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 hoods CNN comprised of Capone and Noreaga
have gone through much tribulation and are back with Channel 10, their first album since 2000s The Reunion.
Since then, the duo has gone through more than a few formidable
changes and experiences. Theyve survived a well documented street beef with
Junior Mafia, weathered through a friendship thats been perceived more as a
marriage, and have grown artistically and as men.
Reporting live from one of downtown Manhattans 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: Hows 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: Its 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 weve 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 isnt Report the War. So Channel 10 really just took on its own identity. Report The War will be our next album.
Capone-N-Noreaga "The Argument" Video
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 Im 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 theyre doing a
great job on our project, weve been through several deals. Honestly, Tommy Boy
was the best situation weve 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 aint about the label though, its
about the people.
Nore: We not from the ringtone era! We aint 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 cant conform and give up who you are. Thats what we do and
continue to stay as individuals and not follow trends. With a label like SMC everybody there
is hands on.
yall 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: Aint no change for us, we didnt
come out making music like Jay, Nas, Mobb Deep or whoever. Fans respect us for being different.
The Channel 10 album has music for
Capone-N-Noreaga "Phone Time" Video
about autotune, should it die in 09 or continue to
Its living, I think everybody got their own way of using it. The reason
why I like Ron Browz using autotune
is because hes using it in a New York way. Ron Browz
is making it sound almost like Harlem, you just hear
it coming out. I think its going to stick around. Its been in reggaeton, but I dont sound too good in autotune,
so Im careful with it.
were some of the biggest challenges in recording this album together after all
I think that were different people, but well never change certain
things about us. Sometimes he does things I just dont understand and vice versa,
but we still brothers til the end.
Capone: It really
wasnt 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 dont like about each other, and we still dont 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 yall 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 dont need this right now. Im
so sick of seeing people on YouTube bustin guns and
talking tough. Im from an era where we didnt do none
of that. With us you heard about our beefs like with Junior Mafia
, its in the actual news, theres newspaper clippings, you can Google
it. Yet there isnt one diss record from us against
them. Not one!
Capone: I aint the most computer savy
dude, and I aint all over the blogs, but I aint with putting all that negative s**t on there with the
fake beefs. Im not on there to
start controversy. You talk about me and its real beef. To tell you the truth,
most of these dudes aint
got felonies, records, and aint been through what I
CNN album comes at a crucial time for New York Hip-Hop. Id hate to say NY went
somewhere, but NYs definitely in need to get back to its roots, which CNN is a
big part of. Is there pressure
Capone: The only
reason theres some pressure is because we aint dropped a group album since 2000. But we still
work like new artists, and we still wanted by the fans like new artists. We
dont have to drop a new album every year, other groups do.
Nore: I dont want people to get confused
with the first single Rotate because it sounds more radio ready. But with the
first two CNN albums, I dont think weve 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.
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 didnt
team up with any big names. We one of the few left who aint got a Jay-Z, or a 50 Cent backing them. Its
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. Theres
only about five rap artists selling platinum. So I dont care about
record sales. I wouldnt want to be in a predicament where I owe somebody. We are our own
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 Im 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 Im still
including Lil Wayne and Im adding Tim Dogg, thats for
all you f**kin bloggers!
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 CNNs end?
Capone: Fox wrote
her verse in the bathroom I remember
Nore: The funny thing is we didnt 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 Kims verse. Mobb Deep
didnt take no disrespect to it and we didnt take no
disrespect to it. We all thought that Kim was going at Charlie Baltimore. And
to this day there isnt a video to Bang Bang. So well leave it at that.
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 yall 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 dont 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 dont want to use that record, but DJs werent playing it. Next thing I know 2Pac did an interview
where he dissed Funkmaster
Flex, and he said f**k it Im 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"
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 Im
thinking he bulls**tting and I aint 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, its 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 Im going to
body this verse, body it. I didnt 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 didnt live long enough to record his