Noreaga Hopes To Leap The Borders Of The 'Hood In A Single Bound

Rapper completes supermarket-trashing video, works on new slang.

In mid-April, when we last left off with hip-hop's "Superthug" Noreaga, he and his trusty mic companion, Capone, had just thwarted their industry adversaries Tommy Boy Records and had found refuge with a new team, the rap hero-laden Def Jam.

Nore — noting that gold plaques (he has one for each of his two solo albums) were plaguing him like kryptonite does Superman — had his sights set on platinum. He was doing it for himself as well as to fulfill a promise to his mom. His song "Grimey" had just been completed and was starting to bubble (see "Noreaga Primed For Platinum With Next LP").

Almost six months later, not too much has changed. "Grimey" is still bubbling, so much so that Def Jam has decided to tack the song title onto Nore's album name, which is now called Grimey ... God's Favorite (due December 4). The "Grimey" video, directed by Nick Quested, should be hitting the airwaves soon, and holding true to Nore's personality, it contains a lot of 'hood humor.

Shot in New Jersey at a supermarket late last month, the video shows, among other things, Nore rapping while standing on top of food in the frozen section and a produce-throwing fight between the crew of the Queens, New York, native and some models. The LOX, Swizz Beatz and Beetlejuice — the dark-skinned, blond-haired dwarf who frequently shows up on Howard Stern's radio show — make appearances as well.

As an added bonus, toward the end of the clip the song switches from "Grimey" to the Swizz Beatz-produced "Nah Mean Ya Heard" (Translation: "You know what I mean, you heard?").

Nore, who pronounces the song's title as one word ("Nahmeanyaheard!"), said he had to drop some new slang because his old street terminology was getting copied.

"People was taking my slang," the rapper, whose famous "Whut! Whut!" phrase was popularized by his hit "Superthug," said Thursday.

"Janet Jackson saying 'Whut! Whut!' — that sh-- wasn't cool to me," he said, half-laughing about the singer's ad-libs on Busta Rhymes' "What's It Gonna Be?!" "It's an honor, her saying it, but she's not bigging me up."

Nore said he has been getting his props from the heads of his label, namely Def Jam CEO Lyor Cohen. But with compliments also came a bit of strategic advice from the honcho: Make music that leaps beyond the borders of the 'hood in a single bound.

"He wasn't even saying go commercial, he was saying make big records," Nore said.

"This is why I respect Def Jam," he boisterously announced. "Lyor is that type that knows Nore has a cult following or Nore should be bigger than what he is."

Among the songs already completed for his upcoming album are "Mr. CEO," where Nore asks a record label exec for a chance but warns he won't be dancing to sell records. There's also "Head Bussa," another party anthem produced by the Neptunes. And "Gon Live My Life," which features Ja Rule on the hook, finds the LP's star reflecting over producer Irv Gotti's mid-tempo West Coast funk-flavored beat.

Not to be outdone, his rap accomplice, Capone, has also been in the lab, working on his solo debut, Pain, Time and Glory.

"I got some fire for you," Capone said of the album on Thursday. He's hoping to get it out in the first part of the year, then concentrate on the third Capone-N-Noreaga LP.

"I got about 40 songs done right about now. [With my work ethic] I'm trying to walk in [Tu]pac's steps. By the time I drop the album, I'll have like 50 or 60 joints done."

On some of those songs, you'll hear the lyrics of Kool G Rap, Fat Joe and Nas, while notables like DJ Clue, Just Blaze and L.E.S. have laid down beats.

"The first single is called 'Gangsta,' " Capone said, and added that he is not sure when it's coming out. "It's a look at my life. It's definitely not a party record. It's basically something that when that sh-- comes on the radio, it's drama!"