Capone-N-Noreaga – The War Report 2, Review.

When I talked to Capone-N-Noreaga last February, Capone tried to justify their Ron Browz-produced crossover single:

Music today — they censor music so much that you have to make the thuggest record commercial to some extent. To get your albums in certain stores, your shit gotta be squeaky clean, because that’s just where music is at right now.

“Rotate” had a lot of people looking at CNN askew, but The War Report 2 is completely free of such unfortunate compromises. Intended as a sequel to their debut, The War Report 2 looks to duplicate the success of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, the only commercially successful throwback rap album in recent memory. Raekwon, who appears on three songs, actually acts as executive producer on WR2, lending CNN his excellent ear for street ballads.

The album is refreshing because CNN stick to what sets them apart: their glorious lack of subtlety. No facades. In a welcome nod to early New York gangsta rap, Capone and Nore romanticize life on the streets without any excess theatrics. Besides the intro, which ascribes audio from a war documentary to life on the streets, the only real exception is “The Oath,” whose mafioso concept makes it sound like Rae passed them Cuban Linx leftover, but not in a bad way. The street single “Thug Planet” turns a “Planet Rock” sample into the soundtrack of an urban nightmare. Capone-N-Nore’s dynamic works better than ever as Capone is a surprisingly proficient technical rapper and Nore manages to be a street rapper and a parody of a street rapper at the same time (“Big loads of a fishscale / Guns from Israel / Dude named Ishmael / Told me that his shit sell.”).

The closest they come to a radio track on their new album is the Faith Evans-assisted single “Hood Pride,” which despite the sung hook and anthemic beat, doesn’t make any overly gimmicky stabs at radio play. Chalk it up to Raekwon’s influence or a legitimate desire to keep it all the way gutter this time; either way, The War Report 2 is this year’s raw, uncut New York rap album.

Download: Capone-N-Noreaga – The Oath (ft. Raekwon, Busta Rhymes)

Download: Capone-N-Noreaga – Dutches vs. Phillies vs. Bamboo (ft. Raekwon)

Also: the “Thug Planet” video.

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There are 6 comments

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  1. Thomas

    This is a step above last years Channel 10, but overall a disappointment. Even with the features this album couldn’t be saved. Nore’s rhyme scheme and delivery sounds choppy and forced. Capone sound bland. This definitely isn’t a sequel or even matches the OG.

  2. streethop

    @THOMAS Are you fucking stupid what album are you listening to N.O.R.E’s rhyme scheme has always been choppy and unorthodox..STOP HATIN this was a great effort..

  3. Al

    I gotta agree with Streethop, this is a return to the style that got NORE on in the 1st place. The production here is classic mid 90s hip hop, with a touch of the sampling style from today. Raekwon obviously had heavy influence, but the end result is the best NYC hardcore joint of the year. With Cuban2 and War Report 2 and the slept on D.I.R.T. Heltah Skeltah, i’m hoping to see some cats come back hard (Black Moon I’m looking at you)

  4. Kasper

    War Report: Classic. The Reunion: Classic. Channel 10: Classic. War Report 2: Classic…… Greatest Rap duo of all-time, in an era of watered down, no substance hip hop its great to still have real new york rap.

  5. Jose Maria

    yo this album is tight. ALot of people dont like nore and dont think this album will sell much.. But the point is that they still can spit and have their own unique sound. I havent heard a new york street album this good since cuban link 2 . and is it me or is nore’s rhymes getting better.. i like his style.. he’s not the best… but its nore… thats enough said. and capone is capone… rhymes is gritty and real. beats is nastolgic but not as great as the first album.. but never the less its good beats.

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