Capone-N-Noreaga - The War Report 2

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Transcending subpar sequel syndrome, the follow-up LP isn't going to be perfection in anyone's eyes who considers the original one of their favorites, but it's a definite step up from much of Noreaga's solo work, or even Channel 10.

Thirteen seems to be a lucky number for classic Queens Hip Hop duo Capone-N-Noreaga, as it was 13 years ago that the noteworthy The War Report dropped, and July 13 now marks the release of the sequel. As diehard fans of the original braced themselves for what could be a disaster, it seems that N.O.R.E. and 'Pone were busy in the studio cooking up an album worthy of the name.

In many aspects, The War Report 2 is indeed a continuation of the original, unlike some Rap sequels (what did Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 really have to do with the original Blueprint anyway?). Littered with references to the past throughout bars on almost every track, it’s as if the late ‘90s have returned with a vengeance. The matured pair is still street stuck, still spitting their unique slang, and most importantly they are still executing it well. Perhaps the biggest difference between part one and part two is the absence of Tragedy Khadafi, who in fact was released from a period of incarceration just prior to the LP’s release date. But with age comes maturity, and even CNN are man enough to admit the shortcomings on their most recent effort, as evidenced by their verses on “Live On Live Long Pt. 2.” Trag got locked up / I really can’t believe it / The War Report one, he was like the heart of it / The War Report 2, you know we want you to be a part of it / Wrote letters, reached out, and lost mad contact,” Noreaga admits, as the track boldly boasts the exact same chorus as the standout track from 1997’s War Report. Producer SPK even lets the original’s beat ride out for a few seconds during the middle and end of the song.

Intelligent Hoodlum presence or not, The War Report 2 still maintains the perfect balance of features. The lyrical and production lineup will satisfy lovers of the Queensbridge trademark sound, yet at no point does it overpower the two stars of the show, despite having fellow Big Apple heavyweights such as Raekwon, Nas, and The L.O.X. showing off their skills. This is best exemplified on “The Oath” , which finds N.O.R.E. and Capone rhyming alongside Busta Rhymes and Hip Hop’s favorite Chef. Instead of a traditional chorus, each emcee receives an oath dictated to them in a language each can personally relate to (one of which is an uncredited Damian Marley), as the drums fall back to create a dramatic atmosphere. The boom bap returns to complement solid verses from all four lyrical contributors. The extremely ominous beat from Hazardis Soundz coupled with the mafioso influence of the structure and subject matter is strongly reminiscent of something that could have come straight from The Firm’s album, which fittingly was released the same year as The War Report. Addicts to the grimiest of sounds, a la “Halfway Thugs,” will revel in The Alchemist-produced banger “Pain,” which sounds like the theme song to a Horror flick and doubles as the introduction to the album. Meanwhile, the two share an exchange over a chorus revealing, “Look what happened to Haiti, it’s all crazy / Every night I go to sleep, I kiss my baby / I feel pain/every day the same story, war over territory / We just tryin’ to see the glory, you know?”

As satisfying as it is overall, The War Report 2 still falls victim to a few negatives. Unlike its predecessor, that possessed the grittiest of sounds and rawest of lyrical content from beginning to end, the sequel takes an ever-so-slightly commercial turn from time to time. “The Corner,” assisted by Avery Storm on the hook, may have benefited from a different choice of singer. Storm’s voice, that conjures up thoughts of Colin Munroe when his accent and vocal style are taken into consideration, just seem out of place within the overall context of the Capone-N-Noreaga sound. Additionally, that particular track boasts one of the least hard-hitting instrumentals on the album, as a military-style drum roll pairs with a melodic whistling to create the visual of a Western movie rather than the project buildings surrounding the Queensboro Bridge. On the warm and fuzzy front, “Brother From Another” is a bit too heavy on the platonic affection, and not “Illegal Life” enough to deserve a spot on a lineup of their former classic. The DJ Green Lantern-produced “Obituary” is annoyingly sluggish as the duo namedrops friends of theirs who have passed, taking it to a personal level that may render it tough to relate to for some listeners. Although in concept it would be the logical track with which to end the album, it seems a bad organizational move to end such a strong effort with one of the weakest links of the project.

