Capone and Noreaga mark the 20th anniversary of The War Report.
Illustration by TTK

War Stories: Capone and Noreaga Speak On The Making Of ‘The War Report’

As gangster-fied rap became the main commercial face of hip hop music in the late 1990s, selling a rapper’s street life was as crucial to selling music as his or her skills. Upping the ante on mafioso rap fantasies, famed Queens, NY duo Capone-N-Noreaga (C-N-N) would take the idea a step further. The electricity of their street life didn’t just extend to the rhymes but also the story behind the making of their landmark debut.

You never forget your first time hearing the intro to Capone-N-Noreaga’s 1997 LP The War Report. Over Charlamagne’s tense Royal Flush sample, Kiam Akasi Holley and Victor Santiago, Jr. take the toll of a bad day on the battlefields of Iraq and Kuwait. “Jake just rushed everybody,” the combatants lament, recounting the names of their captured brothers in arms. They soon resolve to “revolt this revolution… just start wildin’.” While they are the first to admit that “everybody ain’t ready for this,” they see themselves as the only two left, “the Last of the Mohicans.”

Even as The War Report garnered acclaim for Capone and Noreaga’s stand-out rhyme flows, the artists were earning extra street cred due to the issues they would face while completing the album. Little did they know when they began the project that Capone would soon go to jail for a parole violation, having only recorded a few of the album’s cuts. The situation compelled Noreaga to take the helm and complete the recording (with a strong assist from Tragedy Khadafi), n ot to mention handling much of the promotion of The War Report by himself.  For future C-N-N fans, it was a tale of a hustler (Capone) fighting to overcome the odds and counting on the loyalty of a street comrade like Noreaga to hold him down.

C-N-N may not have been known by players at major music labels—N.O.R.E.’s Neptunes-produced smash “Superthug” wouldn’t be released until the following year—but they’d garnered enough hip hop credibility to get producers like Lord Finesse, DJ Clark Kent and Marley Marl to help craft the album—which came out on Penalty / Tommy Boy / Warner Bros.

This Saturday June 17 marks the 20th anniversary of The War Report‘s release. To mark the occasion we connected with Capone and N.O.R.E. on the same secure phone line. Here’s the tale of how Capone and Noreaga (later to become simply known as N.O.R.E) got it done.

Related Articles


Knowledge Darts Vol. 3: Will The Present Political Climate Make Mainstream Rap More Socially Conscious?


The Future Is Now


Rumors of Immigrant Checkpoints Spreading Fear in Brooklyn


Hey, You’re Cool! Austin Millz


Beyoncé, The Grammys And The Guitar Myth


Nine Artists’ Presidents’ Day Messages For Donald Trump


Latest News

GOP News

LOL At These Honky-Tonk Republicans Who Can’t Repeal Obamacare

Long Live Obama
Lansing News

Cop Caught Threatening to Kill a Black Teen

A 15-year-old in Illinois is the latest whose life is put in jeopardy
sizzla-drawing Music

Murda She Wrote: Sizzla, Gaza Slim, Alkaline, Vershon

The best real dancehall music out now
public enemy, black and white News

A New Public Enemy Album Is About to Drop

Believe The Hype, it's official.
james harden risks it all for nicki minaj at nba awards Sports

Russ Won MVP, but James Harden Won the Night

You don't get the trophy unless you risk it all
twitter-fail-blogs News

WTF is Happening to Hip Hop Twitter Right Now?!

The Fail Whale is back with a vengeance

PREMIERE: BigBabyGucci Balls Out of Control On “Chris Paul”

Designer shopping and balling on them lames
big-baller-brand Hot Takes

LaMelo Ball Uses “Racial Slur” on Monday Night RAW—Just Like Vince McMahon

"Keep it up, my n****"
drake-stephcurry Sports

Drake Sends Steph Curry to the Sunken Place in ‘Get Out’ Parody

And roasts the entire NBA too
Daupe!, Tha God Fahim News

Do Tha God Fahim And Daupe! Media Have Beef?

The brand gets bitten by the culture vulture title
St. Louis Police Departement News

Off-Duty Black Cop Shot By White Officer Speaks Out Via His Attorney

Woke by gunshot
fat-joe-prodigy Video

Fat Joe Remembers Prodigy

"I place him in the Mount Rushmore of hip hop"
dj-screw-june-27 Music

How DJ Screw Made June 27 a Houston Holiday

A legend is born
big-baller-wwe Sports

Big Baller Brand Created Chaos on Monday Night RAW

Triple B Takeover
Amelia Capaz, Th0tcouture Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! @Th0tcouture

She got a tattoo of the lady on the Café Bustelo can
clams casino the listening room Music

New Music From Clams Casino, Denzel Curry, Rockie Fresh and More

The Listening Room (June 26, 2017)