cnn-3

Capone-N-Noreaga: Still Reporting

Almost a decade ago CNN prophesized that a “Change Is Gonna Come.” Not to be confused with the media outlet home

to Larry King, the hood’s CNN comprised of Capone and Noreaga

have gone through much tribulation and are back with Channel 10, their first album since 2000’s The Reunion.

 

Since then, the duo has gone through more than a few formidable

changes and experiences. They’ve survived a well documented street beef with

Junior Mafia, weathered through a friendship that’s been perceived more as a

marriage, and have grown artistically and as men.

 

Reporting live from one of downtown Manhattan’s finest

Italian eateries, the newly converted vegan N.O.R.E. broke his beliefs for a

plate eggplant parmesean and Capone introduced some

Italian chefs to his “spicy ketchup,” all while speaking with unfiltered honesty

on the latest news related to the Queens natives.

 

Though, now residing in different states the evidence was

all too real that Capone and Noreaga are back with

just cause to build on the CNN legacy.

 

 

AllHipHop.com:  How’s does it feel to not have dropped

an album since 2000 with Reunion and

know that Hip-Hop is still hungry for the new CNN album?

 

Capone: It’s the

best feeling in the world because in reality fans will cut you off in a

heartbeat. For us to be around for over a decade, and still have fans fiendin’ for another album is incredible.

 

Noreaga: The new album is titled Channel 10 which used to be the channel

for CNN News in Queens and we’ve been incorporating the name since the War Report days. The original title was

going to be Report the War, but we

wanted a fresh name and we wanted to venture out and not do all War Report  type

things. And the more we recorded, the more we realized this isn’t Report the War. So Channel 10 really just took on it’s own identity. Report The War will be our next album.

 Capone-N-Noreaga “The Argument” Video

AllHipHop.com: CNN’s

been in the game since 96’, yall have been through

several labels, beefs, bids in jail, almost everything. What have you learned

about the music business and what label is Channel

10 being released on?

 

Noreaga: I got to see the whole business clear

this time around by me being away from people, not drinking anymore, and not

having a record on radio. Certain people that I

thought were my friends stopped calling. But now that I’m back, the same people

are calling again and it made me realize that saying is true, “You are only as

good as your last hit.” I lived through it, some of

your closest people will turn your back on you. I think sometimes we forget this

our job, even though it may be the best job.

 

Capone:  The label is SMC, and they’re doing a

great job on our project, we’ve been through several deals. Honestly, Tommy Boy

was the best situation we’ve ever been in. At the time they were a major label

and they had the capitol to really push us to our best potential and be the

most productive. It ain’t about the label though, it’s

about the people.

 

Nore: We not from the ringtone era! We ain’t here to sell ringtones

 

Capone:  We just got to continue to make the

records and continue to be who we are.  No, matter how hot you are or how big

you are, you can’t conform and give up who you are. That’s what we do and

continue to stay as individuals and not follow trends.  With a label like SMC everybody there

is hands on.

 

AllHipHop.com: Did

y’all feel pressure to keep the music and formula the same and just make that

classic Champion hoody and Timbs

music. Or maybe change things for a bit more of a universal

sound to appeal to younger fans?

 

Nore: I got on a Champion hoody and Timbs right now…

 

Capone: Ain’t no change for us, we didn’t

come out making music like Jay, Nas, Mobb Deep or whoever. Fans respect us for being different.

The Channel 10 album has music for

everybody.

Capone-N-Noreaga “Phone Time” Video

AllHipHop.com: What

about autotune, should it die in ‘09 or continue to

live?

 

Nore: 

It’s living, I think everybody got their own way of using it. The reason

why I like Ron Browz using autotune

is because he’s using it in a New York way. Ron Browz

is making it sound almost like Harlem, you just hear

it coming out. I think it’s going to stick around. It’s been in reggaeton, but I don’t sound too good in autotune,

so I’m careful with it.

 

AllHipHop.com: What

were some of the biggest challenges in recording this album together after all

this time?

 

Nore: 

I think that we’re different people, but we’ll never change certain

things about us. Sometimes he does things I just don’t understand and vice versa,

but we still brothers ‘til the end.

