Narratively, Belly's tale of two drug-dealing friends expanding their business and waging turf wars was incomprehensible. There are escapades to Atlanta and Kingston, Jamaica, and a subplot involving an assassination attempt on civil-rights activist Dr. Ben Chavis. When DMX isn't grunting and barking out rants to his underlings, Nas stares vacantly like a comatose version of Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II. Where music-video superstar Hype Williams impressed was in his visual aesthetic. He emptied his bag of tricks, from his famed fisheye-lens technique (best captured in a promising opening sequence set to Soul II Soul's "Back to Life") to the sooty outdoor sequences that made the film seem like a blurry dream. Under his direction, Belly displayed all the tropes of hip-hop's late-Nineties jiggy era and its ethos of nouveau-rich thuggin' — even if the film's actual content didn't fulfill its promise.