N.O.R.E.
Return of the Hustle

nore.jpgNoreaga is at a crossroads in his 11-year career. After three years as a solo artist on Def Jam, the Queens MC got fed up with the lack of label support he’s received over the years and three weeks ago he severed ties with the label and it’s famous staff. Leaving the house Jigga inherited meant N.O.R.E. had to walk away from a fair amount of material, including the entire One Fan A Day album. At the same time the grimy rapper’s relationship with partner-in rhyme of eleven years, Capone, has changed a bit leaving the prospect of another Capone-N-Norega album up in the air. So now Melyvn Flynt is stuck in record label limbo, as he tries to figure out which lane he wants to swerve in. XXLMag.com recently caught up with the king of reggaeton to talk about what really went down with Def Jam, his thoughts on Jay-Z as president and the future of C-N-N.

What were your reasons behind leaving 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. So that’s basically what it is. I don’t think we understood each other. 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.

So what’s going to happen with your unreleased project One Fan A Day? Will it still come out on Def Jam?
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 left records that I had with Jagged Edge. 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. I got with Lil’ Jon and I kinda started trying to make music with hooks on there and things of that nature to kinda cater to his needs. And I don’t think that was the right way to do [it].

Were you disappointed with the outcome of your reggaeton album, N.O.R.E. y la Familia…Ya Tú Sabe ?
Absolutely, but I’m not blaming nobody. I did reggaeton because I wanted to do reggaeton. By me doing reggaeton, I got to go to places that I would never go as an hip-hop artist, like Honduras [and] Ecuador. Reggaeton is something that makes money without you spending money. They promised me marketing money that they never used! This is what pissed me off, like this is why I couldn’t continue my relationship. I fuckin helped a company—like, when you look at MTV3, there might not even be a MTV3 if I didn’t do reggaeton. And I’m not saying that I invented the music or created the music, but I introduced it to America. I helped that style and brought it to the forefront. I brung it so black niggas can say, “Aight, cool man. I don’t understand what them niggas is saying, but I like the way the bitches dance to that shit man!” Now look at this shit, you got niggas coming out being millionaires off this music. Now that I did that, I’m wiping my hands with it. I don’t regret it, but I’m moving on and moving back to what people know and love me for.

What were your thoughts on Jay-Z as president of Def Jam?
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.

Do you think Jay was making himself a priority over other artist on the label?
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.

What do you think of the difference between Jay-Z and former president, Lyor Cohen?
In order for you to sign an artist you have to show interest into an artist. You have to go around and Jay is too much of a star to show interest in anybody! When I met Lyor Cohen, he called me and said, “Where you at?” I said, “I’m shooting a video with Big Pun.” He didn’t ask me, “Where?” He didn’t ask me, “Which video?” He just said, “Oh word, you shooting a video with Big Pun? Aight cool, I’ll be there in an hour.” And an hour later sho’ nuff, he showed up and had Ja Rule in his car. That’s like my first time ever meeting Ja Rule. I’m not dissing Jay ’cause I have much respect for Jay, but at the end of the day that’s what a real CEO is to me. A real CEO—a real president is a person that wants somebody and is going to go out and get it. But Jay can’t do that. If Jay goes to see me, he’ll probably be signing more autographs then me!

nore21.jpgSeveral artists on the label seem to share similar sentiments that Jay is only looking out for himself.
I understand where other artists is coming from like, “How come this nigga got a 20 million dollar marketing budget and my marketing budget is $100,000?!” But I didn’t want to go that route, so I’m not complaining about the shit.

How has Def Jam changed since you first signed to the label?
Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles were the people that actually brought me to Def Jam, and with them leaving it was kinda an awkward situation. Lyor got offered a $50 million job, [so] I can’t be mad at him for leaving. And I can’t be mad at Kevin Liles for going with the guy who put him in the business. And you got to realize, when a regime leaves and a new regime takes over, they fire everybody. So I basically didn’t really know people. I went from going to record label almost all the time and playing dice and smoking weed and getting my haircuts there to almost never going at all. I remember Def Jam was a place you go buy weed. I remember the weed niggas would work at Def Jam! I understand things get corporate. I understand things change. I understand certain people gotta start wearing ties now, but I think you should always remain a nigga.

Now that you’ve scraped One Fan A Day, are you coming with any 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.

How’s your relationship with Capone? It’s been reported that you guys weren’t on good terms.
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 Norega 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.

  • Were Read 2 Def

    I miss “The War Report” CNN, & NORE’s 1st 2 albums were the shit, too.

