Jay-Z Clears Up Rumor That He Was Supposed to Play DMX’s Character in 'Belly'

Hov said he hated acting and felt he would get in his own way if he seriously considered acting.

(Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images), (Photo by Jerod Harris / WireImage)

Jay-Z has cleared the air over the longstanding rumors that he was supposed to play DMX's character in the 1998 film Belly, which Hype Williams directed.

During his conversation with Complex honoring Williams' iconic work as a music video director, the Roc Nation boss explained the rumors are exactly what they are. He was not supposed to play the late DMX's character, and he never considered it because he felt he "hated" acting and felt he would step on his own toes when it came to the big screen motion pictures.

"That's a rumor. Again, because of how guarded I was, I hated acting," Jay-Z said. "This is why I don't act, because I would get in my way. I would be thinking, 'No, I don't wanna do something that I ain't gonna look cool.' But you know, I was young and immature. Or I was young mentally."

He added, "You know, if you see our own movies, I was in for like 30 seconds and I wasn't even speaking. I had no idea how Nas did that because I felt like he was in the same place as me. But he did it, and he made it work. But I never was meant to be in Belly. I don't even know where that came from."

Whenever Jay-Z did appear in a movie, his role was very limited. In the 2002 film State Property, Hov played a mild-mannered hustler who spoke very little regarding business. Jay also had a cameo role in the 2002 film Paper Soldiers, where Kevin Hart breaks into his home to steal some items.

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In that same conversation with Complex, Hov revealed he was once mad at Williams for giving him a music video quote for $1.8 million. At the time, Roc-A-Fella Records were shooting videos for $20,000 as they were still independent, so they had to be mindful of budgets.

"He said the number, and I think it was, like, $1.8 million or something," Jay told Complex. "And I was like, 'Hype, come on, bro.' Like I got mad at him. Like are you trying to play me? You think I'm dumb?"

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