Belly (rapper)

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This article is about the Canadian rapper. For other uses, see Belly (disambiguation).
Belly Profile.jpg
Belly in 2016.
Background information
Birth name Ahmad Balshe
Born (1984-04-07) April 7, 1984 (age 32)
Jenin, Palestine
Origin Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres Hip hop
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2001–present
Associated acts

Ahmad Balshe (Arabic: أحمد بلشي‎‎) (born April 7, 1984), better known by his stage name Belly, is a Palestinian-Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.

Born in Jenin, Palestine, and raised in Ottawa, his musical career began in city clubs. Belly has since won a Juno, three MuchMusic Video Awards and has twice attained a top chart position in the national Much Music Countdown. Belly has written songs for many artists. His stage name was derived from the term "rebellious".


Belly at the eTalk Festival Party, during the Toronto International Film Festival.

The discography of Belly includes penned records for a wide variety of A-list musical acts (notably, fellow Canadian, The Weeknd). Most recently, Belly co-wrote Beyoncé's "6 Inch", featuring The Weeknd. The song is taken from her critically lauded visual album Lemonade, which was recently nominated for four Emmy Awards. Belly himself was just honoured with the "Songwriter of The Year" award at the 2016 SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) Awards for his significant and outstanding contributions to popular music over the past year.[2] The Canadian native is also set to a new mixtape and full-length album later this year by Roc Nation.

His first single "Pressure", featuring Ginuwine peaked at number 10 on the Canadian CHR radio charts, and number one on MuchMusic's Video chart. In April 2007, Belly released the video for his second single "Don't Be Shy", featuring Nina Sky, as well as the video for "History of Violence" directed by Martin Verigin and Jeffrey Hagerman. The video remains his most controversial record to date. In "History of Violence", Belly explains his views on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the War in Iraq.[3]

Go Sens Go[edit]

During the 2007 NHL Playoffs, as the Ottawa Senators were competing, Belly released a single entitled "Bandwagon" (produced by Hussain). When the Senators made the Stanley Cup Finals, Belly released a second version of the song which featured goaltender Ray Emery.[4]

2007: The Revolution[edit]

His debut album, The Revolution, was released on June 5, 2007. This double disc album was divided into two sections: The People and The System. The People contained more in depth songs, such as "History of Violence" (produced by Whosane?), "Follow Me", and "Revolutionary", where he challenges his listeners to discover the facts regarding the Middle-East situation. Other songs on this disc include "People Change" (produced by Whosane?), "Leave Me Alone" where he talks about his longtime friends and the memories that he kept from them. The System contained his hit singles "Don't Be Shy", "Ridin'", and "Pressure".

The Revolution achieved Gold sales in Canada and won the 2008 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year.[5] Singles from The Revolution won two MuchMusic Video Awards for Best Rap Video; "Pressure" in 2007 and "Ridin'" in 2008.

2009–11: Mixtapes[edit]

Belly also released a body of work that was a compilation of songs he had worked on with Dogg Pound rapper Kurupt some time after his first album The Revolution. Some songs were unreleased with a few that had seen release dates on previous mixtapes. This mixtape was called Belly & Kurupt The Lost Tapes 2008 hosted yet again by DJ Ill Will. In 2011, Belly released another new mixtape titled The Greatest Dream I Never Had which he has said will have no features.[6]

2012: Sleepless Nights 1.5[edit]

His second album, Sleepless Nights 1.5 was released April, 2012. The first single "Hot Girl",[7] featuring Snoop Dogg was released on September 8, 2009.

Second single "To The Top", featuring Ava, was released in 2010. Belly's first single of 2011 was "Back Against the Wall",[8] featuring Grammy Award-nominated singer Kobe Honeycutt.

2015: Signing to Roc Nation[edit]

In May 2015, Belly released his newest mixtape, entitled Up For Days.[9] It featured 10 tracks, including four collaborations with Travis Scott, Juelz Santana, French Montana, and XO-label head, The Weeknd in addition to six solo tracks. On November 24, 2015, it was announced that he had signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation label.[10]

Belly was also prominently featured on The Weeknd's 2015 album, Beauty Behind the Madness, earning six writing credits.

