With over 16 rap years already under his belt, N.O.R.E. is ready for a change. When the Queens, New York, MC premieres his new music video for “Tadow” this Sunday as MTV Jams’ Jam of the Week, he will do so not under his Noreaga moniker, but as P.A.P.I., the rap name that he has chosen to release his upcoming Student of the Game LP under.
“Tadow” features 2 Chainz, Pusha T, French Montana, and of course P.A.P.I., who, despite the name change, offers up the same free-wheeling, street-bred delivery that made N.O.R.E. fans first fall in love. So why the change?
“I wanted to do something totally different for the album,” P.A.P.I. told MTV News over the phone on Friday (January 4).
Originally he thought he would officially adopt his Superthug alias, but later decided that he is more businessman than thug. Then, the “Grimey” MC entertained the name Good Belt, because of his affinity for designer straps. After giving the matter some serious thought, he decided on P.A.P.I.
“Sometimes if you’re lost, the best way to find where you’re at is to go to the beginning,” he explained. “My mother doesn’t even call me Victor, my father has never called me Victor, my teachers didn’t even call me Victor… My name in Lefrak City and my name in Queens is actually P.A.P.I., it’s not even N.O.R.E.”
Still, the C-N-N spitter hasn’t completely abandoned his unique style. Just as N.O.R.E. acrimoniously broke down to N—az On the Run Eatin’, P.A.P.I. has a special meaning too. “I like to have my acronyms poppin’ so P.A.P.I. is Power Always Proves Intelligence,” he revealed.
What do you think of N.O.R.E.’s name change? Let us know in the comments!