Fortunately, and in rare fashion with many sequels, these shortcomings are not enough to be a significant detriment to the overall success of The War Report 2. Transcending subpar sequel syndrome, the follow-up LP isn’t going to be perfection in anyone’s eyes who considers the original one of their favorites, but it’s a definite step up from much of Noreaga’s solo work, or even Channel 10. Sure, the guy who tried a random Reggaeton crossover and his oft-incarcerated friend aren’t the most amazing lyricists, but were they ever? They haven’t declined in quality or even gotten noticeably better this time around, but that’s just proof that one need not spit creatively multi-syllabic hot fire every second of the day in order to create high quality Rap music. That held true for The War Report, and over a decade later, it’s shockingly refreshing to be able to say that it still holds true now.

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74 Comments

  • Aswad Mikal

    Joint is hot brings an element to the industry that has been missing for some time

  • SergioK

    pretty good. it's real for me, at least.

  • amirnyc

    a lot of people really don't know shit about music - ofcourse different strokes and all that crap, but music is also about production, composition and lyrical content. who da fuck amanda bassa? more like amanda treble-a, coz in contrary to her opinion i think the record does the war report visage only justice - with strong lyrics and dope producing almost on every track. high notes are pain, favor for a favor and thug planet. anybody having second thoughts about this should just listen to 30-sec song previews and c for themselves: ny hip hop record manages to throwback and be all newey at the same time. BK east ny holllaaaaa

  • derick

    This album is classic. Old school feeling and strong lyrics. thumbs up!

  • Kay W

    everything seems to dissapoint lately , 3,4 tracks I really like , the rest garbage , 2,5/5

  • scrypt

    this rap game's in dire fuckin need of more albums like this. this album stands out and brings me back to the 90s before that autotune horseshit and swag (i wish that word would go away!!!). cnn!!

  • hf2005md

    Prime example of coming out at the right time. 1st album classic cause it came out at the right time for them. Its 2010 nothing really exciting. Rappers need to have the hunger, but I guess when its a BS times you get BS music.

  • biggirl99

    im buying this cd now i like it bumpin like a mutha

  • BALLS

    Boy, i was REALLY dissapointed with this album. BIG TIME. The thing is, if this was just a regular CNN album, I'd definitely think it was fire. But the fact that it is supposed to be the sequel to their ridiculously classic, "The War Report," it just doesn't cut it. It is SUPER average. Production is nothin special, and it doesn't remind me at all of the first album. DEfinitely dissapointed. LIke Raekwon's sequel was amazing, and he knew he had to live up to the hype. CNN just didn't do it unfortunately..

  • amirnyc

    shout out to capone, nore and ice water i.e. the chef for laying this one on us - ain't the absolute classic but enjoyable nonetheless.

  • LamarMaticc

    I love the first album, it's one of my all-time favorites. And this one comes nowhere near it. I knew before listening to it that it won't be nearly as good, still wanted to give it a chance. There was some decent tracks, but I agree with Sean Juan about N.O.R.E. being a bad lyricist. Shame that there wasn't a Premo track like they said.

  • Sean Juan

    The album might have been okay if Nore wasn't one of the worst lyricists in hip hop. There's just no getting around that. It was hidden decently on the first War Report, which was pretty damn good. But, not here. And not on most of CNN's work. Like the reviewer said, "one need not spit creatively multi-syllabic hot fire every second of the day in order to create high quality Rap music". Sometimes true. But, you can't be shockingly horrible and expect to carry an album...and Nore is that bad. I'm surprised to find Nas on this project, seeing that Nore didn't take his advice years ago and 'step his rap game up'.

    • Born Original

      You give this album a 2 your clearly biased or fuckin stupid.He must of knocked off your baby mamma, or them tight ass pants are effecting your thinking..Stick to your ringtone rap.Nore aint never claimed to be know hell of a lyricist, but this is by far dudes best effort to date.An your agreeing with the reviewer you obviously sit down and pee like she does ..

  • horse D

    i was definetly feeling this joint..CNN did their part and got me back as a fan..so I cant complain

  • mannygg22

    3.5 Stars from me , this cd aint gettin no promotion and having see a video or nothing . its actually an ok album . with a few bangers like The Oath , Favor for a favor , Live on , live long pt.2

  • G.R.E.A.T. SCOTT

    Im glad to see some grittty shit respresented in Hip Hop right about Now. ESPECIALLY from New York. New Yor needs to stand up and rep for the culture. Stop tryn to fit in with the southern shit.and EVERYBODY regardless of region needs to make their brand of good music. The link above is a good example.

  • BlazeA50

    they always sound the same, not such a bad thing Peep my Video Blog: http://www.ChannelStack.com/mychannelstack/BlazinA50

  • Locito

    My nigga noreaga n pone went in favor for a favor is the best cut on ther dat shit is vintage CNN

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    • buckeyewu

      You expect me to listen to your shit after posting the same shit 1000 times. Fuckin moron. Learn how to promote yourself without annoying the fuck out of people.

