Jay Z Signs Canadian Rapper Belly To Roc Nation
You’ve probably already heard some of Belly’s most recent work. He co-wrote The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness album, including singles “Often” “The Hills,” and “Earned It.” His resume also boasts work with Snoop Dogg, Juicy J, and more.
Belly dropped his debut album, The Revolution, in 2007. The release won a coveted Juno Award for rap recording of the year.
A native of Palestine, the rapper born Ahmad Balshe, moved to Canada with his family at age seven. He recently spoke to Billboard about signing to The Roc.
“It’s exciting stuff. I want to say it was just a complete focus on my craft and my music and I put together a project that I felt like was representative of me as an artist,” he said. “And I think I just got the right ears with it to the point where Jay Z was interested and heard it and invited me over. And we had a conversation and that was that, you know? A man’s handshake, that’s all it takes sometimes.
Belly’s new album — his first in five years — is expected in 2016.