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Streets is Talking: N.O.R.E. Part Two

AllHipHop.com: So coming into the release of The Reunion, I hear Tom Silverman, the owner of Tommy Boy, mistreats you…N.O.R.E.: It got beyond [mistreatment]. At the end of the day, when you a record label, you get funded by someone else. Very seldom people fund themselves.  So Penalty Records was a label that was fully owned by Tommy Boy. Tommy Boy was a label that was fully owned by Warner Brothers. So Warner looked at their sales and said, “There’s no need to keep Tommy Boy open, we’ll just take Capone N Noreaga with us.” So Tom tells them, “I’m going to get CNN to come to us. And I’m going to keep that revenue going, so instead of them dropping Tommy Boy, Tommy Boy drops Penalty.” We had a meeting at Mr. Chow’s in New York City, Queen Latifah was there too. Tom was all nonchalantly like, “You are no longer on Penalty Records; y’all with me now, pass the bread.” [Laughs] The part that hurt the most was that it was the week before The Reunion dropping. So you go to think about it, if you got 20 people working on your project and the next day they fired, how the hell you going to get these new 20 people focused like they were?  AllHipHop.com: Didn’t Queen Latifah warn you about him being a slime ball?N.O.R.E.: Yeah she warned us about him being a slimeball, but we had no choice the album was coming out that Tuesday. At the restaurant they charged him 10 cents more than they were supposed to. He stood there for an hour and made sure they took the 10 cents off. I ain’t trying to be funny or nothing; he’s serious with that s**t – he makes a penny scream, for real!AllHipHop.com: How did you get out of the contract?N.O.R.E.: We got out the contract by going to Tommy Boy offices and ordering a hundred pizzas or three thousand burgers. We didn’t beat up these n***as up, we just went up there and made it unbearable to deal with us. We were just there smoking weed in there, running through the office, peeing in the corners, scaring the mail boy. We were doing very d**khead s**t to get released. He made it so hard for us to get released, he stopped coming to work.AllHipHop.com: Around that time Nas already ethered Jay. He was supposed to perform at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert but Hot 97 wanted to pull the plug on Nas’s stage show. Nas goes on Power 105 to vent and then throws you under the bus saying your album was wack. How did that make you feel?N.O.R.E.: I was crushed, I hurt me. I knew he was mad and he apologized later on in life, but I don’t think I accepted that apology. I wanted that apology. But the crazy s**t is he’s on that album (“Hit Me Slime”), the first voice you heard was him! What kind of idiot move was that? I felt like, “Damn, is this the level we at?” I was at Def Jam at the time and I can’t say the persons name, but when he was supposed to come on at Hot 97 to show Jay-Z hanging, it was some Def Jam n***as pulling the plug on that. Me and Foxy Brown are on the radio saying we going to hold you down Nas, nobody going to pull the plug on you on one station and he throwing me under the bus on the other station. I felt terrible, because this is someone that could of came to me like a man and told me that. I know I how it is at the heat of the moment and you mad at people but you don’t throw your family under the bus. I was crushed. And what hurt the most is I was still in the middle of my promotional tour and every stop at radio people would ask me, “What’s up with you and Nas?” And I wasn’t saying anything bad about the dude; I never said nothing. I held my composure until I couldn’t any more. AllHipHop.com: Did your boys want to ride out on him?N.O.R.E.: You know how that is! [Laughs] You always got a d**khead in your crew who don’t understand your relationship with this man and always want to bring it to a different extent. I can’t let nobody hurt Nas, I wouldn’t be a man if I let that happen. That’s between me and him.  AllHipHop.com: Shortly after that, you start running with Dame Dash. How did you hook up with him?N.O.R.E.: Well Dame was waiting for his car to pull up and he just chilled and I was there talking to my n***as. And he’s like, “N.O.R.E. your movie [is] ready,” and told me he was going to put me in one of his movies and he didn’t lie, he asked me if I wanted to be in Paid In Full. I was so open. My role in that movie was all made up just for me. I  didn’t read anything from the script, it’s all me. I made all that sh*t up. I just know the key to acting is to exaggerate it.  AllHipHop.com: Rewind a little bit, what was the dark side of Dame Dash like?N.O.R.E.: I f**ks with Dame, but I f**ks with Biggs so much more. Not dissing Dame, but I understood Biggs. I wish Biggs would of came to me and said, “N.O.R.E., this is how it is.”  What happened was Dame Dash and Chris Lighty had past time beef. I’m loyal to Chris.  Chris took it upon himself to have a secret meeting with Jay-Z. What happened in that secret meeting was that Jay said, “N.O.R.E. couldn’t be on no Dame Dash record label,” and Chris is like, “Okay, I didn’t know that N.O.R.E. is on Dame Dash record label.” Jay told Chris like, “Listen, legally, N.O.R.E. has never signed to the ROC because there was no contract exchanged. N.O.R.E. is a Def Jam artist so it wasn’t going to go down.” What happened was I came to see Dame, and Dame flipped on me like I did it. Like, “Yo N.O., they got me looking foul up there.” And I had to tell him, “With all due respect, please don’t talk to me like that. Don’t raise your voice at me, treat me with respect and I’ll treat you the same in return.” Things got a little heated. But when I look at it today, he was right. Because Jay told Chris they were secretly dropping Dame’s situation and if you want N.O.R.E. there, then that’s on you. But if you don’t, we want him on Def Jam. It took me a year or two to see how it actually looked, and it did look bad.  