Belly stars Nas and T-Boz Watkins joined the 1998 crime drama's director Hype Williams for a 20th-anniversary discussion of the film at ComplexCon.
During the chat, Willaims explained that DMX's Tommy 'Buns' Bundy role almost went to who is now an even bigger music industry figure, JAY-Z.
“Were it not to be DMZ, everybody pressed for it to be Hov,” Hype said during the interview. “But back in time remember Hov didn’t pop yet. He wasn’t JAY Z, he was Jay Z, and if you know him, Hov is a real hustler. He comes from a real place. We were working with Def Jam and it was logical for it to be him."
The idea of JAY-Z and Nas working together on a movie cracked up the crowd. But that was a few years before their famous feud had reached the point of no return. In fact, if the New York rivals had spent a few weeks getting to know each other on a movie set they may have never gone in on each other like they eventually did.
1998 JAY-Z & Nas as co-stars would've been something— JAY-Z Daily (@JAY_Z_Daily) November 5, 2018
Hype Williams says JAY-Z was considered to play Tommy 'Buns' Bundy in "Belly"#ComplexCon
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