Belly’s penmanship doesn’t quite receive the praise it deserves. His way with words earned him an Academy Award nomination for The Weeknd’s “Earned It” in the Best Original Song category in 2016. That same song also placed him in the running for the Best R&B Song at the Grammys. Beyond songwriting, it’s basic knowledge that Belly’s wordplay sits at elite standards. From the debut of The Revolution to his latest album, Mumble Rap 2, the XO rapper hasn’t faltered on the mic.

Some might overlook what he’s brought to the table in his nearly 20 years in the game. However, one person who hasn’t in Jay-Z. In 2015, Jay-Z signed Belly to the Roc Nation imprint, marking an incredible feat in the Canadian rapper’s storied career. That’s when Belly began promoting a project titled, Midnight Zone. That project, in particular, never saw the light of day but a snippet of the title track emerged in an Instagram clip that included a cameo from Jay. Obviously, this led to assumptions that Jay-Z would also appear on the track – a major accomplishment for any artist of any genre. However, five years after the snippet arrived, the record has yet to be seen on any of Belly’s projects.

Belly Reveals The Status Of Rumored Jay-Z Collab

We recently caught up with Belly to discuss his new album, Mumble Rap 2, executive produced by Hit-Boy. During the conversation, the rapper shared some insight on the rumored collaboration with Jay-Z. Unfortunately, there’s no timeline on if it will ever see the light of day. “Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t think that’s gon’ be the case,” Belly explained when asked if the Jay-Z collab might appear on his future projects. “Just the fact I was able to get in the studio with Hov and just be in there and just to have him pull up to a couple of sessions – that’s a life-long dream for me right there.”

Although he didn’t specify the details surrounding “Midnight Zone,” he still has hope that one day he and Jay-Z will be able to lock in. “What I really want is, you know, a record where we could both rap on that motherfucker. I’m still grateful for every opportunity Hov’ gave me and everything he did for my career is priceless,” he said. “There’s no way to ever pay him back. I still appreciate him no matter what. I still want the collab but it’s all love, appreciation, and gratitude all the way.”

Dream Collabs

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: Rapper Belly attends the first annual YG and Friends Daytime Boogie Basketball Tournament at The Shrine Auditorium on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Very few rappers can say they’ve locked in with Jay-Z but there are even fewer artists who’ve gone bar-for-bar with Nas, as well. Although “Midnight Zone” might never appear publicly, Nas and Belly connected on “Die For It” alongside The Weeknd from See You Next Wednesday. However, the other artists on his bucket list are equally elusive when it comes to collaborations. “I think you’d have to go to the legends, man. Like, Andre 3000, definitely. Sade – I want the impossible at this point. That’s what I’m going for,” he stated. Otherwise, Belly’s already locked in with everybody else he’s hoped to work with. Mumble Rap 2 drops tonight.