Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Capone-n-Noreaga

Queens rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga enjoyed massive street credibility with the release of their debut album, The War Report, which earned them a devoted following in the hardcore rap world. Capone (born Kiam Holley) and Noreaga (born Victor Santiago) grew up in the projects of Queensbridge and LeFrak City, respectively, and endured rough childhoods and multiple run-ins with the law. They met in 1992 while serving kitchen duty together at Collins Correctional Facility in New York, and became friends; upon their release, they decided to team up as rappers, taking their performing names from two legendary gangsters. In 1996, they signed with Penalty Records; their first release was the single "Illegal Life," and they next teamed up with Mobb Deep for "L.A., L.A.," another salvo in the East Coast/West Coast feud.Before their debut album was completed, Capone was sent back to prison for violating his parole on a weapons possession charge. Noreaga finished The War Report on his own, and it was a substantial underground success upon its release in 1997, making the R&B Top Five and going gold. With Capone incarcerated, the duo's thugged-out image rang true, and the singles "Closer" and "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)" saw some action on the rap charts. Noreaga capitalized on the album by starting a solo career, but remained loyal to Capone, visiting his friend often and giving Capone executive producer credits on the two popular solo albums (N.O.R.E. and Melvin Flynt — Da Hustler) he recorded over 1998-1999. Capone was released from prison in early 1999, and the two immediately reteamed for the much-anticipated The Reunion, which was released in 2000 on Tommy Boy. Dissatisfied with the promotion, Capone-N-Noreaga asked to be released from their contract and signed with Def Jam in 2001. Later that year, Capone ran into further trouble with the law; he was charged with assault following a nightclub brawl involving gunfire in Queens, but the charge was dropped due to lack of evidence. Not long after the incident, he was arrested at a Greensboro, NC, airport for possession of marijuana, but avoided jail time. Noreaga released his third solo album, God's Favorite, in 2002, and Capone was reportedly working on his own solo debut at the same time.
Capone-N-Noreaga - The War Report (Jun 17, 1997: Penalty)
As Capone-N-Noreaga — which naturally translates into the clever initials CNN — were recording their debut album, Capone was sent to jail, leaving Noreaga to handle the majority of The War Report himself, with the occasional help of such stars as Nas. It's a testament to the talents of both Capone and Noreaga that C's absence is barely felt and The War Report turns into a stellar debut. Both rappers have a distinctive rhythmic style and aren't afraid to deviate from traditional hardcore rap themes. Nor are they constrained by musical stereotypes, since The War Report explodes with impressionistic samples, gritty and evocative loops, and funky rhythms. The only thing that makes The War Report a disappointment is the knowledge that it would have been an even better album if Capone had been able to participate in the entire recording. As it stands, it's merely superb.



Capone-n-Noreaga - The Reunion (Nov 21, 2000: Tommy Boy)
For an example of how dramatically hip-hop's tectonic plates shift, look no further than Capone-N-Noreaga. Just a mere three years prior to the release of Reunion, the group's debut, The War Report, had Capone and Noreaga poised to become one of New York's most promising thug outfits. However, their wings were clipped by the lengthy prison stay Capone began serving shortly before the release of their debut, an artistic death sentence that prohibited the crew from being able to release a follow-up until Reunion. Aided by two commercially successful solo endeavors, Noreaga has attempted to keep the embers warm for Capone-N-Noreaga's aptly titled Reunion. Yet, for a crew that should be chomping at the bit to regain its previous stature, that hunger does not correlate here. However, The Reunion does have an upside, exemplified by the frenetic "Bang Bang" featuring Foxy Brown and the essential DJ Premier-laced "Invincible." But these tracks merely quell the monotony for brief stretches. Contributions from close-knit associates — Nas ("B EZ") and production from Mobb Deep's Havoc ("Gunz in da Air") — do little to lighten the load, and their contributions are more detrimental than beneficial. Eager to quickly capitalize on Capone's release, The Reunion sounds like a hurried project, one where the material has been compromised just to get product on the streets. With The Reunion, Capone-N-Noreaga take a step backward.

The Best of Capone-N-Noreaga: Thugged da F*@# Out












2 be continued...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rvirkTyJ8k

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rvirkTyJ8k

Capone QB said...

Capone QB Digimixcast
http://www.digimixcast.com/

Anonymous said...

& what about Tragedy Khadafi, men? he appears on War report more than Capone!!