On November 4, 1998—15 years ago today—Belly hit theaters, marking Hype Williams' debut as a film director. The movie encompasses everything you love (and maybe hate) about a Hype Williams music video: flashy and entertaining, but ultimately a little superficial and far-fetched. The main question heading in was whether or not Nas, DMX, and a host of other performers-turned-actors could hold our attention (and their respective characters) for over 90 minutes. The answer is...well, it depends on your perspective. To some, it's the most leaden, cringe-inducing acting of all time; to others, the performances are part of what make Belly a modern-day cult classic.
Regardless of the acting, the characters have stood the test of time in hip-hop lore, from the morally conflicted Sincere and the violent Tommy “Buns” Bundy to bit parts like the lollipop-sucking Kionna and the strip-club-shooting Shameek. (And damn, yo: Taral Hicks.) So who would play these roles if Belly came out in 2013? The image above should offer some clues, but click on to see who else we would cast in our imagined remake...
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