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Belly Drops New Album Dedicated To Palestine

Featuring Elyanna, Saint Levant, and MC Abdul

A rap icon all throughout the early naughts and 2010s, Canadian-Palestinian rapper Belly has just unveiled his latest sonic project, intended to pay homage to his homeland while shedding light on its struggles.

Dubbed 96 Miles From Bethlehem, the project is described as a “soundtrack detailing the gift, curse, and fate of being Palestinian,” per a shared statement. Named after the artist’s own place of birth Jenin— which is located exactly 96 miles away from Bethlehem— his fourth studio album is to be listened to and understood as “the culmination of a lifetime of experiences, both personal and musical.”

Encapsulating all of Belly’s journey until today, his sonic plea comes across as an ode to resistance, supported by a rich slate of collaborators. This includes Palestinian flag-bearers Saint Levant, Elyanna, and MC Abdul, alongside Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, and more.

 

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Une publication partagée par Belly (@belly)

Through nine carefully put together songs, the Grammy-nominated rapper, who was the first signee to The Weeknd’s XO label in 2015, is proving that with great popularity comes the responsibility to speak up and amplify the stories of those that are too often overlooked and marginalized. What’s more, it has also been revealed that all profits from this album will be donated to “organizations supporting various Palestinian relief efforts.”

Available to stream from today, if there’s one project to make sure to save and listen to this weekend, it’s undoubtedly this one.

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