#Belly is a hood classic and one of those movies that if you haven’t seen it, you’re getting clowned and might just get ya card removed.

The 1998 feature film, directed by #HypeWilliams and starring an ensemble cast including #Nas and #DMX, turned 20 over the weekend and some of the cast reunited at #ComplexCon to talk about the iconic film that has been a staple in hip hop culture.


On the panel with Nas and #TBoz, Hype spilled some tea about his casting decisions when it came to DMX’s character Tommy. “Were it not to be DMX, everyone pressed for it to be Hov,” Hype told the audience. “If you know him, Hov was a real hustler, he comes from a real place, so we were working with Def Jam and it was logical for it to be him.”

Do y’all see Jay-Z as a leading man based on his background? Not to give away the film, but Tommy, also known as “Buns,” dang near built an empire on crime and drug dealing, so I can see why Hype would be pushed to cast Jay-Z. And when you think about it, Hov was that dude in New York during that era.


What’s hilarious is that Nas seemed shocked by Hype’s reveal, jokingly repeating “Who?” like he couldn’t hear him. For you younger #Roommates and those who may not know, Nas and Jay-Z had one of the most famous rap beefs to date and inspired Nas’ classic “Ether.”

But the pair have since squashed their beef and have celebrated their multiple accomplishments together as successful black millionaires.


So I’m sure Nas was just joking with Hype. And ironically enough, although Jay-Z wasn’t cast in the movie, he was featured on the film’s equally iconic soundtrack.

#Roommates, could you see Jay-Z in Belly? Let us know what you think!


TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh

What's Tea Roommates? Leave a comment!

other roommates are saying...