Belly, a Canadian rapper and producer, has learned a lot from JAY-Z since he signed a joint deal with Roc Nation and The Weeknd's XO imprint in 2015, but when asked by Billboard to highlight the most important thing Hov has instilled in him over the past three years, the 33-year-old was unequivocal.
"[JAY-Z] still works like he's broke," Belly told Billboard writer Michael Saponara. "I think that's amazing. We've been in [the studio] late some nights. He's the epitome of what you want a career to look like. For him to be at the pinnacle and still take the time to come do sessions with young guys is a blessing and it shows a lot about his character, love, and passion."
For Belly, working closely with Hov on his forthcoming project, Midnight Zone, has also meant changing his creative approach.
"I've been listening to him my whole life, but he's taught me how to approach things differently and to take my words more seriously when I rap," Belly added. "It's dope having him there and being involved with my album. [Him] having a hands-on approach with it is incredible. I think he's trying to instill his greatness, and show me his perspective from an outsider's approach. Sometimes you overthink shit. It's the greatest blessing."
This past Friday, March 23, Belly released the first single from Midnight Zone, the YG-assisted and DJ Mustard-produced "4 Days."