AllHipHop.com: When’s the last time you spoken to Dash?N.O.R.E.: I spoke to Dash the other day, I hit the n***a on the two-way. We been spoke about it. I don’t want to have bad blood with nobody. I tried to reach out to Nas too. He hasn’t returned the phone call, but at least I let him know in that situation I was wrong as well.AllHipHop.com: Did you have to give the Roc-A-Fella chain back?N.O.R.E.: I threw that s**t in the garbage. One day I was in 40/40 and something went wrong with the Roc La Familia situation, and I took off the chain, I took off the chain and let everyone see it and threw it in the garbage.  AllHipHop.com: So let’s get back to you and Pone’s situation. When I spoke to ‘Pone when he was promoting his Pain Time & Glory album, he didn’t throw you under the bus but he made it clear there was some type of separation between the two of you. What led to that separation?N.O.R.E.: I’m going to be honest because I’m not trying to gas you up but everything in this story has been on point, and you deserve to know the truth. I was a little salty because when he came home from jail, he had signed papers to ownership of Thugged Out Militainment, you feel me? He signed papers in our accountant’s office and had lawyers look over everything. We had this label Thugged Out and I got salty when he started Pain Time And Glory [Entertainment] and didn’t do the same for me, you feel me? I got a little mad.  Martin, I’m not a robot, I got feelings! I’m like, “N***a, you own this company with me then he started a whole different company Pain Time and Glory.” I may have been wrong for being salty, but that’s not what I wanted for us. I wanted to ride out together. “I waited for you to come home to ride out with me not to ride out on your own!” I should have thought more about it and we should of kicked it. At the end of the day, it’s hard enough for us to be partners let alone friends from two different hoods that don’t get along.  When he didn’t ask me to be apart of PTE, I was mad. I’m human, my dude, I’m sure I didn’t mean it on purpose, but I was mad I can’t lie. We worked it out and talked it out.  AllHipHop.com: So like about a year and some change ago I hear you see Nas at some party and hit him over the head with a flowerpot. What happened?N.O.R.E.: Right. At the end of the day, I blame Puff Daddy. [Laughs] Nah, me and Puff had Patron beef.  Puff see me at the club and me and this n***a downs two bottles of Patron. I don’t even know if he remembers this s**t. I got a bottle Patron – and mind you I don’t even drink Patron; that’s for girls to me. I drink Jose Cuervo. So we down that s**t and I’m in the club hyped as hell, and I’m f**king [with] Nas the whole time. It was really some sucker s**t on my behalf, to tell the truth, because I seen Nas a couple of days before and I was at a restaurant and Nas ran up on me. He gave me a hug and we went outside and talked. People were so happy to see us outside talking. He called L.A. Reid and told him let him help N.O.R.E.’s project. At the end of the day when I seen him at the party, all I could think of is that Power 105 interview and that was some sucker s**t on my behalf. He apologized for throwing my name under the bus for what he did and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to him, to his wife, to his family, and everybody that had to go through that. What I want people to get from when they finish reading this interview is that N.O.R.E. is a human being and he makes mistakes. Only a man can say sorry when he is wrong. A coward says, “F**k it.” At the end of day I don’t have beef with Nas because you have to hate the person you have with beef with, and how can I have beef with someone I love? I love Nas. That day I saw Nas at the restaurant, we were going to do “Body In The Trunk” part two, brother.  AllHipHop.com: It never popped off?N.O.R.E.: Nah. [Laughs] I don’t think it ever will. [Laughs] If the man never talks to me or we never had words again, I would say that’s how life was supposed to turn out. Other than that, I’m not going to say what happened that night or if it even happened that night. I apologize to him, everybody, Jungle. I even spoke to Jungle and he didn’t bring it up. I also tried to reach out Nas. This is something I am ashamed of as a man.  AllHipHop.com: So let’s talk about the new album Noreality.N.O.R.E.: [Laughs] Yeah, we talked about everything else. Basically I have a lot to prove on this album. A lot people started to doubt me like I can’t do Hip-Hop anymore, like I’m only doing this Spanish s**t. I sat back and went to Miami and did five records a night. I got the “Cocaine Cowboys” on there; I got this joint called “Drink Champion” because I am rap’s drinking champion. E-40 beat me twice and I beat him twice, so we call that even, but there’s none one who’s beaten me. You got to send me out in stretcher. My man Benzino, I out-drank him. My man Prodigy [of Mobb Deep] has come to the studio and drank with me and literally fell out. My man Nature thought he died in my vocal booth. I got a joint called “Pop A Pill” talking about all the ecstasy s**t going on. I got Kanye kicking hardcore rhymes on. I really wanted to give back to the hood before I gave to the radio and the clubs. This is my updated version of War Report.  This is N.O.R.E.’s reality. 

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