22 July, 2010@5:52 am
13 years since Kiam Holley and Victor Santiago, better known as Capone-N-Noreaga, seemingly came out of nowhere. In 1997, the queens duo dropped the street classic; The War Report. In a time when hip-hop was moving from the golden era to the shiny era, the album helped to bring back hardcore, street-hop. Now with their forth release, C-N-N seek to bring it back to the essence and report the war once more. But is there still “a war going on outside”?
It’s tough trying to live up to a classic album. Artists try their best to to duplicate classic and it’s success and in doing so, typically fall short. This was the case in C-N-N’s second album, The Reunion. With Capone being incarcerated and Noreaga being thrust into the spotlight as solo artist (and a surprisingly successful one at that), The Reunion lacked cohesiveness and at times displayed a fractured group. The same can be said of the groups third Channel 10.But with all fences having been mended, The War Report 2: Report the War brings the group full circle and brings listeners a stronger C-N-N.
The War Report 2 starts of with a certified banger in “Pain”.The main criticism off the bat is the unnecessary boring one minute intro to the track.But when it finally starts, the Alchemist produced track is a full out head nodder.The subsequent track “Bodega Stories” is an awesome collaboration track between C-N-N and the Lox. The five emcees bounce off each other well as Scram Jones provides a dope backdrop. Raekwon lends a verse on the also dope “Dutch Masters vs. Phillies vs. Bamboo”. As it continues, The War Report 2 brings it strong with tracks such as “My Attribute” and “Favor for a Favor”,”Hood Pride”, “The Reserves” and “Scarface”.
As The War Report 2 hits it’s midpoint, Capone-N-Noreaga begin to truly “Report The War”. The duo gets personal and introspective with the dope “Live On, Live Long Part II” where C-N-N reflect on their lives and the changes that have taken place between the original War Report and War Report 2. With the honest and refreshing “Brother from Another”, Nore and Capone detail the genesis of their relationship, discussing everything from the first time they met to where they are now.
Lyrically, C-N-N will never be legends. However,both emcees have a knack for telling great stories and picking strong production. Far and away, the strength of The War Report 2 lies in it’s production. The only weak tracks come in the form of the boring “With Me” featuring surprisingly forgettable Nas and “Thug Planet”,which tries and fails to capture the feeling of the original War Report.
Overall, despite it’s redundant title, The War Report 2: Report the War captures everything that fans enjoyed about the original War Report. The album is able to stand on it’s own merit and features a noticeably more mature C-N-N. Pick this one up and add it to your collection. The war is still on.
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