  • L.B.C

    he is good

  • mobsta

    n.o.r.e yous keepin it real homey….i remember when i saw you and capone in the sc430 in east orange and you signed a baseball i had lol…at the checkers threw the drive through in shit lol keep doin yah thing nore…

  • Dr Flav

    WHAT! WHAT!

  • http://yahoo.com billblackfish

    Reggaeton sucks nore is isnt a good rapper and the war report was just biting mobb deep

  • that dude

    wow…good fucking interview!

  • stoneyisland

    I respect this nigga Nor because he didnt take the bitch route and blame Hova or anyone for his failure, now thats gangsta and refreshinh at the same time. It’s called being a grown man, are all you young dumb knuckle heads listening?

  • http://www.soulink.net SOUL INK

    I love the fact that NORE was straight up honest with his answers .

    Stay up man.

  • Haitiandawg

    If Nore goes back to the War Report style of rapping and lose a little bit of weight than cats will rock with Nore again….

  • Haitiandawg

    Nore got this track on the Cocaine Cowboys soundtrack, and he killed it. It reminded me of when he did “Body In The Trunk” with NAS….

  • GUY EIGHT

    Man NORE straight wit me. Hes down wit the gangstas and talks bout smokin weed. My favortie hobby….

  • http://www.myspace.com/chronikill ROXONE

    the nore interview from life sucks die is possibly the single most entertaining thing ever committed to print.

  • Scorpio1970

    Why is it no one other than Def Jam artists get asked questions about their label President? Who are the Presidents of the other major labels? Trying to shit on Jay-Z is getting real boring. I wish he quits so you lazy ass journalists have to find some other questions to asks artists. Damn!

  • john cochran

    Scorpio1970 I def agree. I read an article in Giant about alot of rappers blaming the lable for thier troubles while they’re sitting in a barbershop somewhere smoking weed. I like the fact that N.O can take responsibility for his own career. Some of these cats (Meth, LL, DMX,) just take the easy way out by blaming jay. Hell, if I was president I’d have the bigger budget too. Get in where you fit in and make it work for you. I loved the Nore’s shit with the Neptunes, but he doesn’t mess with them anymore so It’s gonna be cool to see how the next shit sounds. Capone was always corny to me, so fuck em. 1

  • BOBBY FILLS

    NORE IS ILL MAN

    SUPERTHUG WAS CRAZY

    WAR REPORT WAS CRAZY

    C-N-N IS DOPE

    1

  • jacquez
  • cause I can’t relate to livin less than great

    what! what!

    fuckoutta here with that bullshit…

    only good track he was ever on is CNN’s “Invincible”… and only cause primo did it.

    other than that, he’s retarded.

  • http://ktooshieaol.com sha

    lol, nore, u a funny ass niga

  • leo

    CNN War report,Daamn those were the days,wish they link up again.

  • http://dd LIL W

    I love NORE BUT sometimes i think he needs to Quite smoking that weed….

  • derfla the hus’la

    superthug is a real dude

  • yo mammy

    nore shoudl get better then hes getting all the older rappers on defjam are getting fucked left and right.

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    WHAT WHAT

    War Report was a classic.

  • YOUNG STUNNA

    jay needa drop these old shitty rappers they aint gonna make him any money.

  • M.O.

    Haitiandawg Says:

    March 1st, 2007 at 3:45 pm
    If Nore goes back to the War Report style of rapping and lose a little bit of weight than cats will rock with Nore again….

    ^^why u want him to lose weight faggot

  • da_realting

    nore will come out on top no matter what hold your head

  • Governor Slugwell

    Great interview!

  • ATL Southside

    jay got more like a 40 mill bankroll

  • G.O.D

    Peace
    N.O.R.E showed that he is a real thug by not dissin’ antbody, as of late, hip-hop has been turning into white trash t.v. everybody wantin’ their 15 minutes of fame. As far as old rappers Red, Meth, N.O.R.E are not only better M.Cs-read- M.Cs than 99.9% percent of your hot-rappers of the week right now but also worth 50 million Jeezy-Chamillionaire-l’l’ Wayne-50 cent-Joc nad couteless suckers with colorful names- combine

    N.O.R.E do you son, you get props for being a real man

    peace

  • sATaLyte

    “nore is isnt a good rapper”
    ^
    You joking right?

    Easily one of the most entertaining lyricists of all time.

    Like what he had to say about capone, from his tone he sounds like he got mad love for his boy and is willing to be patient to mash things out and reconnect.

  • spaceman

    yo fuck jay-z and def jam. they doin the same shit to nore that they doin to redman now too, redman need to get the fuck up outta def jam like nore did

  • GRIMMY

    till this day, I listen to CNN to work-out…Classic music, and yea Mobb Deep and some influence on CNN do doubt about. But this man is genius.

