Belly captures listeners in his aura on ‘See You Next Wednesday’

Rappers Belly (left) and Ginuwine was an attendee at the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards, held the night of Sunday, June 17, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. By Professional photographer Robin Wong. - http://www.robinwong.ca/press_release_jpg_web.zip, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2300438

Robin Wong/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.5)

Rappers Belly (left) and Ginuwine was an attendee at the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards, held the night of Sunday, June 17, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. By Professional photographer Robin Wong. – http://www.robinwong.ca/press_release_jpg_web.zip, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2300438

Ahmad Balshe, better known as Belly, is a Palestinian-born Canadian rapper and songwriter signed to the Weeknd’s record label, XO. On August 26 Belly released his third studio album, “See You Next Wednesday.” The album features popular artists like The Weeknd, NAV and Big Sean. 

“See You Next Wednesday” fully encapsulates the human experience as he creates an aura of vulnerability. While wearing his heart on his sleeve, Belly’s songs allude to the confidence he gained and the importance of mental strength. Strength is embodied throughout the album but his lyrics suggest that his past continues to influence him today. The album identifies the essentials of the human experience including conflict, emotion and growth. These ideas are evident through his ominous yet self-assured lyrics written over haunting beats.

[Trigger Warning]

The song “Razor” hints at a dark mental state as the wordplay suggests thoughts of suicide. 

Belly raps “Look, suicide, suicide, love me, hate me, you decide, choose a side, choose a side, I would die for you and I. \I was on the strip, pager on the wrist, hundred on the left hand, razor on the wrist.” 

When the context is applied it can be assumed that the word suicide is meant to refer to rear-hinged doors or “suicide doors.” The razor can be seen as a reference to a watch band. When lyrically analyzed, the double meaning within the words suggests something deeper. This line asserts the idea that although an individual can have endless access to material items, these objects cannot contribute to meaningful happiness or prevent depression and dark thoughts.

“Flowers,” a personal favorite off the album, was unique in that it was empowering while providing a melancholy tone through cynical lyrics. 

Belly raps, “I might just disappear, give me my flowers while I’m still here. That day I disappeared, you wish you’d gave me my flowers.” 

The lyrics suggest that he knows his worth, emphasizing he is deserving of acknowledgement and love while he’s still alive. 

“I don’t need your feedback. I just wanna reflect with my feet up and my seat back,” he raps in the first verse. At the same time, Belly’s lyrics consider the idea that he doesn’t need validation or critique and at this point in his life, he wants to concentrate on his craft in peace.

Throughout other songs, the rapper makes it evident there are many things to be thankful for in his life. Belly cites his success as an artist but the scars of his past still reflect themselves in the present. In “Can You Feel It,” he raps “In my life I’ve died a million deaths, I think I’m still dealing with the ill effects.”

Belly’s vulnerability in his album was intentional. In a Twitter Q&A, he answered one user’s question regarding how he feels about making music by saying “Music is my therapy. It’s gotten me through a lot of hard times and it’s very therapeutic to me.” The album is one that many fans can relate to and many users on Instagram have expressed that the album is in a league of its own, incomparable to other new releases like “Donda” and “Certified Lover Boy.”

 One user, @thunderstormlife, commented “I have listened to every word and all beats and measures multiple times on “Donda,” “Certified Lover Boy” and yours. F*** what any of them say you hold the crown sir.”

With this album, Belly understands the uniqueness he holds as a rapper and how his music imitates darkness. The dark aura throughout each track shares with fans that darkness can take over, pass and still linger in a human’s life.

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