Review Summary: Hardcore hip hop debut by Capone-N-Noreaga, well worth giving a try.
The War Report is the debut album of the hip hop duo Capone –N- Noreaga(CNN shortly) released in 1997.Those of you who wondered from where these dudes are from, you was right again if you thought Queensbridge.The War Report was released too late to have very significant part in shifting the attention back to east from west since that happened already couple of years before and by 1997 west coast hip hop began disappearing from the spotlight like it had been in early to mid nineties.The War report can’t be included into the list of classics out of Queensbridge like Nas and Illmatic or Mobb Deep with The Infamous.Still, the album continued hardcore street themes and violence and not the mafioso lifestyle that many rappers choose to glorify with their albums, most notably Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… and Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt.
Like I said before, the duo consists of Capone and Noreaga but at the time, Tragedy Khadafi could be counted as an unofficial third member and he is featured on 9 songs (not counting the interludes).Other guests include Mobb Deep and Havoc perfoming on two more songs, Prodigy is featured on only one song.Also the track „Driver’s Seat“ has a verse by Busta Rhymes.The album also has solo tracks by both Capone and Noreaga.The album’s lyrics also have several references towards Islam.
Production is handeled by various producers, most notably QB’s own legend, Juice Crew frontman Marley Marl who produced the tracks „Capone Bone“ and most notably „L.A., L.A., a famous record for its attack towards Dogg Pounds „New York, New York“ and is perfomed by Mobb Deep, Tragedy Khadafi and of course Capone –N- Noreaga and those five east coast emcees horribly own D.P.G. this time.
Other notable producer is Havoc who produces the track „Parole Violators“, the track has a hard hitting and fast beat, similar to his style at that point.Other producers include Charlemagne, EZ Elpee, G-Money, Buckwild, lord Finesse, DJ Clark Kent and The Hitmen.Track „Illegal Life“ is produced by Tragedy Khadafi himself.
The album overall was a surprising commercial success reaching 21 on Billboard and 4 on top R&B/Hip Hop albums.The album overall is hard hitting and very agressive with it’s 20 tracks but it can get boring with its interludes which shouldn’t had their place on the album so that is surely negative.
Most notable and reccommended tracks:
L.A., L.A., the hard hitting beat and agressive delivery really is something worth listening to along any fan of east coast hip hop.The songs music video shows Mobb Deep, CNN and Tragedy Khadafi rap around areasi n New York City, mostly in and around Queensbridge housing projects and since it’s a diss toward Tha Dogg Pound shows them kidnap the members of Tha Dogg Pound who are later thrown off the Queensboro bridge.
T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York) is similar in sound to L.A., L.A., agressive and hard hitting perfomed by CNN and Tragedy Khadafi.The track talks about violence and murder.The beat produced by The Hitmen is also very enjoyable and dark so another track for ya’ll to give a try and you probably like it too.
Closer, another track to reccommend to you is this one, it’s produced by DJ Clark Kent and features female vocals in the background which isn’t usual with CNN.The track is relaxing and fits fine into the album that is otherwise full of hard hitting gangsta themes.The track was also a single.
These are the most notable tracks that are guaranteed to get your attention, yes there are more tracks on the album that will get your attention and might be just as good as these are but I’m thinking that these three is enough to recommend.So overall if you are looking for something interesting and hardcore to listen within hip hop and haven’t already heard anything by CNN then this album is the one for you all to get.