Do or Die member
Belo is preparing The Truth, due out on The Legion Records/Asylum/WMG.The
album could be the final release before a stint in prison as the Chicago-based
rapper, born Darnell Smith, is charged with the first-degree murder for the Nov.
2002 murder of Raynard Pinkston.Belo's
murder case drew national attention, when the rapper's girlfriend Felicia Hamilton,
34, was charged with two felony counts of communication with a witness and obstruction
of justice, for allegedly paying off witnesses in the case.Police
say four witnesses were paid various amounts, ranging from $500 to $1,000 to recant
their previous testimony. Hamilton was arrested after one of the witnesses wore
a wire to a meeting where she allegedly instructed him "not to come to the
to Belo, The Truth, which is the first solo release from any member of
the critically acclaimed group Do or Die, expresses a side that was held back
on previous releases. “I
picked The Truth because a lot of the stuff I wanted to express I couldn’t
express when I was doing albums with Do or Die,” Belo said. “I wanted
to touch on some topics that were real truthful, that were really real, as to
why I call it The Truth. I had never gotten a chance to touch on my personal
spirituality. A lot of people don’t know that side of me because they hear
me rapping laid-back and smooth. I have done a lot on the streets, but they don’t
know the street side and the stuff that I’ve gone through in life.”As
a member of Do or Die, Belo and the group released seven albums and have recorded
with such rap heavyweights as Twista, Kanye West, Scarface, Ja Rule and others.
platinum selling single "Po Pimp" featuring Twista was a hit in 1996.
first single from The Truth is "Exclusive," which features Johnny
P. and production by The Legendary Traxster. “What
makes Belo’s project so provoking is that his style is very unique within
the group and within the industry,” said The Legion Records' owner Rudy Acosta.
“For him to be the first one of the group to come out with a solo album,
it’s exciting to see the direction he’s taking. He’s got that smooth,
pimp feel, but he also takes it to the streets. It’s a great combination.”Belo
has been out on bail for the alleged murder and is due in court on Oct. 3. The
Truth is scheduled to hit stores on Oct. 17.