We’ve been getting familiar with Canadian soils since we became a media partner for Vancouver Fashion Week. After seeing the talent in Vancouver and the music coming out of Toronto, I’m beginning to suspect there may be something in the water supply out there.

There’s something cooking beyond Drake and the crew we’ve seen thus far in the XO camp. I might be late to the game, but coming across Belly (short for reBELLYus) this week just solidified my assumptions about the Canadian water. The Palestinian born rapper isn’t new on the scene. He’s got top chart singles and writing credits for hit songs under his belt dating as far back as 2007 on top of the fact he’s teamed with one of the most collectively spun groups on the radio right now.

His most recent video release featured a collaboration with the XO camp founder, The Weeknd, and has amassed 12 million views to date. That’s a huge accomplishment, but I was surprised to see the video that stood out to me of the handful in Belly’s account sitting at under 200,000 views.

So let’s dive in to Maison.

Sonically on point and visually…what the fuck. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer the weird things in life. I’m not sure how the video and song correlate, but we’re watching baby Belly from the belly of the womb and that’s not the only place you’ll find some nice word play…

Talking money bitch, I make a lot
Talking drugs, oh I take a lot
Now I’m the one to watch like it’s one o’clock
They never gave me a shot, just my laser dot
I made you hot, yeah bitch I made you hot
Back when you was just a faded thot (thought)
Small fry, tater tot, dancin’ on them table tops

Maison, just don’t fuck up the zone
Maison, just don’t fuck up the zone
Maison, just don’t fuck up the zone
Maison, but just don’t fuck up the zone
Maison, just don’t fuck up the zone

We’ve come across a french lesson before when we covered London based rapper J Hus and here we see it again in the title of Belly’s single. Maison is french for “home” and may possibly mean “the perfect girl” in some circles. That’s three different meanings if you consider the fact that Belly is also playing off the word “maison” as “my zone” and as you can see no one’s disturbing baby Belly in this video. Wordplay is a surface sign of talent and it’s something the casual listener isn’t looking for especially when the song is sonically packed together so well. That’s like getting an order for a hamburger and then serving that burger with secret sauce and extra cheese just because you can. That customer might not even notice it, but you know you just put out a 100 percent and then some.

That’s where you’ll find success. It’s proven in these small instances–Belly has a passion for what he does. Belly’s recent accomplishment signing to Roc Nation coupled with his relationship with XO makes him a high risk wave ready to hit the American ears.


From London, to New Jersey. From Seattle, to Ontario. Bless.