  • Guy DeBord

    yeah, that Life Sucks Die interview is classic. talkin’ bout Neptunes are homos and Mohammed woulda thrown ‘em down the hill.
    R.I.P LSD

  • MR.CANDY

    Nore needs to step his rap game up but he’s real 4 the shit he’s talkin bout!!

  • DJ TONLOVE

    FUCK NORE!!!!!!!!! I REMEMBER THAT WEAK ASS SHOW YOU GAVE IN HARRISBURG P.A. WHERE YOU GOT YOUR ASS KICKED AND YOUR MANSHAD TO JUMP IN IT. YOU FUCKIN SUCK!!!! YOU LUCKY I WAS LOCKED UP WHEN YOU PERFORMED HERE. THAT WAS MY LITTLE COUSIN. BITCH!!!!!!!!

  • NORE

    that nigga nore is whack… he dont deserve no credit for reggaeton…. that shit was hot years before that motherfucker ever got to it….

  • yea right

    I used to like Nore but he got hella lazy with his flow. He doensnt even come close to the Nore from the War Report. When he goes back to the old Nore come get me.

  • thecoolguy

    MAN I CANT BELIEVE NORES EVEN STILL TRYING TO RAP, THIS UY HAS NO SKILLS WHATSOEVER AND HES NOT SELLING SO WHATS THE POINT OF EVEN RAPPING ANY MORE

  • White boy

    Nore

  • MR. T

    YA’LL MUTHALOVERS IS CRAZY!! NORE STILL GOT FLOW!! JUST GO TO HIS MYSPACE AND HEAR FOR YASELF! MYSPACE.COM/NORE HE JUST GOT XXL’S VERSION OF RHYME OF THE MONTH IN THEIR MAGAZINE!! NORE IS THE TRUTH!! YA’LL STICK TO THE BUBBLE GUM RAPPERS THATS OUT RIGHT NOW MAKING NURSERY RHYMES! WHUT WHUT!!

  • Grandpana

    is about time u get 2 that grimy shit man and need more reports of real shit

  • http://www.myspace.com/outabodies Delgodo

    That dude MANed up and took responsibility for everything! Left without his property like Tina did Ike. Wore the success and the failures on his back. . . .wow. With the drive and hunger that this cat has always exuded. I know his new plate will be on smash! Nore I even forgive you for that reggaeton shit. Get yours!

    http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/OUTABODIES

  • birdsflysouth

    nore is more skilled and by far more original than 99.9 percent of southern rappers.

    nore has something that the other “hot” rappers do not PERSONALITY

  • thecoolguy

    wtf is every body so mad at the south 4??? (im not even from there and i respect there hustle)

