On this day, June 17, in hip-hop history…

Tommy Boy Music
Tommy Boy Music

1997: Capone-N-Noreaga dropped The War Report, one of the most influential East Coast albums of its time on June 17, 1997. Today marks the 20-year anniversary on the phenomenal album.

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 number 21 on the Billboard 200 and number 4 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums when it was released. This success motivated the group to make a sequel titled The War Report 2: Report The War in 2000. However, the original stands as CNN as their best.

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