  • MEGAS

    CNN Once again, capone n nore go hard who ever gave this lower than a 3 is on some lolly pop/bubble gum bull shit...Go listen to some waka flaka

  • FINAL GRADE FOR THIS ALBUM

    GARBAGE ALBUM

  • FINAL GRADE FOR THIS ALBUM

    ONLY 2 GOOD TRACKS ARE THE ONES WITH RAEKWON, THESE GUYS FELL OFF AFTER THEIR FIRST DISC BACK IN THE MID 90S, THEY FUCKIN SUCK!

  • THE REAL#1STAN

    EMINEM RECOVERY> GOOGOO24's moms hairy asshole

  • Oprah Winfrey

    NICE ALBUM GRIMEY SHIT WE NEED MORE OF THIS IN TODAYS GAY HIP HOP FAVOR 4 FAVOR SONG IS THE BEST 4/5

  • buckeyewu

    The War Report was a classic. 5/5. This may be another classic, but it doesnt seem as good as the first just yet. I give The War Report 2 4/5. Excellent album.

  • BEINHONEST

    BEINHONEST | Jul 15, 2010 10:26 PMDizzyD YOU IDIOT THIS ALBUM BY CAPONE N NOREAGA WAS NOT BAD NOW THAT ALBUM CALLED PILOT TALK BY CURRENSY IS KIND OF BAD ANYWAY BYE

  • BEINHONEST

    DizzyD YOU IDIOT THIS ALBUM BY CAPNE N NOREAGA WAS NOT BAD NOW THAT ALBUM CALLED PILOT TALK BY CURRENSY IS KIND OF BAD ANYWAY BYE

  • Dallas_Tre'5-7

    waste of my time...

  • TELL THE WORLD MY NAME

    EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS. THIS SHIT IS UP TO PAR WITH THE REUNION OR POSSIBLY BETTER. STRAIGHT NARCOTICS 4/5. THEY GOT THE RIGHT BEATS AND THEY AREN'T B.S.'ING ANYMORE.

  • Divine1-2

    I've been rockin' out to CNN and Curren$y the entire week. These albums are my SHIT right now! Divine, PEACE!

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  • kpanilaryea

    a surprise it is tight

  • Tdotfromdabronx

    This album is tough I defiantly will go out and cop this even the guest appearances were hot Nas, Busta, Rakwon, & The Lox C-N-N put together a bagger here for real for real...

  • motivatedhustla

    leme break it down for yall. CNN jus came back to life. lol they woke the fuck up and decided to make an album about it. what better thaan their 97 classic WR. Raekwon (who claims Busa Busa navigated him) got these two men to wake the fuck up and realize the brand they have made and how it still to this day is a toxic street formula. Capone never changes, hes never ILL AS FUCK, hes just, nice. Nore who even himself knows, fell OFF with the rhymin (i mean dat in all respect. lol) but brought it all back into the right direction. they made a movie with this one fam, not guna lie. Dutches vs phillies vs bamboo got me reminscing SILENT of GZAs Legend of the liquid swords. love philies but raekwon made me go buy a dutch today.!!! fav track

  • QBKinG

    Album is on point most def!!

  • Ronnie Guess?

    I miss these guys!! Queens emcees are the illest!! brings back a little bit of war report!!! good shit!!

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    I picked this up a few hours ago and it is roughly rated around 3.5. It isn't nearly as grimey as the first. If C-N-N are bold enough to name it War Report part 2, then it better damn sure be grimey. Descent tracks here and there but I'm somewhat disappointed in War Report 2. It has to grow on me.

  • ts5000

    3.5 this album is alright

  • weezydawg

    nothing like the first one the new rick ross fire

    • Ronnie Guess?

      How can you bring up fake ass rick ross??? why would you even bring up his name on a page about C-N-N??? Your a fuckin idiot!! Fake ass rick ross!!! rick ross is a fuckin clown!!

  • junMaf*ckn

    Copped it Today. Surprisingly bangin... 57 Ave and 21 Street What it DOES!!! Queens We Doin It!!!

  • Dah Finest

    A great track, "With me" and a lot of fillers...

  • cardan

    probably my favourite album this year. not one skip track. raw real hip hop and N.O. stepped up, this deserves to sell.

  • allyfe

    its a classic hands down....... a few joints you might press forward to....but for the album as a whole ...... TRU BANGER.... 2010

  • DizzyD

    You guys are complete morons. How...HOW can you rate this any higher than one? What does this album...forget...terrible music.

