Sunday, January 8, 2012

LP Thoughts: Capone N Noreaga- The Reunion (2000)

It was this LP that introduced me to CNN. All it took was a friend telling me to listen to one song off this LP and thats when my long overdue love for CNN started. Now i know what u thinking...why? What the hell was he on? How come didnt like them when their 1st LP dropped back in '97? Hey, every story has a origin right? Here we go....

Back in '97 when these dudes 1st came out i had no idea they even existed! During that time in '97 i was in the process of moving from El Paso, TX to Cedar Lane, TX ( a hour away outside of Houston). During this time in the middle of '97 i missed out on alot of things hip-hop wise. The house we was staying at the time had no cable so i missed out on BET & MTV. I only may have caught like 2-4 episodes of Rap City at my aunts house who had cable. When we 1st moved down here Puff's "All About the Benjamins" was poppin off and i was capture a little bit of that. But i missed out on so many episodes of Rap City when some of the LPs i liked dropped that year. You know that when a certain hip-hop artist drops an album, Rap City will have a show with them describing whats goin on with the album. I missed out on shows with Jay Z, Missy, OC, Rakim, Puffy, Master P (cant front now), CNN, Big Pun, Big L, The Firm & many others. Those are all artists that dropped dope LPs in '97 and i missed all of those shows. Now some of those i kinda already knew about without the help of Rap City, but CNN is a group i had no idea about (wasnt up on Big L either, but i already explained that).

Lets fast forward to '98 when NORE went solo and came out wit "Superthug", like i said before i hated this record when it dropped! I seriously hated it!! Every time the video came on i turned the channel and waited for the video to end then turned back. I wanted nothin to do wit NORE just based off that song. As we all know his 1st LP is a classic but i never checked for it. "N.O.R.E" was another single i just didnt pay attention to. I seen it many times on Rap City but i just overlooked it. And as for "Banned from TV" i completely missed the boat on that 1. I really dont even remember catching that video on Rap City. "Superthug" was a record that just turned me off of NORE at that time. They played it so damn much and the song at time was annoying. I know if u are reading this u may think im crazy, and myself is thinking that now as im writing this. But if wasnt for my friend in 2000 letting me listen to one song off their new LP, my disdain would have lasted permanently.

Its November 2000 and CNN's The Reunion LP just dropped already for a week. Now did i actually know that back then? No. I went to my friends house one day during that week. We was over there chillin and he asked me "yo! that new CNN is out. u got it?" I was like nah i really dont check for them at all. He looked at me like I just murked somebody or somethin like that. He was like man u are smokin somethin not to like them! He popped the CD in and let me listen to one song which was "Invincible"! Once that song came on, i felt the hair standing on my arms. I felt a tingling in my body. Its really hard to describe the feelin i had when I 1st heard this record! Matter of fact i still feel this way when i hear that track today. He told me DJ Premier did the track and i was already a huge fan of his. I asked him does the whole LP has this same feel? He said "yup and then some!" He recommended that I go out and purchase their 1st LP as well. And it was at that moment when i went back in time and remembered how i never heard of this group back then and never liked NORE when he 1st came out. I knew then that i had to buy this LP and their 1st LP ASAP!! I wanna say about a week or two later i copped the Reunion LP on the low from a bootlegger ( hey I was in Philly at the time, what u expect?), and from what i heard it was all of that and then some!

In the beginning "Phonetime" hits u real heard with a dope beat and the song content is as real as it gets. Capone talkin about what he doin on the inside and NORE tellin him whats happening on the outside. Dope track and video is nice as well. Props to LES on the beat. Then "Invincible" is next, and like i said before every time i hear this song it makes me feel a certain way inside. That sample is crazy & holy, Primo just laced them with a heat rock that is timeless! I liked the fact that NORE says that his 2nd LP was half ass and thanks the fans for stickin wit him during his father passing. Then next is the track that caused a permanent dislike between Lil Kim & Foxy Brown which is "Bang, Bang". Im not even gonna go in the details surrounding this track and what happened at Hot 97 because of it, ill let yall read up on that. But i will say that Alchemist straight up made a classic on this one, this track was a mixtape banger as well!! It brings back memories every time i hear it! On to the next wit "Yall Dont Wanna", this track is just gutta! Its just a gutta hood track, the beat is just hard man and CNN did a great job flowin on this one. I love this record and i love the video for it, brings back alot of memories also! Now another track i think people sleep on is "Queens Finest", this track is hard and Havoc did great job wit the sample on this one. I must have put this song on repeat like 5x when I 1st heard it!

All & All this LP is rock solid yall. If it wasnt for my friend putting me on "Invicible" i would have paid this LP no attention. Now over the years i have a great newfound love for CNN. Also over the years i bought War Report & NORE's 1st LP and ill have write-ups on them soon. Its a shame this group broke up but the mark they made on hip-hop will forever be remembered. Another thing i want to mention is that i wasnt able to get mixtapes back in the days so i didnt hear "LA, LA", "Closer", "TONY", "Bloody Money" & "Illegal Life" before their 1st LP dropped. That explains why i never heard of them until "TONY" was on Rap City and i missed that because i was moving. Also i was barely lookin at Rap City when "LA, LA" came out so i missed that video back then as well.

I give this LP almost a 5 so im gonna say 4.8 out of 5! So whats ur thoughts on this LP?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Do U Really Know Ur Hip-Hop?

Back then when i used to listen to rap, i didnt care how the beat was made or what they used to make the beat. All I wanted to do is jam out and get my rock on. But as I got older and really started paying attention to hip-hop's other aspects, my inquisitive mind wanted to know other things. Like who produced this? What machine did they use? Whats a sample? How they make the beat sound like that? There are people out there the same age as me and really dont give a damn about those type of things, they just listen to the beat and the artist and thats it. Kinda sad if u ask me, especially if they dont know what a sample is or how the producer came up with that beat.
So i know my people that ride wit me on this blog is hip to this aspect of our music right? U can recognize a sample and what record it is right? If u listen to a certain sample right now, u can name the record that used that sample right? U sure? Ok then... prove it! Down below is a sample mix i put together myself. If ur so hip to samples and know ur hip-hop like u say then can u name the hip-hop songs that used these samples while listening to this? Ok, dont speak about it be about it!! In the comment box below lets see where ur knowledge is at! For some of the samples in this mix i brought it back 2-3 times so u can hear it clearly cause some of them are really quick and u gotta catch it.
I know some of u might search the internet for some of the answers and i cant catch yall doin it. But thats shame on u if u dont know some of these joints straight up! Ok people, have at it!

The Source Magazine Fat Tape: October 1995

Oct. '95