Noreaga - N.O.R.E.      
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written by Philip Oliver    
Noreaga, you either love him or hate him. I've been verging towards the latter in the past few months and i wasn't looking forward to reviewing this. I'll be the first to admit that 'The War report' was one of my favourite albums released last year but to be honest i was checking more for Capone, Noreaga just seemed to have an irritating voice. It continues here too, but the production excels where Noreaga lacks in pulling punches with his lyrics. Nas appears on 3 tracks and he seems to have put more into those than he has in anything he has released in the last 4 years, the story telling of 'Body in the Trunk' is set off nicely with a simple beat and piano loop from newcomer Grease (DMX. the LOX fame) and is one of the albums strongest cuts. 'Superthug' is different, with a nice loop and some singing in the background but does Nore have to shout 'What, what!' every 5 seconds?. The title track is nice as you already know with some heavy strings and dope beat, but its Noreaga's Non-animated flow that spoils things here. One of my favourite emcees, the underrated kool G rap makes an appearance on '40 island', another good track. But the best cut here has to be 'Banned from TV' featuring Big Pun, Camron, Nature and the lox, Cam puts in a decent appearance for once and Pun just kills the track. The main weak point about this album is that apart from Noreaga's voice he ain't saying nothin' except 'I'm a thug', but i will give him points for his OK story telling on the already mentioned 'Body in the trunk.'

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