 

Capone: It really

wasn’t anything too challenging. We had arguments, but then we make records

about it. From the day we agreed to do the album, we put our focus together to

our advantage.  After all this

time, we know what we don’t like about each other, and we still don’t like it

but we are able to deal with it because our bond is there.

 

AllHipHop.com: Nore, you recently called out Vlad

TV for stirring up the Ransom vs. Joe Budden Beef. Do

you feel like these media outlets influence so called “Hip-Hop Beefs” and

should held responsible if some kind of violence occurs?

 

Nore: Vlad is my

dude and y’all seen me throw him under the bus. I still respect him, but I was

serious when I said he instigated this beef again. And I agree that he is a

journalist. I told him off camera that we just don’t need this right now. I’m

so sick of seeing people on YouTube bustin’ guns and

talking tough. I’m from an era where we didn’t do none

of that. With us you heard about our beefs like with Junior Mafia

, it’s in the actual news, there’s newspaper clippings, you can Google

it. Yet there isn’t one diss record from us against

them. Not one!

 

Capone: I ain’t the most computer savy

dude, and I ain’t all over the blogs, but I ain’t with putting all that negative s**t on there with the

fake beefs.  I’m not on there to

start controversy. You talk about me and it’s real beef. To tell you the truth,

most of these dudes ain’t

got felonies, records, and ain’t been through what I

been through.

 

AllHipHop.com: This

CNN album comes at a crucial time for New York Hip-Hop. I’d hate to say NY went

somewhere, but NY’s definitely in need to get back to its roots, which CNN is a

big part of. Is there pressure…

 

Capone: The only

reason there’s some pressure is because we ain’t dropped a group album since 2000. But we still

work like new artists, and we still wanted by the fans like new artists. We

don’t have to drop a new album every year, other groups do.

 

Nore: I don’t want people to get confused

with the first single “Rotate” because it sounds more radio ready. But with the

first two CNN albums, I don’t think we’ve ever had big radio records. And “Rotate”

is getting 500,000 spins. And people killed us for the record with the Shawty Lo. But I was fiendin’ for

us have a party rocker together. I just love to perform and get people hype.

And “Rotate” that was the last record added to the album for that reason. The

whole rest of the album is champion hoodie music and

all that s**t.

AllHipHop.com: A

lot of New York crews have crumbled. How important is CNN to the New York rap

scene and what do you think keeps fans drawn to you?

 

Capone: We didn’t

team up with any big names. We one of the few left who ain’t got a Jay-Z, or a 50 Cent backing them. It’s

still just Capone and Noreaga, we still here off our

own merit. Even when we were first coming into the game it was just us two. There’s

only about five rap artists selling platinum. So I don’t care about

record sales. I wouldn’t want to be in a predicament where I owe somebody. We are  our own

bosses.

 

Nore: One of the most powerful things in

life is something called belief. Our fans really believe in us. I remember a

fan sent me some footage of a guy and his crew was called thugged

out too and this dude got married to my music. He and his wife walked out to

“what what what what.” And

now I’m so embarrased by it because this dude

believed in me so much that he thought I would get married to my own music too.

Wrong! I got married to slow jams! And I hate slow jams! (laughs)

 

AllHipHop.com: Nore, you gave AllHipHop your Top

5 Dead or Alive late last year, but Capone who are your top 5?

 

Capone: Raekwon, Rakim, Slick Rick, I

might get shot for this right here. Can I get six? I need six man. Biggie and Pac…and Kanye West. I might get shot for that, man. But I

like the dude.

 

Nore: And in my new top five I’m still

including Lil Wayne and I’m adding Tim Dogg, that’s for

all you f**kin’ bloggers!

 

AllHipHop.com: We

recently spoke to Alchemist, and he mentioned how you were all in the studio

together when you recorded “Bang Bang” with Foxy Brown. Was that a co-sign on

the beef on CNN’s end?

