Noreaga, as he was formerly known on Tommy Boy Records, has been known to many as N.O.R.E. since his move to Def Jam. After months of silence from the label, N.O.R.E. decided he was fed up with them and asked to be released by Def Jam. Now, he’s finally speaking about what went down with Def Jam and Jay-Z, he’ll also let us in on what we can expect from him and his old partner, Capone. In an interview with XXL Magazine this month, the Grimey-one speaks.
On what happened with Def Jam:
I don’t want to compare them to girls, but at the end of the day when you’re in a relationship with a female and you just feel like it’s heading in the wrong way, it’s up to you to cut it off before you get into some domestic violence or a route that you didn’t want to go. There wont be a N.O.R.E. diss Jay-Z song. There will not be a N.O.R..E. diss L.A. Reid song, ’cause that’s my style. [When] I leave a label, I shit on ’em. But this time, I’m going to take the grown man approach. I came and asked them for what I want. They could’ve easily said, “No.” I asked to be released and they didn’t fight me or I didn’t have to hire no lawyers and I’m glad at that fact.
When asked about the album, One Fan A Day, that he’s been working on over the last year:
They own that material. I left One Fan A Day, ’cause I didn’t want no legal issues with Def Jam. I didn’t want to come out with One Fan A Day and them to say, “We own this material.” So I left records with Mariah Carey. I left records with Big Pun… I was halfway recording it and then L.A. Reid came over. I kinda altered my album ’cause I wanted him to like my shit..And I don’t think that was the right way to do it.
On Jay-Z being Def Jam CEO:
I love him as a person. I love him as artist. I don’t think me and him connected on a personal level as far as business go. When it came down to him sitting behind that desk, I don’t think me and his vision was eye to eye. I can’t turn around and I can’t say that Jay-Z was paying attention to his self more than he was paying attention these other artists. I can’t say that! I can’t! ‘Cause it makes me look corny.
When asked about new material:
It’s time to take over the whole globe ’cause that’s what I’m going to do— warm up the whole muthafuckin’ globe like Al Gore and we gon call it Global Warming 11368. The 11368 is symbolic to where I come from, Lefrak City, Queens. It’s strictly hardcore hip-hop. That muthafuckin gum under the table, the piece of shit you step on. It’s the broken up N.O.R.E. with the slang. It’s the lingo, it’s the shit people learned to love me for and the shit people will love me again for.
On his relationship with longtime partner, Capone:
I’ll be 100 percent honest because the world needs to know this. When Capone came home [from jail], he was a different individual. When your homeboy gets locked up, he starts thinking different and he becomes a different person. I became a different person. I was making the money and holding it down for C-N-N. I set it up for him to live lavish and I didn’t make $30 million a year. Name another person who came home to a Lexus, and he didn’t like a Lexus so he skated in a Lexus and got a Mercedes Benz. I did that shit out the kindness of my heart. C-N-N didn’t have no budget. C-N-N, we got signed for $5,000 homeboy. That’s the God’s honest truth. We signed away our publishing. We didn’t even know what publishing was. When he came home, not only did I hire him lawyers to get his publishing back the same way I did, but I also gave him 50 percent of my company, Thugged Out Militainment. But now, we got to learn who each other is. Like, we squashing it and we doing the Capone and Noreaga thing. We got twelve deals on the table and I’m not signing one of them until I know who he is and he’s starting to know who I am