Happy Birthday, N.O.R.E.!
The class of MCs that arose from Queensbridge during the '90s were peerless. Nas is the the leader and Prodigy wasn't too far behind. Then you had Cormega and the severely underrated N.O.R.E. (aka Noreaga) who turns 38 years old today.
Noreaga took the mantra that hip-hop was the street's CNN one step further by becoming well-known as part of C-N-N with fellow rapper Capone. The duo pulled the hardest and dustiest beats from Tragedy Khadafi to create 1997's classic album, The War Report. It's part of a triumvirate of great Queens street albums that includes Nas's Illmatic and Mobb Deep's The Infamous. Noreaga's 1997 debut was also a commercial success.
Noreaga's most famous song came a year later. Although nobody quite clicks with what he's saying, his barks over the Neptune's slinky, earworm riff on "Superthug" made for one of '90s hip-hop last great songs. It helped put the Neptunes on the map even though Noreaga dropped a vicious homophobic diss on the song.
N.O.R.E. scored another two more hits in last decade: 2002's "Nothin" and "Oye Mi Canto," which ushered in reggaeton.
N.O.R.E. fell from obscurity, however, he and Capone reunited in 2014 and resigned with their old label Penalty Records. The duo are working on another album, which is good news for C-N-N fans.
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