Thirteen years ago Queens, New York emcees Capone-N-Noreaga burst onto the scene at the height of the East Coast/West Coast war. Their first national hit was an answer to Tha Dogg Pound’s New York, New York, called L.A., L.A.
CNN’s debut album The War Report was a critical and commercial success but was hampered by the incarceration of Capone. Noreaga was forced to carry the CNN flag on behalf of Capone, making Noreaga the standout member of the group.
Noreaga became known simply as “Nore” and delivered a handful of solo hits with assistance from the Neptunes.
Capone came home and the duo released two albums, The Reunion and Channel 10. Both albums were dope but not on the level of The War Report.
With the success of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx part 2, Rae reached out to CNN and suggested they create a sequel of their own and The War Report 2: Report the War was born.
Executive produced by Raekwon, The War Report 2 uses the same formula as Cuban Linx 2 and is essentially a throw-back to mid-90’s East Coast Hip-Hop—boom bap if you will.
The War Report 2 begins with the Alchemist produced Pain. Pain is driven by horror movie-esque piano playing and smashing snares. Pain is classic CNN, hood stories from a New York perspective. “I’m a ghetto boy like Bushwick and Face/And I always had a record, I was born with a case,” raps Nore.
The albums first single Hood Pride featuring Faith Evans is a huge mistake. The beat bangs but the Faith Evans chorus doesn’t seem to fit. Faith singing on rap hooks is one mid-90’s element that should stay in the 90’s.
Live on Live Long part 2 is a heartfelt song about the group’s incarcerated mentor Tragedy Khadafi. Tragedy was the producer and overseer for the first War Report and since its release has had beef with Capone and Nore. In today’s machismo filled world of rap, Live on Live Long part 2 is a welcomed track—its grown man rap.
“…’Pone got locked up, it [messed] up everything/Me and Trag stop speaking, diss records and everything/Trag held CNN, helped put us on/So we gon’ hold him down while he layin’ up and gone,” raps Nore.
Brother from Another is another song that breaks all Hip-Hop stereotypes as Nore and Capone give each other props and celebrate their brotherhood. Capone assists on the second half of the chorus and while he keeps it simple, he also keeps it real, “You my brother from another mother, your pops ain’t here/Your pops passed away, so my father we share.”
The War Report 2 features appearances from Nas, Busta Rhymes, The Lox, and three guest spots from executive producer Raekwon the Chef.
While this album brings nothing new to the table it’s refreshing to hear masculinity back in rap music. The War Report 2 bangs. The beats are handled mostly by little known producers. Established names like Alchemist, BT, Scram Jones, Buckwild, and Tha Bizness are joined by some of the games next big beat makers.
Capone and Noreaga have never been considered great lyricists so don’t expect any new tricks on this album. The War Report 2 is your typical CNN joint, simple rhymes, street stories, and rugged beats.
Capone-N-Noreaga The War Report 2: Report the War gets 4 MPC’s.
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