The evolving Belly x The Weeknd x French Montana connection [Article]
New York, NY – By now, Belly fans are making the connection between the CP Records artist/executive and New York’s Coke Boys. There’s photos floating around online picturing Belly with French Montana, and yesterday’s “9000 Watts” video release features a Belly cameo front and center. It’s an intriguing cameo because it begs the question, is Belly a member of the Coke Boys? That was the initial thought.
Well it seems like at the moment, the answer is ‘No’ – Belly is a friend and affiliate of French Montana, Chinx Drugz and the Coke Boys movement, but there has been no official announcement of Belly joining the group. The 9000 video flashes a crew shot of the Coke Boys with Belly standing prominently in the middle.
I reached out to Belly for his take on the relationship: “That’s my family, not no industry shit. They’re like brothers to me.” So it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect some Belly/Coke Boys collaborations, but that seems to be as far as it extends for now.
Belly in French Montana’s “9000 Watts” video
Although a partnership we have been hearing some talk on is Belly working closer with Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and his XO movement. We’ve also been shown that the affiliation between Belly and the Coke Boys has deep rooted Weeknd connections. Back in November, during the French Montana show in Toronto, French brought out Belly as a guest to perform his “Num8ers” single. The relationship has been building ever since, as has Belly’s relationship with (OVO)XO.
Belly also shares some of the same management as The Weeknd, and the 2 have been moving in similar circles for quite some time now. It should be noted that Belly remains a key member of CP Records, regardless of any affiliation speculations.
You might remember the photo that was floating around back in May of The Weeknd, and members of XO with Diddy and Cassie in Florida. They were invited to stay at Diddy’s residence but the exact nature of the business was never fully disclosed. It definitely sparked some rumors of The Weeknd joining the Bad Boy roster or Diddy bringing Abel on board for some Bad Boy projects.
Cash Up, also in the photo, is manager for both artists and has played a key role in Belly and Abel connecting. The two have been spotted together in clubs and other public functions on numerous occasions. French is, of course, a Bad Boy/Maybach Music artist and, ever since French showing love in Toronto, there have been rumors of collaborations with Belly. And a collaboration between French Montana and The Weeknd was just revealed only a few days ago. French’s Excuse My French album debut on Bad Boy will feature the OVOXO singer on the song they’ve called “Lifted.”
French spoke to MTV’s RapFix host Sway Calloway about the song:
“One person I was really excited to work with was The Weeknd – he on the album too. He wrote the hook, but you know, he take two weeks to write a song so it could be perfect. He kinda, like, don’t work with nobody, so I was excited to work with him.”
Aside from The Weeknd, French has announced that Excuse My French will feature an all-star supporting cast that includes Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Max B, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Kanye West, Big Sean, Jadakiss, Mase, M.I.A. and Diddy.
Belly, on the other hand, is working towards the release of his highly anticipated next project. The only track we’re aware of so far is “1200,” featuring Three 6 Mafia/Taylor Gang artist Juicy J, but an appearance from French and the Coke Boys wouldn’t be a surprise. A Video for the “1200” joint was shot during Juicy J’s recent tour stop in Toronto.
After a large bidding war for an artist dubbed as the “best musical talent since Michael Jackson,” The Weeknd signed with Universal Republic Records. The first release will be The Trilogy which drops November 13, 2012. The project is a re-mastered compilation of his 3 mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, and 3 bonus tracks. He’s currently touring Western Canada with dates in Edmonton (Sept. 26), Calgary (Sept. 27) and Vancouver (Sept. 29).
Stay tuned for more information about releases from Belly, The Weeknd and French Montana.