    • UGOD

      GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU HALF A FAG CALLING PEOPLE MORONS CUZ THEY LIKE CNN. THE ALBUM BUMPS FUCK YOU FUCK THE BITCH THAT GAVE BIRTH TO YOU INSTEAD OF SWALLOWING YOU FUCK YOUR DEADBEAT DAD FOR TRYING TO GET A NUT BUT GOT ONE IN. FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU FUCKING PUSSY. BLOGGING ASS BITCH. I GREW UP ON CNN STILL BUMP THE ORIGINAL FROM TIME TO TIME. THE ALBUM GOT SOME SORE SPOTS BUT A SOLID EFFORT. OH YEAH FUCK YOUR REPLY HIDING BEHIND A COMPUTER BITCH. ALBUM IS A 4.

    • BOZNIAN NIGGAZ RUN YOU BITCHEZ

      OKAY DUMB NIGGER FROM THE SOUTH GO LISTEN TO SOMETHING NOT TOO COMPLEX LIKE OJ AY AY AY OR GUCCI BRR BRR GOOCH GOOCH

  • Your Inner Child's Pedophile

    Some classic tracks, alot of weak tracks, overall it's a decent effort on Nore and Capone's parts to relive their glory days but something was missing.

  • Chunk Norris

    Can't rock with this review..this album bangs fron tto back..Brother From Another is as real as it gets. Big album ritechea

  • LampingIt

    downloaded it this morning, lovin rae on those tracks, this is wat hiphop / rap game needs instead of that bs they got goin on latly

  • CHECK THIS NIGGA

    THIS ALBUM IS THORO AS FUCK. 8 STARS OUTTA 10, NIGGA. SOME OF THE BEATS WAS WEAK BUT THATS ABOUT IT. GRITTY HOOD SHIT. THEY NEED TO MAKE A WAR REPORT PART 3 TOO NIGGA

  • hmmmmmmm

    Where was the EZ Elpee and Finesse beats? Capone fucking sucks. Imam Thug is a better rapper, and Tragedy was dearly missed. My rating.

  • C-Arson

    This is a 4 to me! I'm really liking this, complete street album. Nore&Capone haven't sounded better in 10 years. This is 4 da real heads. Better then Rick Ross's album.

  • DrewDown91

    After reading these comments I'm not sure if I'm a buy the whole album. WR was one of my all time top 10 LPs, and this can't compete. This new one seems like it didn't have the thought and finesse that OB4CL2 had put into it. WHAT TRACKS SHOULD I CHERRY PICK FROM iTUNES OR SHOULD I COP THE WHOLE ALBUM???? HELP!!!

    • hmmmmmmm

      Plus, just like OB4CL2, I bet Amazon has for cheap.

    • C-Arson

      buy the album, if you like war report buy this 5 times better then that channel 10 album. i like more then 6 tracks so cop it. the review low balls it a bit, its straight gutter no fillers, you'll just like more songs then others. funny ass skits included

  • dcollin4444

    Better sequel than I expected, but as the reviewer said, there are some complete duds on here, where another sequel, OB4CL2, has 0 duds. I gave it 4, but is actually a 3.5 in my book.

  • kush nap

    females cant review a CNN album properly. amanda need to grip a dick and zip it. this isnt OG war report status, but what is? this easily fuckin with the reunion, which was a easy 4 mics. id give it a 4.5 cuz the standouts are instant classics. this bitch sounds like she listens to it once, and drops a sentence on select titles. doesnt elaborate on standouts, pick apart verses, NOTHING. no depth in her review, fire this bitch and ill take her job for free and write better reviews sittin on my toilet. dutches vs phillies vs bamboo one of the hardest joints in years. thats coke and guns on a table. raekwon bodies that, and each emcees got their own hook, ILL. brother from another mother one of the realest songs ive heard this year. real heart. bodega stories is right outta the mid 90's, updated, still sounds fresh. LOX kill it, CNN merk it. nore spitting harder than he has in a decade. vocab, witty bars, flowing his ass off, dope hooks, sharing the mic time like pros. niggas dont know how to go back n forth anymore, pone and nore still trade the mic with the best of them. at least 10 bangers. pone one of the grimiest rap niggas ever. real street science.

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    I just love to hear this QB sound again, to bad Tragedy was locked up. But still love the duo's return its a much better effort than channel 10.

  • sactowndude

    probably a three and a half. Some good tracks on here, but also some definate duds with cheap production. typical nore album, but with capone. would have liked to see more havoc, primier and an east coast sound.