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| P.A.P.I. (aka N.O.R.E.)


One-half of the Queens hardcore rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga, Victor "Noreaga" Santiago met Kiam "Capone" Holley in 1992 while both were serving prison sentences. Signed to Penalty Records in 1996, the pair released a hard-hitting debut (The War Report) in June 1997, but after Holley was thrown back in jail on a parole violation, Santiago began recording a solo album. His solo debut, N.O.R.E. -- an acronym for "Niggas on the Run Eating" -- was an all-star affair, with contributions from Foxy Brown, Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z, among others. Melvin Flynt -- Da Hustler followed in 1999. His third album, God's Favorite, was delayed several times, but finally appeared in mid-2002. In 2006, he moved to the Def Jam imprint Roc la Familia and released N.O.R.E. y la Familia...Ya Tú Sabe, a mostly reggaeton album featuring guest stars like Nina Sky, Big Mato, and Daddy Yankee, but just the following year he signed to Babygrande to issue Noreality, a more-standard rap record. ~ John Bush, Rovi