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Capone –N-Noreaga: The Band of Brothers

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One of the oldest, most played out statements to proclaim that you want that ol’ New York rap back.  Back? First of all, so-called New York rap never left, but it appears to have been driven underground like Morlocks in the city sewers.  However, in the mid-90’s the subterranean dwellers arose and took over the city with powerful voices, music and an agenda that inspired a generation. Perhaps, this is what people want back. The soldiers.

In 1997, Capone-N-Noreaga released a seminal, revered opus called The War Report. The album was and still is beloved by the streets and cherished by Hip-Hop aficionados for the grit, the fearlessness and the musicality of Capone, Noreaga, as well as the legions of others that helped craft the classic. (Shout out to Tragedy, who is locked down at press time.) Now, they are joining forces to recreate that magic with The War Report II, the sequel.

Capone-N-Noreaga return loaded with a full clip that includes Raekwon, Nas and others to convene to deliver the 2010 war report this summer. So yes, that New York rap is back…guns blazing.

AllHipHop.com: How did you guys come to sign to Raekwon’s label?

Noreaga: I want everybody to be clear. Its not that we signed as artists. The deal is structured, (Thug) Militainment / Ice Water, through EMI. We’re business partners, as opposed to artists. I don’t want people to get it confused.

AllHipHop.com: How does that work?

Noreaga: We’re 50/50 partners. We figured lets merge so for this particular project, Militainment / Ice Water merger.

AllHipHop.com: For this project only?

Noreaga: Yeah.

AllHipHop.com: How did it come about?                        

Noreaga: Just in conversations. We figured why not? We were always cool and they had success in what they did. Me personally, I don’t really understand this independent game. I haven’t had much success independent that I had with a major. With a major, it’s a lazy form of success, because you don’t actually get to learn anything. When I got to learn it, I didn’t get to apply what I learned. This is my chance to learn it through people that have just had success.

AllHipHop.com: Now you did some things with Koch right?

Noreaga: No, I never did any business…(points to Capone…)

Capone: I did a joint with Koch.

AllHipHop.com: How did that work for you, the indie side?

Capone: It was like he had just said: I didn’t know too much. I was just open off the number splits. I didn’t know that when you have your independent situation, you have to have your own money too. That’s real important, to have your own money and your own team.

Noreaga: The best way to explain independence is…have you ever moved (homes) from place to place?

AllHipHop.com: Yeah.

Noreaga: Have you ever moved without hiring movers?

AllHipHop.com: (laughs) Yeah.

Noreaga: That’s what being independent is. If you’ve ever moved with movers, you were mad relaxed that day. “Don’t forget that lamp! Put the pillows with the couch! I want the whole bed set to be there…” You were relaxed. Independent is moving with no movers. You gotta call your boy with the truck, with the hatchback, make sure he’s on time. And nobody’s on time to help another n***a move. He’s taking his time…you gotta do everything on your own. So you know, you break a few lamps the first time…you misplace a headboard. So, now…its lets move together now.

“I f**ked up. R.Kelly done peed on b***hes…forgive me! (all laugh) I’m a jump out of the window kind of n***a! F**k it, lets just jump! “ – Noreaga

AllHipHop.com: Musically, you guys have been done it all from hardcore Hip-Hop to more popish rap to Reggaeton. What are we going to get here?

Capone: Musically, it’s back to the essence with this one. Back to ’95 era…9-7 and all that. We just trying to touch that gritty essence of what made Capone-N-Noreaga, what got us here talking to you talking about we’re doing another War Report. To have loyal fans and have people that respect our music. We don’t have 10 albums in the game…we don’t have five albums… One album made it seem like we have this huge discography…(to Nore) there goes that word again.

Noreaga: Distogafay (tries to say discography)…I can’t say that s**t.

Capone: But that’s what we want to give the people back…the same thing they gave us.

Noreaga: That’s one of the proudest moments of doing this album. This is clearly what the fans want. This is what they request. The best part about it is this is for the fans.

Capone: And the best part about it…that’s really real good is I’m here to do the whole album. (both applause)

Noreaga: But Trag is locked up. (Tragedy, their mentor who was instrumental on the first album.)

Capone: But we got Rae though. Its pieces just getting changed around. Its just time…evolution.

AllHipHop.com: The War Report is a classic album for anybody that knows Hip-Hop. Can you spreak on what it means now, a decade later?

“We want the stab and shoot crowd back. It’s too clean now. Nobody gets stabbed in the club…no shots…no fights…”- Capone

Noreaga: You know, the funniet s**t and this is me speaking for myself. Until I started to do the War Report II, I really couldn’t listen to War Report 1 in its entirety.

AllHipHop.com: Why?

Noreaga: Because it brung pain, yo. I was speaking to EZ ElPee, who did “Blood Money,” he said the most ingenious s**t. He said, “Everything y’all did in y’all life was wrong so it made the music right.” Everything in our life was wrong.

AllHipHop.com: Raekwon proved the possibilities with Only Built 4 Cuban Links II, but how do you all feel you will be accepted in this new era?

Noreaga: You have to grow with your fan base. We can’t be 18 no more. Our fans have jobs…our fans have kids.

Capone: We can make them reminisce.

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Noreaga: I think one of our biggest failures was when we did the “Rotate” record and it was a Nore record, but we tried to put ‘Pone on there.  That ain’t genuine. Our fans ain’t used to that.

AllHipHop.com: You guys are friends and in business. How has that worked for you, staying together, especially since Nore has had so much solo success. How have you maintained that?

Noreaga: I think growing up…like the other day, I had a Spanish show  and ‘Pone comes with me. I’m mad uncomfortable. (Laughs) And I ask the DJ, “You got any Capone-N-Noreaga records?” He was like…”Nahhhh.” So, I tell ‘Pone, “He only got a couple of these Spanish records. I’ma do a couple of them and bounce.” I didn’t think this n***a was gonna come on stage. He came out and was my hype man the whole night. That right there is the key to success. You don’t have to be a part of everything…hold me down. That s**t touched my heart. That was one of our funnest nights together. That’s how groups succeed.

AllHipHop.com: I’m not big on the Reggaeton thing.

Noreaga: I’m not either. I f**ked up. R.Kelly done peed on b***hes…forgive me! (all laugh) I’m a jump out of the window kind of n***a! F**k it, lets just jump! I’ll tell you what: the parties are crazy and nobody’s getting stabbed or shot!

Capone: That’s what we want! We want the stab and shoot crowd back. It’s too clean. Nobody gets stabbed in the club…no shots…no fights…

Noreaga: I don’t want that.

Capone: I want that Tunnel (famous NY club) feeling back!

AllHipHop.com: The feeling!

Noreaga: I want the feeling without the incidents.

 

The original : THE WAR REPORT

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