N.O.R.E. Readies Two New Albums, Capone Collab
After a reggaeton turn, New York-turned-Miami rapper N.O.R.E. wants "to come back to hip-hop strong" -- to the tune of three new projects.After a reggaeton turn, New York-turned-Miami rapper N.O.R.E. wants "to come back to hip-hop strong" -- to the tune of three new projects.
The first, "Noreality," comes out Aug. 28, marking his first solo rap release since 2002's "God's Favorite" -- and the first on his newly established Thugged Out Militainment label, a partnership with Babygrande Records. N.O.R.E. also plans to release another solo album, "Global Warming," later this year or early next. And he plans to hit the studio next month with longtime partner Capone to record a new C-N-N album for 2008.
"I recorded so much material," N.O.R.E. (real name Victor Santiago) tells Billboard.com. "Usually you do material for an album and throw the rest of it away, but I didn't really want to do that. I wanted to separate the album into two."
N.O.R.E. says "Noreality," which features collaborations with Capone, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz and Three 6 Mafia as well as a peace-making pairing of Jadakiss and Kurupt, is "really just getting back to hip-hop and just getting back to the streets, where people know me from. "Global Warming," which N.O.R.E. actually finished first, features guest appearances by T-Pain and Pharrell, among others, and is "a predominately radio-friendly record."
Putting out "Noreality" first, N.O.R.E. says, came from "listening to the fans, and what they really wanted me to do was get back to the roots and get back to the real hip-hop, so that's what I did."
"Noreality" will also yield what N.O.R.E. promises will be an "unscripted" reality show, first as a limited edition pilot on DVD and subsequently, he hopes, as a full-fledged TV series. He plans to perform some promotional shows for the album before jumping on the Hip Hop Lives tour with Wu-Tang Clan on Oct. 5.
As for the C-N-N album, N.O.R.E. says he and Capone "have everything we need" to enter the studio after the initial promotional blast for "Noreality." "We've collected all the beats," he says. "He collected all his beats in New York, I collected all my beats in Miami, so now it's just about us getting in and laying hooks and laying the choruses and getting it going, man. We're on it."