On this day, June 17, in hip-hop history…
1997: Capone-N-Noreaga’s debut album, The War Report, is one of the most influential East Coast albums of its time.
Capone and Noreaga—who are better known as CNN—embodied New York’s thriving rap style with their brash lyrics and dark, gritty loops in production. A well-known fact about The War Report is Nore recorded the majority of it because Capone was sent to jail on a short bid. Still, Capone’s absence was largely unnoticed, and the album ended up becoming a stellar debut.
For guest appearances, CNN grabbed Tragedy Khafafi (who appears on 9 songs), Mobb Deep, and Busta Rhymes. Overall, the album is aggressive and hard-hitting, with each of their contributors offering a similar aesthetic. Tracks such as “T.O.N.Y. (Top Of New York)” and “L.A. L.A.” are revered classics, while the rest of the album was a statement that put CNN on the map.
The War Report reached No. 21 On the Billboard 200 and No. 4 in The R&B/Hip-Hop Albums when it was released. The success motivated the group to make a sequel titled The War Report 2: Report The War in 2000. However, the original stands as CNN at their best.