11 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Roughly a month ahead of its release, Belly posted the cover of Immigrant to his Instagram account with a simple caption: “With everything going on, I can’t sit by and say nothing. I decided to speak my truths.” Since the 2016 presidential election, the Palestinian-Canadian MC has felt increasingly compelled to comment on the state of immigration in the United States and abroad, at one point donating the profits from his merch sales to the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee. “Another Note,” the intro track, features a story from the rapper's youth: “Family in the motel, acting like there's room for eight/That's why I cried when I moved into the new estate.”

Belly’s politics and personal experience as an immigrant are present throughout the album (particularly on the title track and “Street Cathedral”), but they're hardly the rapper’s only angle. His 2017 project, Mumble Rap, solidified him as one of Canada’s most formidable wordsmiths, and he takes us there on “Xion,” spitting, “The flow is sassafras, I had to razzmatazz the wrist/Immigrant, I’m what happens if Aladdin had some bricks.” He brings his singing chops to the woozy R&B of “What Does It Mean,” while dedicating “Who Hurt You,” “All For Me,” and “What You Want” (featuring The Weeknd) to romances past, present, and future, respectively.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Roughly a month ahead of its release, Belly posted the cover of Immigrant to his Instagram account with a simple caption: “With everything going on, I can’t sit by and say nothing. I decided to speak my truths.” Since the 2016 presidential election, the Palestinian-Canadian MC has felt increasingly compelled to comment on the state of immigration in the United States and abroad, at one point donating the profits from his merch sales to the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee. “Another Note,” the intro track, features a story from the rapper's youth: “Family in the motel, acting like there's room for eight/That's why I cried when I moved into the new estate.”

Belly’s politics and personal experience as an immigrant are present throughout the album (particularly on the title track and “Street Cathedral”), but they're hardly the rapper’s only angle. His 2017 project, Mumble Rap, solidified him as one of Canada’s most formidable wordsmiths, and he takes us there on “Xion,” spitting, “The flow is sassafras, I had to razzmatazz the wrist/Immigrant, I’m what happens if Aladdin had some bricks.” He brings his singing chops to the woozy R&B of “What Does It Mean,” while dedicating “Who Hurt You,” “All For Me,” and “What You Want” (featuring The Weeknd) to romances past, present, and future, respectively.

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