Belly is easily one of my favorite rappers out right now. I feel like he can rap just as dynamically as any one of your favorite MC’s in the game, while also showing off an ability to touch on serious topics such as religion, race and politics in a way artists simply aren’t doing. In his latest release, “Immigrant,” he looks to further expand on his artistry, gifting us with a project full of great features and intriguing subject matters.
Belly shows off clever ways to talk about how he’s ballin’, smashing women and dismissing competition on “Xion.” The way Belly shifts through tones, flows and punchlines on this song is hella impressive, and his ability to ride the fast paced/restless instrumental is astute. Matter of fact, I just gave this n***a an A+ for his performance on this joint.
”Dust” is an example of rap mayhem. It is powered by this explosive instrumental and highly infectious hook (Probably the best on the album). On the verses, Belly and French Montana go back and forth, rapping hard about their big money and cars, while also solidifying their real n***a ways. I love Frenchie’s wordplay on his part, and definitely f**k with Belly’s clever bars on his.
4. WHAT YOU WANT
I’ma be Captain Obvious here for a second: Belly is a helluva rapper and The Weeknd is helluva a singer, and when they use their talents to their advantage, they are capable of saving the world or a hoe. On This song, they try to mix their talents together as one, resulting in this weird ass song that sounds like it could serve as the lead single for a Clueless soundtrack. Initially, the song was not what I wanted (You like what I did there?), but now, it’s what I need to overcome a hangover.
Are Belly and Nav Canada’s Mase and Biggy?
I personally believe both Nav and Belly are phenomenal rappers, typically mixing in wisdom with flashy bars when they rap. However, in “Maintain,” it’s all about their luxurious items, as the duo go back and forth about their wrist wear and the superhero powers it gives them when they enter the club. The track is very ‘Bad and Boujee-esque,’ featuring lots of jerks and stop and start flows from both guys.
2. ANOTHER NOTE
“Another Note” is exactly how i would’ve started off Immigrant. The track has this cold and lonely feel to it production-wise, while Belly keeps things simple when it comes to structure, dropping off this plain hook and trading his dynamic rapping for a simpler approach.
Content-wise is where this song makes its money. On his verse (A long one), Belly talks about forgiveness, friends, his drug-dealing past and his new lavish lifestyle. In my opinion, the verse serves as a well needed reminder to the listeners why the Canadian MC is one of the realest.
Did you also get goosebumps when Belly stopped in the middle of his verse to cry a little?
I was going to be shocked and appalled if this song didn’t end up in my top 5 list simply based off of its MIA feature.
“Immigrant” is nothing less than powerful. The instrumental to it has this sacred feel, while Belly and Meek Mill’s verses straddle the line between uplifting and rebellious. If you are a fan of CNN, a supporter of Trump or a closet racist, I recommend you sit this song out.
MIA closes “Immigrant” out adding that last dose of rebelliousness to it. Her part is short, but sorta necessary.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. ANOTHER NOTE (4.5/5)
2. XION (4.5/5)
3. WHO HURT YOU (4/5)
4. IMMIGRANT (5/5)
5. NUMBERS (4/5)
6. ALL FOR ME (3.5/5)
7. DUST (4.5/5)
8. WHAT YOU WANT (4.5/5)
9. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? (4/5)
10. MAINTAIN (4.5/5)
11. STREET CATHEDRAL (4/5)
When it comes to rap performances, this is one of the most impressive I’ve heard this year. Matter of fact, I challenge you to find a rap style Belly can’t tackle… He has killer flows, his punchlines are flawless, and the topics he covers are beyond intriguing. Aside from that, he’s raw, honest, and willing to open up about everything from politics to his come-up as a muslim rapper. All in all, “Immigration” is a complete album that almost feels like it was made directly for a rap fan like myself.