It’s been well over a decade since the film “Belly” hit the theaters and this Sunday, MTV2 is bringing the Hype Williams’ joint back at 9p/8c, followed by an encore at 1a/12c. The film is a lot of things to a lot of people, considering it featured some of the most famous rappers in the game. According to IMDB, the synopsis of the movie is, “A pair of vicious black gangsters have spiritual awakenings.” Um, OK, that’s not exactly how we remember it, but we’ll tune in on Sunday to be reminded.
So where are the “Belly” cast members now? Some are still a part of your everyday existence, while others will make you say, “WHO?!” Check out our GPS on who’s MIA and who’s not.
Clearly everyone still knows Nas. His career only seemed to go up after this. Well, that’s not entirely true. Three years later in 2001, Nas released the song “Oochie Wally” with the Bravehearts, which damn near ruined his career. Maybe he drank too much of the film Kool-Aid and thought that he could recklessly drop a song like that? Well, the good news is Nasir bounced back (even following a gigantic beef with Jay-Z), and is still the G.O.A.T. to most fans with a Queensbridge zip code. His newest project Life is Good should be dropping sometime this year.
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
The “T” in TLC, T-Boz played Nas’ love interest (remember, they were going to Africa together?). A year after “Belly,” TLC reached their peak with FanMail, chased some “Waterfalls” and all of that. Unfortunately, that would be the last colossal TLC project. Left Eye passed away in 2001, and for a moment the remaining duo wanted a third member through a reality show, T-Boz married rapper Mack 10, ended up with a restraining order for domestic violence and had a brain tumor three years ago. She’s better now, but can’t this girl catch a break?
Is it weird to say that Method Man became the only successful rapper turned actor in this film? He and Redman had “How High” along with the brief “Method & Red” show. Not to mention “Garden State,” “Soul Plane,” “Scary Movie 3,” “Meet the Spartans” and many others. He’s even shown up on “The Wire” and “CSI.” So it’s safe to say Meth has done pretty well for himself on the acting side. Musically he dropped three albums since “Belly,” including 2010′s Wu Massacre alongside Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Who says pot makes you unambitious?
In 1993, Taral Hicks played the infamous “Jane” in the gangster classic “A Bronx Tale.” She popped up in a few other films like “The Preacher’s Wife” with the late Whitney Houston. She even signed a record deal with Motown, after proving she had the chops in HBO’s “Subway Stories,” where she cried and sang to her dying mother through a pay phone. The Gospel community loved her, up until she was dancing like a stripper for DMX in “Belly.” She popped up in a few films after, but according to Wikipedia, Taral is now a teacher in New Jersey.
Just the man you were waiting for. There’s a lot to say about DMX. Remember the scene in “Belly” when he walks into a black light room and all you can see is the whites of his eyes and he looks possessed? Well, that look has followed X’s entire career. His back-to-back debut albums (It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood) happened right around the time of “Belly” and the following year …And Then There Was X. OK, we’re just being kind discussing the music. DMX was arrested like 60 times after this, went crazy for a while and got arrested again. He’s back now though…making music, not in prison.
You forgot that Wee-Bey from “The Wire” was in this movie, didn’t you? It’s easy to forget his role as Mark in the film after “The Wire.” People still call Idris Elba “Stringer Bell,” so you know damn well Wee-Bey isn’t going to move past his nickname either. Hassan has since traveled the cop/hospital drama circuit, with “NYPD Blue,” “ER” and “Law & Order.” He’s also doing some films. Did we mention he was awesome as Wee-Bey in “The Wire”? OK, just checking.
Credit: Getty Images
Not mentioning the director would be like spitting at God. In fact, Hype Williams was God during this time period. He even changed his name to “God” after this film (kidding). Seriously though, Hype’s experimentation with black lights, fish eye lenses and strobes in the film (refer back to the DMX bit) led him to become one of hip-hop’s favorite music video directors. He directed TLC’s video for “No Scrubs” in ’99 (probably as a solid to his film star T-Boz), but really has worked with almost everyone in the game. If you recall last year, his video for Kanye West’s “All Of the Lights” caused seizures in some people. Still testing the limits of those lights, Hype.
The Sucker Free Countdown airs on Sundays at 11a/10c on MTV2. Tune into MTV2 this Sunday at 9p/8c for the premiere of “Belly” followed by an encore at 1a/12c.