Drop of the Week: Belly’s “Mumble Rap”


Patrick Philpott

Warning: This song contains explicit language and content that may not be suitable for students of high school age. The song was chosen for its expressionism and implementation of new, experimental styles, not necessarily the message expressed by the artist. 

This year the XO Crew have been making moves in the rap game and Belly has taken center stage with his new album drop Mumble Rap. The new album, which includes 11 songs, seems to be a lone wolf project for Belly. While many big album drops for this year featured a wide variety of artists, Belly seems to have taken the solo route with Pusha T being the only feature on the new album.

This solo project let the Palestinian-Canadian rapper work on his music, which in return has his fans going crazy over his new project. This is a worthy spotlight for the emerging Canadian rap scene, one of the most unheralded rap scenes in North America. When you think of Canadian rappers your mind usually turns to Drake or The Weeknd, but in reality there are some very talented artists that are coming out of Canada. This album drop for Belly hopefully continues to add more of that spotlight to this seemingly forgotten rap culture.

In an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, Belly discussed how “Mumble Rap” came to be and how he was able to work with Boi-1da during the production period for this new album. “It started with me and Boi-1da. We’ve always wanted to worked together,” Belly explained. “We’ve always been big fans of each other. We’ve done one-off songs in the past. We wanted to do a full project, something special. He produced like 75 percent of it.”

If you’re trying to get a general vibe before listening to the new album, look no further than the title, Mumble Rap. Belly is deidicated to sending a message through his music, but he still stays true to the mumble rap style that makes up the album title. Director Karena Evans, also known as the first lady of hip-hop, receives the appreciation she deserves for her visual work on Belly’s music video. The videography gives off the same vibe as the artist on the album, helping to blend the music and video together for fans.

“This video was inspired by the Timbaland/Missy Elliott era of videos,” Belly told Complex. “I wanted to give people a visual that was reminiscent of that.”

The album opens up with “Immigration To The Trap.” This song sets the tone, both with the album title and the vibe of the project. Belly opens up his first verse with words that he clearly meant. It can be assumed  that Belly is talking about him being a Palestinian-Canadian and his experience moving from the middle east to a lower class community in Canada. All in all though, the opening track to the album really has a hard and trap beat to it, combined with the mumble yet meaningful lyrics layered over the beat.

Belly usually brings meaningful bars to his tracks, but I personally believe that his best song on the track is “Mumble Rap.” This song continues the theme of dark trap-like beats as the music video continues the trend further. Combined with the hard hitting verses by Belly, it adds all together to create the Drop of the Week.