Belly Reveals His Post-Rap Retirement Plans After Next Two Albums

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Real 92.3's The Real Show 2017
INGLEWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Rapper Belly performs onstage during the Real 92.3 Real Show at The Forum on November 18, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)
EXCLUSIVE: Belly explains his decision to step back from the music industry after his next two albums and what he has planned next.

Sometimes, it’s hard to let go of things you love but it’s necessary. So, when we hear rappers deciding to bow out from the industry, it comes with a bittersweet sentiment. For an artist like Belly, who lays out his life every time he steps to the microphone, the decision to step back from releasing music was met with both support and sadness. With the release of Mumble Rap 2, he revealed that he has two more projects in the stash before gracefully exiting the rap game. “I love yall with all my heart, sincerely, but this industry has taken it’s toll on me. MR2 will be the first of my last three albums ever. Mini tour for MR2 then a farewell tour after my next 2,” he wrote.

During our recent interview with the Palestinian-Canadian rapper, he explained that he still loves rapping but his apparent issues with the industry at large have turned him off from wanting to participate. “I don’t think I’ll ever hang up the mic in terms of doing what I love because I’ll always do it. I just don’t know if I want to be part of the cycle of everything anymore. It has more to do with me than it does with the industry. Obviously, everyone knows that the industry can be shady – any industry can. Once you start getting to higher levels and bigger offices… things can get merky,” he explained.

The Next Chapter For Belly

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10: Recording artist Belly (far R) performs onstage at This Tent during Day 3 of the 2017 Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival on June 10, 2017 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival )

Belly added, “Really, my goal in life is to create and imagine. And I think everything else will fall into place after that. So, without the restrictions or the parameters of the music industry, I think I could flourish a lot more when it comes to that.” So what exactly are these plans? After cementing his name in hip-hop, working alongside some of the greatest artists of all time, including his labelmate The Weeknd, he’s similarly looking towards branching outside of the music industry while expanding his creative output. 

“You know, I just want to create, man, I want to make art. I want to explore every medium of entertainment and art. You know, I’ve been writing TV and film stuff. Getting into writing scripts. A couple of scripted podcasts,” he revealed. “Putting my writing into other platforms and into other ways to connect and into other ways to imagine things and create things. Then, it just helps me when I come back to this because it doesn’t feel like I’m waking up everyday and having one job. And I never want it to feel like a job, you know? So, you know, it actually balances everything out for me.” Mumble Rap 2 is out now. 

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.