In February 2016, he released the song "Zanzibar", featuring American rapper Juicy J.[11] On November 11, 2016, he released Inzombia which had 11 tracks.[12]


In July 2016, Belly, along with co-writer The Weeknd, was awarded the Songwriter of the Year Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Belly is Muslim.[14][15][16][17][18] In May 2016, Belly and The Weeknd cancelled an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show due to Donald Trump being present.[19]

In 2008, Belly's Ottawa's home and recording studio was raided by a tactical team of the Ottawa Police.[20] His home and recording studio suffered over $30,000 in damage by the police raid.

In 2015, Belly's photo and short biography was posted in the school lobby as a celebration of successful graduates of Hillcrest High School.[citation needed]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
The Revolution 27


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Details
Death Before Dishonor: Vol. 1
Death Before Dishonor: Vol. 2[23]
  • Released: September 13, 2005
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Death Before Dishonor: Vol. 3[24]
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Back for the First Time Vol. 1
(with DJ Smallz)[25]
  • Released: July 23, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Sleepless Nights[26]
  • Released: March 4, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Belly & Kurupt The Lost Tapes 2008
(with Kurupt)[27]
  • Released: May 19, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
The Greatest Dream I Never Had
(with DJ Drama)[28]
  • Released: November 11, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Up For Days[29]
  • Released: May 7, 2015
  • Label: Roc Nation
  • Format: Digital download
Another Day in Paradise[30]
  • Released: May 27, 2016
  • Label: Roc Nation
  • Format: Digital download
  • Released: November 11, 2016
  • Label: Roc Nation
  • Format: Digital download


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Rap
(featuring Ginuwine)
2007 10 The Revolution
"I'm the Man"
(featuring Kurupt)
(featuring Mario Winans)
"Hot Girl"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
2009 58 Back for the First Time Vol. 1 /
Sleepless Nights 1.5
"Back Against the Wall"
(featuring Kobe)
2011 Sleepless Nights 1.5
"I Drink I Smoke"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
"Purple Drugs"
"Hartwin Cole"
(featuring Faber Drive)
(featuring Juicy J)
2012 Non-album single
"Might Not"
(featuring The Weeknd)
2015 28 68 21 11 Up for Days
"No Option"
(featuring Juicy J)
2016 Another Day In Paradise
(featuring Kehlani)
"Ballerina" 48
(featuring Young Thug and Zack)
"The Day I Met You"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HOT 97 (25 November 2015). "Belly Talks Being a Jay-Z Stan, How He Met The Weeknd & New Music". Retrieved 19 September 2016 – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ "SOCAN Awards 2016 celebrate great Canadian songwriters, composers, film scorers, music publishers". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Belly shoots from the gut". Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "Champions, baby". Retrieved May 18, 2007. 
  5. ^ CP Records Releases New Belly and Keshia Chante single "Get To Know You" Archived July 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "BELLY on Twitter". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Belly - Up For Days - NoDJ". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Belly Signs with Roc Nation for New LP". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Zanzibar". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Goddard, Kevin (11 November 2016). "Belly releases follow up to Another Day In Paradise". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Belly on Twitter.". Twitter. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Belly on Twitter.". Twitter. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Belly on iTunes". iTunes. Apple. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Belly on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "Belly on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  19. ^ Goldstein, Jessica. "Trump Inspires The Weeknd To Cancel Jimmy Kimmel Performance". Thinkprogress. CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Belly - Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "DJ Kay Slay Presents Death Before Dishonour Vol 2 MIXTAPE Props to Driter". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Death Before Dishonor Vol 3 @ Street Beatz Entertainment". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Belly & DJ Smallz – Back For The First Time [Mixtape]". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Belly - Sleepless Nights (Hosted by DJ ill Will) [New Mixtape]". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Belly & Kurupt - The Lost Tapes 2008 Hosted by DJ ill Will Mixtape". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Belly - The Greatest Dream I Never Had (Hosted by DJ Drama) [New Mixtape]". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Belly - Up For Days [New Mixtape]". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Stream Belly's "Another Day In Paradise"". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Inzombia by Belly on Apple Music - iTunes". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Belly – Chart history (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Belly – Chart history (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Belly – Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Belly – Chart History: Hot Rap Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]