  • MARIO

    PLEASE YAW STUPID. NORE HAS NO APPEAL, NORE DOES METH, REDMAN OR DMX. THEY ARE OLD SCHOOL RAPPERS. THEY DONT HAVE TO BE BUT THEY CHOOSE TO BE THAT WAY. EVERYTHING EVOLVES, MUSIC TECHNOLOGY, ECT. THERE ISNT A BIG MARKET OUT THERE THAT MET, DMX, REDMAN OR NORE CAN APPEA TO. HOW MANY ALBUMS DID EACH OF THEIR LAST ALBUMS SELL? THEY ALL CRASHED. NOW WITH THIS INTERNET DOWNLOADING AND BOOTLEGGING, A RECORD COMPANY CAN’T AFFORD TO GIVE EVERY SHAKY ARTIST HIGH BUDGETS AND SEVERAL VIDEOS. WHEN KEVIN LYLES AND LYOR COHEN WAS THERE X’S, METH’S, REDMAN, AND METH AND RED’S DOU ALBUMS FLOPPED. DONT BLAME IT ON HOV, THESE GUYS ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE NEW EVOLVING GENERATION AND RADIO LISTNERS. THEY HAVE TAKEN MULTIPLE YEAR HIATUSES GOING TO HOLLYWOOD AND HAVE NOT BEEN ON NY MIXED CDS. THE KIDS THAT BUY CDS THINK THESE GUYS ARE TOO OLD AND CANT RELATE TO THEM. ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED RAPPERS SMOKED CRACK AT ONE TIME. I SMOKE WEED BUT A LABEL IS NO PLCE TO PLAY DICE, SMOKE OR BUY WEED. THATS WHY DEF JAMWAS LOOSING SO MUCH MONEY BECAUSE OF PEEPS TAKING THE THUG STREET LIKE APPROACH TO A MULTI MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS. WITH THIS THUG MENTALITY, YOU GET GROOS PROFIT LOSS. JUST ABOUT EVERY DEF JAM STREET PROMOTER AND EVEN THEN REGIONAL PROMOTION DIRECTORS WERE SELLING PROMO RECORDS TO RECORD STORES. THESE WERE RECORDS THAT WERE SUPPOSE TO GO TO CLUB DJS IN THE CITY. THE PROMOTER WAS SUPPOSE TOGIVE THE RECORD TO THE CLUB DJ, GET HIM TO PLAY IT, AND THEN WATCH THE CLUBS RESPONSE. THIS NEVER HAPPENED BECAUSE THE WRONG PEEPS WERE GETTING THE RECORDS. THERE WERE IMPORTANT RECORDS THAT DJS WERE NOT GETTING BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL AT ARMANDS RECORDS IN PHILLY AND OTHER STORES IN OTHER CITIES. THERE WAS A LOT OF CORRUPTION AT DEF JAM AND THERE STILL IS THAT HOV DOESNT EVEN KNOW ABOUT. THE PROMOTION TEAMS DONT EVEN DO THEIR JOBS. THEY SLACK ON PLACEMENT OF POSTERS POSTERS AND OTHER SHIT. THEN YOU HAVE THE RADIO DJS THAT WILL BLAME THE FATE OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED MCS ON JAY Z WHEN EVERY DJ KNEW WHEN METHS ALBUM CAME OUT AND DIDNT PLAY ANY OF THE SONGS. LETS NOT TALK ABOUT BUDGET AND VIDEOS BECAUSE LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY PUFF SPENT ON ADVERTISEMENT AND HIS ALBUM DID WOOD. HIS ALBUM IS AN OK POP ALBUM THAT HAD A LOT OF PR AND A FEW HITS BUT RADIO SLIGHTED HIMON PLAYS.MAYBE THIS KEISHA KOLE RECORD MIGHT DO WELL. WITH THAT SIAD DEF JAM CAN NOT AFFORD TO PUT ALL THAT MONEY INTO THE ABOVED MENTIONED RAPPERS BUDGET BECAUE THEY WILL NEVER RECOUP THE FUNDS ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET, BOOTLEGGERS AND LACK OF A BUZZ. GET RID OF ALL OF YOU STREET PROMOTIONTEAMS HOV, THEY ARE AL ON SOME PAYOLLA SHIT ESPECIALLY C NOTE, FORMER NORTH EASTERN REGIONAL OF DEF JAM, FROM PHILADELPHIA.

  • big j

    c.n.n is the real deal ya niggas need 2 get 2gether.

  • WC Repper

    I respect Nore for his comments and keeping his business to himself but at the same time I agree with Mario that these fuckin dudes did it to themselves! I used to listen to Nore, Meth, Red, and DMX and they have all fell the fuck off. Meth constantly tried to separate himself from the WU, so he made weak radio friendly records and that was his demise. Also the “How High” movie was a corny ass show that didn’t help Red or Meth. They should have been concentrating on hip hop not other b.s. As for DMX he was and always has been Crack Man X. Let’s just face it, he’s a fucked up dude that needs serious help! Now my man Nore. Man what happened? You were on top of the world back when Superthug, War Report, and other music was poppin! C-N-N was my shit! Then the M.C. skills faded away. Then the reggaeton shit happened. To me, being a chicano(or mexicano for those not in the know), that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I feel, as a mexican hip hop head, that reggaeton does not represent me or hip hop at all. And the sales showed it. Reggaeton is as much hip hop as Sean Paul is reggae(Sean Paul got booed pretty bad at Reggae on the River). Stick to what you know! I admire you for trying to uplift latinos everywhere but why not just do some spanish rapping on your records? As for Def Jam and President Carter, they’re fucked. They’ve lost respect from the fans(def jam) and are pretty ignorant if they don’t see the conflict of interest with Jay being prez. I don’t mean to sound like a hater but it seems pretty cut and dry. It’s really just a big publicity stunt! Where’s the new artists’ Jay? Dame’s not there to run your business for you so you better start grinding! You should have signed Papoose you dumbass!

  • nardo

    hahaha o’l cornball ass nigga. that nigga is horrible. I can’t believe cats can actually find something to like about this dude. without major, MAJOR production from great producers, that nigga gawbage

  • http://uSaHater.getalife.com Me

    N.O.R.E.

  • DC’s Finest

    See, NORE real, he aint waste his time blaming jay like dese otha faggots

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