Capone-N-Noreaga Are Taking Their War Report Sequel 'Real Serious'

'The War Report has its own following, its own legacy,' N.O.R.E. says of high expectations.

Capone-N-Noreaga are getting back to the grimy hip-hop of their 1997 classic, The War Report, on their upcoming new album, N.O.R.E. promised.

"We had the idea for the War Report [sequel]," Nore said via phone from Miami late last week. "We was actually calling it Report the War. We was gonna do all the songs [from The War Report] in a backwards order. Like call a song 'Money Blood' instead of 'Bloody Money.' Instead of 'Illegal Life,' we would do 'Life Illegal,' so on and so forth. It was gonna be everything but backwards. Then what happened was, as we started to record for The War Report 2, I didn't want to force it. I didn't want to force calling a record 'Money Blood' if it wasn't that. The sh-- started flowing. You don't go to the ocean and say, 'The waves is flowing this way, but I wanna try to force the waves to go this way.' You don't do that. So the way we was recording it, I was like, 'I can't mess with Mother Nature.' It's flowing perfectly. We went and got Imam Thug, a person from the original. We got Mussolini. Tragedy [Khadafi] is on the album. As you know, he's incarcerated. But we got a couple of verses, and he'll appear on the skits. Then we gonna get some new features. I ain't gonna say who, 'cause it should be a surprise."

Definitely expect Busta Rhymes, who is executive-producing the album (tentatively due April 20), as well as Raekwon, who's helping the Queens duo put out the project in partnership with his Ice H20 imprint.

"It was crazy, because I had a deal with the company [Raekwon is] dealing with," Nore said of EMI. "The crazy thing is, he heard about it. His brother K, Kareem, reached out to me and said, 'Why don't we do it as a team?' I was with it. But I said, 'If we gonna do it like that, we might as well bring it back full-circle, C-N-N. Not a Nore solo.' So right now, I'm not even recording Nore records. I got some big-time producers calling with beats, and I tell them, 'Not right now. I'm chilling.' I don't want to record a party record. I don't even want to be near a party. That's not what C-N-N represented. It represented the gutter. If the records could be played in a party, then good. But big-up Rae and the whole Ice Water. Mel, K, everybody. We gonna execute the plan."

Rae also appears on the track "Dutch Masters vs. Phillies," a debate over cigar brands. "I'm a Phillie guy; Rae is a Phillie guy too," Nore said. "I can't believe he was repping Dutch Masters.

"Rae set the platform for everybody to go back in and do their art," Nore continued, referencing the success of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx ... Pt. II. "Busta is going back in and doing his E.L.E. [2]. Fat Joe is doing Darkside. I don't think I ever been this focused in my whole career. I don't wanna f--- up the War Report legacy. I'm taking it too serious. I'm taking it real serious, because The War Report has its own following, its own legacy. I don't want to take anything away from that. I think we're making a helluva album. Maybe even better than The War Report. I know that's a lot to say, but wait until you hear it."

Capone-N-Noreaga's last LP, Channel 10, came out in the spring of last year. Since then, they've been recording and out on the road, touring by themselves and with Raekwon.