Jay-Z Commends Nas For "Belly," Claims He Never Had The Desire To Act

Jay-Z says that he "hated" acting when he was younger.

BYCaroline Fisher
2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Day 2

During a recent interview with Complex, Jay-Z addressed rumors that he was originally set to appear in Hype Williams' 1998 film, Belly. According to him, the rumors aren't true. He further explained why the speculation doesn't make sense, claiming that he was too "guarded" at the time for a venture on the big screen.

“That’s a rumor. Because of how guarded I was, I hated acting," he admitted. "This is why I don’t act, because I would get in my way. I would be thinking, ‘No, I don’t wanna do something that I ain’t gonna look cool.’" Jay-Z continued, “But you know, I was young and immature. Or I was young mentally. You know, if you see our own movies, I was in for like 30 seconds and I wasn’t even speaking.”

Read More: JAY-Z Praises Hype Williams & Says He Made “Can’t Knock the Hustle” Feel “Like Cinema”

Jay-Z Shuts Down Rumors He Was Supposed To Be In Belly

Jay-Z (L) performs with Nas during Jay-Z's Concert at The Apollo on November 13, 2007 in New York. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)

Though the Roc Nation founder wasn't willing to dip his toe in the world of cinema, Nas was. Jay-Z went on to praise the artist for being able to pull it off. “I had no idea how Nas did that because I felt like he was in the same place as me. But he did it and he made it work,” he explained. “But I never was meant to be in Belly. I don’t even know where that came from.”

While he didn't appear in Belly, Jay-Z did work alongside Williams for various music videos. According to Jay, getting any kind of performance out of him was a pretty significant feat. “I don’t know if I was coachable as far as a performance at that time," he revealed. I don’t know if anyone could coach me, you know, because I was so guarded." He adds, “I think about the early videos that I have and I listen to myself talking and it’s kind of hard for me to watch. That’s not even how I speak." What do you think of Jay-Z praising Nas for his Belly performance? Are you surprised that he hated acting? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below, and keep an eye on HNHH for more updates on Jay-Z.

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About The Author
Caroline Fisher is a News Writer at HotNewHipHop from Chicago, Illinois. She started at HNHH this year, and has since spent her time writing about all that is newsworthy in the world of hip-hop. With a drive for hunting down the hottest stories, she enjoys documenting new developments in culture and entertainment. She also has an appreciation for hip-hop and seeks to cover the most important trends and shifts. She has a Bachelor of Arts which she received at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having graduated in 2022, she majored in English with a concentration in Media, Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. Specializing all things music, pop culture and entertainment, some of her favorite musical artists include Snoop Dogg, OutKast, and Nicki Minaj. When she’s not writing about music she’s also a fan of attending shows, watching the latest movies, staying up-to-date with current events, photography, and poetry.