June 17, 2021

Capone-N-Noreaga "The War Report" (June 17, 1997)

The War Report dropped at the height of Puffy and the Bad Boy crew's strangle hold on hip hop coming out of the Big Apple. Capone-N-Noreaga's gutter chemistry, the unorthodox lyrical delivery of Noreaga coupled with Capone's tales of street life and Five Percenter references, provided a sharp contrast to the fantastical mafioso rhymes of groups like The Firm. The album reinvigorated the East Coast and hardcore hip hop with its unapologetic tales of violence and drugs delivered with gritty honesty. The duo helped open doors for similarly styled MCs... and who can deny the effect Capone-N-Noreaga had on hip hop in the mid 90s. Check out "Bloody Money" and "T.O.N.Y." for reference and then peep the rest of the album. Don't forget about their response to Tha Dogg Pound's "New York, New York," the Mobb Deep and Tragedy Khadafi featuring "L.A, L.A." Speaking of Tragedy he's all over this album! This is a true classic of the 90s that ended up sparking a return to the realities of the streets for the East Coast. Reflecting on the album with MTV, the group had the following to share: "I'mma be honest: For years, I could never listen to The War Report," N.O.R.E. told MTV News. "It wasn't because I wasn't proud of it; it just brought up so much pain and so much hurt. To listen to it, I used to tear up. I used to think about Capone when he was gone [in jail]. I didn't just lose a partner, I lost a best friend. It's like not being able to use your right hand. When I listen to The War Report, it's bugged out. I'm talking about years of not being able to listen to The War Report. "I really didn't listen to the War Report album for a long time too," Capone said. "The War Report was a long time for me. Besides what he was going through and what I was going through, it was a lot of family stuff — losing my mother, getting shot. ... During War Report, I had to go to jail. I was on the clock. I was on the studio-time clock and the judge clock. Every day, knowing I was getting closer and closer to going to jail, you feel like, 'Why am I doing this? I'm about to go to jail. Nothing is promised to me. Why am I recording this?' - MTV. I've posted several reviews, postcardsVHS tapes, samplers, interviews and more surrounding CNN's The War Report - that said, dig into the archives for a lot more content and as always, do follow all the breadcrumbs!

I still love this album to death!