Big Mike & Belly Death Before Dishonor Vol. 3

Belly is a veteran MC from Ottawa who has parlayed his skills into a grind that has taken him across the boarder and earned him some official connections, namely heavyweight US mix-tape DJ Big Mike. Even though Belly is signed to Capital Prophet Records he’s still flushing both sides of the border with hard-hitting tracks, and Death Before Dishonor 3 is his latest offering. This 23-track disc was recorded in New York and Ottawa, and Belly’s sound is not distinctly American or Canadian, it’s distinctly hard. The beats of Kojak and Beat Merchant are slow and banging with synthesised foundations for the mostly swollen mid-tempos that Belly declares his status over. He can definitely hold his own throughout his own mix-tape as well as with guests like Houston legend Scarface who joins him on "I Swear.” The track has both bulky MCs giving testimony of overcoming obstacles and opposition, and the tone on this one is of two poets weary from a continuous gritty grind where the industry and the street are one. Belly’s sound is distinctly East coat street shit, and each rhyme is straight up and clear — most fittingly played at night in a dangerous environment. Belly definitely proves he’s worth the weight on Death Before Dishonor 3. (Independent)