 

Capone: Fox wrote

her verse in the bathroom I remember…

 

Nore: The funny thing is we didn’t really

know she was going to go at Kim… nah that would be lying. I knew she was going

to say something about Kim, but she said worse s**t about her, like she went in

before. But the version we used was the less disrespectful version. I knew the

record was going to be a problem because “Quiet Storm” had just come out and

this was like her rebuttal to Kim’s verse. Mobb Deep

didn’t take no disrespect to it and we didn’t take no

disrespect to it. We all thought that Kim was going at Charlie Baltimore. And

to this day there isn’t a video to “Bang Bang.”  So we’ll leave it at that.

 

AllHipHop.com: Y’all

are two guys that actually knew Biggie when he was

alive, and certainly repped with B.I.G. when  LA and New

York were at odds. With the Notorious

movie about to drop, can y’all share any of your earliest Biggie memories?

 

Nore: I remember right after we recorded

“LA LA,” I told B.I.G., “Yo, we just went at them n****s, we went at them hard!. And he told me, “No!” It was like the exact opposite of

what he wanted. It was like if you were in school saying I did all my homework,

and the teacher says, “You should of just did half!” When Big

said that s**t, it f**ked me up. 

We were always the ones cheering and screaming “East coast!” And as a

fan I was tired of the disrespect that New York was getting and that B.IG. was

getting because he always held us down. So when I told him we went at them, he

was like, “Nah don’t do it.” “LA LA” was just a mixtape record, it had no intentions

of being a leaked record. It was for Stretch Armstrong, a Bad Boy mixtape. And not only Did Stretch Armstrong tell Puff, “Nah

I don’t want to use that record,” but DJ’s weren’t playing it.  Next thing I know 2Pac did an interview

where he dissed Funkmaster

Flex, and he said f**k it I’m breaking the record. I used to see B.I.G. all the

time in The Tunnel and “Juicy” was my favorite song at the time, so every time

I would see him you gotta

spit a verse for me like a groupie. (laughs)

 

Capone: We was in

North Carolina and Nas, Mobb

Deep, Biggie and Keith Murray had a show, before I even got a deal and before

anyone knew that I rapped. This was the same show that sparked the Mobb Deep vs. Murray Beef. So we all at the hotel chilling

in one room, and we look out outside across the balcony. On his balcony B.I.G. was in his boxers

dancing, rocking out. He was just a big funny dude, a real prankster. B.I.G. just had so much charisma. And we got kicked out the

hotel that night.

Capone-N-Noreaga f/ Tragedy & Havoc “LA, LA”

AllHipHop.com: Capone,

he actually wanted to sign you back than right?

 

Capone: I waited

for B.I.G. outside Hot 97 one night, and he came out I ran up to him like, “Yo Big, Yo Big. You gotta hear me spit.” His mans was reaching and all of that.

But I was just like all I want to do is spit for you, so I did and he went absolutely

crazy, just wiling out

 

Nore: Tragedy was hatin!

 

Capone: (laughs) Trag was hatin, I remember he was

with Cease and D-Roc, and D-Roc was standing there in goon mode. And I’m

thinking he bulls**tting and I ain’t never going to see B.I.G. again. But he took my

number down and everything. At that same show in North Carolina, we were

all chilling and B.I.G. goes to Nas like, “You know

this dude from Queensbridge, Capone?,

he could rhyme.” Nas was like, “Nah I only know one

Capone from Queensbridge and he bust his gun and all

that.” Then Biggie turns around like, “Oh s**t, it’s you,” and started going

crazy. This was before everything.Capone-N-Noreaga “T.O.N.Y.” VideoAllHipHop.com: Is

there a CNN & Biggie track somewhere in the vault?

 

Nore: Biggie was supposed to be on “T.O.N.Y.’s” remix. I remembered B.I.G.

called me one day, and he had “T.O.N.Y.” playing in the background and I was

like, “How the f**k you get the record.” And he was like, “Son I’m going to

body this verse, body it.” I didn’t even care about the verse at that moment,

but I wanted to know how he got the record. But the same producer [Nashiem Myrick] who did “Who Shot Ya?”

did “TONY.” Unfortunately though, he didn’t live long enough to record his

verse.

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