came about.
HHH: Musically who would you like to work with in the future? And why?
Belly: There’s a lot of people there’s so many talented people in this game that I look forward to working with. Of course you know there’s Jay, I need that Jay-Z record. Kanye is definitely somebody I look at, I want to work with. You know Weezy and then on the other side of things there’s that new artist Adele. I would love to do something with her; she’s amazing to me right now. Janelle Monae is crazy; she’s amazing at what she does. The list goes on I can really sit here and do this all day.
HHH: Nice scope of artists. Not many Hip Hop artists from Canada get the recognition as yourself, Kardinal Offishall, K’naan and Drake. What are you doing different than your Canadian peers?
Belly: I don’t think it’s what I’m doing different, I think it’s just me basically taking control of my brand and making sure I’m putting out music consistently. I’m giving the fans what they want and you know it’s been helping me grow my fan base exponentially day by day. I see the growth every single day; I think that’s all it takes. It’s not what you do differently, it’s how hard you go, how hard you work.
HHH: You have a track called “Must Be Nice” featuring Vado. So, let’s play a little game and see how you would handle good to better situations. It must be nice to get court-side seats at all Toronto Raptors games for life or must be nice to get every Jordan signed from the man himself?
Belly: Man, I love Toronto, but yo Michael Jordan I grew up, that man practically raised us. I’ll go with the Jordan’s man. I got to go with the signed Jordan’s, I got to. (Laughs)
HHH: You and every sports fan in the world would agree. So it must be nice to do a world tour or it must be nice to get a Grammy nomination?
Belly: I’ll take the world tour, I’ll take being able to reach my fans all around the world over a Grammy. You know and I think that’ll lead me to a Grammy anyways.
HHH: That’s a good point, you do have to increase your fan base. Ok, last one. It must be nice to get an endorsement from Gucci or it must be nice to get a track featuring Gucci.
Belly: (Laughs) I already got the track featuring Gucci, so I’ll take the Gucci endorsement.
HHH: Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2011?
Belly: Oh man, expect the world. I’m coming, expect art this is what I do. I did the “Sleepless Nights” mixtape and did a video for every single song. Expect the same thing from the album, just on a greater scale. The album is coming this year, there’s many more things to come. So, I’m excited to give it to the world and I know a lot of my fans, my cult that’s what I like to call them ‘cause it’s a cult. You know the rebels; a lot of my rebels can’t wait to hear what’s coming.
Interviewed by: Shiyana Bellamy
Conducted on April 7, 2011