By Rob Markman with reporting by Adam Murphy
Headliners: N.O.R.E. and DJ Green Lantern
Representing: Queens, New York
Mixtape: Crack on Steroids
Real Spit: The Super Thug is back at it again. Almost a year after dropping his N.O.R.E.aster EP, Noreaga returns with the drug-induced Crack on Steroids. "I wanted to pick a wild name so when people look at it, they'll say, 'What the hell is that?' " N.O.R.E. told Mixtape Daily about his latest release.
Picking up where he left off last year with his street single "Nore Shot Somebody," the C-N-N rapper keeps things "Grimey" on the tape-opening "Kenny Powers." It's not exactly an ode to the popular HBO comedy; instead, N.O. uses Danny McBride's fictional character as a thinly veiled reference to his distinct brand of cocaine.
While partner-in-rhyme Capone was locked up in the late 1990s, N.O.R.E. proved he could hold things down as a soloist, crafting a number of hits like "Super Thug" and "Grimey." On C.O.S., however, the Queens, New York, MC invites a number of his rap friends to the party. RZA shows up for "Hare Krishna" and Game, Busta Rhymes and Waka Flocka Flame pitch in on the Chris Brown-sampling "Lehhhgooo."
On the latter, producer Charli Brown flips Breezy's opening ad lib from "Look at Me Now" and turns it into a catchy chorus. Wale also jumps on "Get Her" and will.i.am channels Slick Rick on "We Ain't," then Nore's latest signee, Glacierz, proves she can hang with the fellas and delivers a standout verse on "War Song."
For all his guest spots, though, N.O.R.E. maintains his vibe throughout the tape — not that we expected anything less.
Joints to Check For
» "Hare Krishna." "DJ Friction sent me a party beat, and he sent the RZA hook with it. I told him that it's phenomenal that RZA named Hare Krishna; I didn't even know what it was. I just thought it was dope. So I added on to the vocals, I put it out, and now everyone's going crazy because we have a track called 'Hare Krishna.' "
» "Baby Girl." "Hazardis Soundz, my producer/engineer/friend, he played the beat and said, 'Yo, why don't you do something smooth? You hardly do anything smooth.' The only thing I could think of when I heard this beat was the honest relationship that I have with my wife. So I wanted to make a touchy song, and I figured if I made a touchy song, why not make it with one of the sexiest females out there, who is Cassie."
» "R.E.A.L." "Just because people, you know them, they ain't necessarily your friend. So just keep it real, and when you're keepin' it real, just remember everybody ain't loyal."