A few days ago, Vlad the Revealer asked Yolanda to scope out a massive home recently sold to a trust. Who could the buyer be, the curious, dewy-eyed fella wondered. Records show the San Fernando Valley property — 1.2 acres of mostly flat land — features a brand-new mansion and went for $3,875,000, which is a big number for the Tarzana neighborhood.
Always up for a challenge, Yolanda was only too glad to oblige. Soon we discovered that the proud new owner is a rapper turned songwriter named Ahmad Balshe — better known by his stage name, Belly.
We’d never before heard of Mr. Belly, but props on the unique moniker. (It’s short for “Rebellyus”, in case anyone was wondering). And if the name conjures up images of a rather, um, large person — know that Mr. Belly is actually not obese at all, especially following his recent weight loss.
Anyway, it only took a couple minutes of Googlin’ for Yolanda to realize that Mr. Belly is a seriously major deal in the music industry. Although he loves to rap and perform — he’s released two studio albums and eleven mixtapes over the past dozen plus years — his biggest successes (by far) have been in the songwriting department. And that’s a good thing for his bank account. As any successful musician will tell y’all, the big money in this industry is made in writing. Those fat royalty checks have rewarded countless folks with the gift of prose (or whatever) with stupendous wealth.
Mr. Belly is signed to music phenom The Weeknd’s XO record label and snagged eleven co-writing credits on his two most recent albums, both of which were huge hits. He’s also signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label (since 2015) and co-wrote the critically-lauded song “6 Inch” from Beyoncé’s mega-successful album Lemonade. And he’s received credit for the hits of many other R&B/hip-hop artists, as well.
So for anyone wondering how this dude can afford a nearly $4 million mansion, there you go. And let’s be real — when you co-write a Beyoncé hit single, kids, the music industry’s doors slam open fast enough to blow your knickers off. And soon you can afford any house you want. That’s the power of Ms. Knowles.
Born in Palestine to a Muslim family and raised in Ottawa, Canada, 34-year-old Mr. Belly is single (we think) and has no children at the present. But he does have more than 600,000 followers on the Instagram contraption. So even better.
The brand-new mansion — it’s of no particular architectural style, unless “real damn big” is a style — spans approximately 8,000-square-feet of living space and sits securely behind walls and security camera-equipped gates. There are six beds and seven baths, plenty of space for a typical entourage.
If you ask us, this portly ol’ gurl looks as though she could stand to shed a few pounds. She’s bulging at the seams! Just call her Villa Belly.
And pity about those garage doors — you’d think the developer could’ve slapped them on the side and out of sight rather than right up front, especially with all the land available here. They kinda lend the place a warehouse vibe, don’t they? Oh well.
Our final quibble is that this place is very grey, inside and out. We hope our Mr. Belly will bring some cheerful art and furniture to liven up the rather dreary color scheme.
On the other hand, the vast interior spaces are undeniably luxurious. There’s a family room that opens to the backyard via a disappearing wall of glass, a screening room, double-height living and dining areas, and a temperature-controlled wine storage room.
The kitchen flaunts top-of-the-line appliances and expensive quartz countertops, although those hanging light fixtures appear a wee bit undersized to Yolanda.
The master suite sports a fireplace and sitting area in the bedroom, steam shower and soaking tub in the bathroom, two walk-in closets, a gym, and a balcony overlooking the expansive grounds.
The beauty of the San Fernando Valley is the amount of space you can get for the cash. Check out that huge backyard! The 1.2 acres also include the grassy hillside behind the pool — on top of that hill is a secondary flat plot of land (not pictured). That undeveloped pad is also part of Mr. Belly’s estate and the listing mentions that building a “N/S tennis court may be possible.” Of course, we really don’t know what (if anything) Mr. Belly intends to do with that land.
Just try finding a property this size on the Westside for under $4 million. Ain’t gonna happen!
Listing agents: Elaine Selko & Francine Meyberg, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Belly’s agent: Angel Salvador, Rodeo Realty