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April 4th, 2012
Did you know that Canadian rapper Belly’s name is derived from the word “rebellious”? I didn’t. But based on Belly’s newest mixtape Sleepless Nights 1.5, I think he should pull a P. Diddy and change his name to Maze, as in “amazing”. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary rap (give me some Wu Tang or Biggie any day) but with Belly I feel that he evokes an old-school sensibility with an updated sound that even rap purists like me can enjoy.
When Canadian rappers can attract big name talent to work with I think it boosts the credibility of the genre as a whole. Belly has done a lot of collaborating in the past with artists like Ginuwine and Mario Winans and Belly does not disappoint with Sleepless Nights 1.5. Snoop Dogg appears on two tracks, I Drink I Smoke and Hot Girl and both sound that they bonded lyrically over common ground. Other artists featured on the mix tape include Kobe, Faber Drive, and Ava. The track Purple Drugs samples the 1998 hit Broken Bones by Canadian group Love Inc. and it was one of the songs that instantly got me grooving.
Listen to Belly’s mixtape Sleepless Nights 1.5 in MuchMusic’s First Spins section before its release on April 10.
Best Tracks: I Drink I Smoke featuring Snoop Dogg, Hartwin Cole featuring Faber Drive, and Purple DrugsTweet