N.O.R.E.’s new album, Student of the Game, hasn’t even been out a full day yet and already the rapper, who now goes by P.A.P.I., is gearing up to create a sequel to his latest LP. Student of the Game II: Dyslexia won’t be an insignificant follow-up, though, because it has special meaning to the Queens, New York, rapper.
“I am dyslexic. A lot of people don’t know that,” Noreaga revealed to MTV News when he stopped by the Newsroom on Tuesday (April 16), the same day his album dropped. “A lot of people think that I pronounce words funny … people think that it’s part of my character but, actually, it’s me in real life.”
Rather than be ashamed of the learning disability, N.O.R.E. has embraced it and says his creativity is a positive result of the condition. “It doesn’t mean that I’m stupid, it doesn’t mean that I’m ignorant, it just means that I learn different from you. And that’s the reason why [the album is titled] Student of the Game, because I learn different from the average individual,” he explained. “I just figured, you know what, that’s the ’part two’ to it.”
Not to be overlooked, the brand-new SOTG finds the rap veteran mixing his old and new-school hip-hop influences to form a 19-track album that takes quite a few detours. There’s the rambunctious club-slapper “Tadow” with 2 Chainz, Pusha T and French Montana on the hook. To balance tracks like that out, N.O.R.E. hooks up with respected boom-bap producer Large Professor on “Built Pyramids.” The C-N-N rapper also links with Pharrell on the kinetic “Problem (Lawwwddd)” and throws a nod to hip-hop’s roots with the Pete Rock-produced “Vitamins.”
For Student of the Game II: Dyslexia, N.O. promises production from A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip and 9th Wonder (he also plans to get in the studio with DJ Premier). Lyrically, he’ll remain the same old N.O.R.E., dyslexia and all.
“You thought I talked funny, you thought my slang was dope,” he said. “Guess what? I gotta credit some of it to being dyslexic, and it’s nothing I’m ashamed of.”
What’s your favorite track on N.O.R.E.’s Student of the Game album? Let us know in the comments!