N.O.R.E has come a long way since he exploded onto the scene at the turn of the millennium. Initially a duo C-N-N (Capone-N-Noreaga) member, the emcee succeeded as a solo artist in 1998 when he released his Neptunes-produced single ‘Superthug’. Born and raised in the LeFrak City neighbourhood of Queens, N.O.R.E’s success as a recording artist was extremely brief.
The 2000s saw a profound change in the landscape of hip-hop culture, and a considerable amount of talent from outside New York entered the mainstream, unlike before.
The 2000s saw the likes of Lil Wayne and Eminem disregard the gatekeepers of hip-hop who had reserved the culture for New Yorkers and LA natives. As such, mere adequacy from New York MCs could no longer help them.
This change in dynamics caused a lot of MCs to either transition into acting or bolster their singles with R’n’B artists—nonetheless, N.O.R.E did not survive this change. Following ‘Superthug’, ‘Banned from T.V.’ and his smash hit ‘Nothin’ in 2002, many didn’t reacquaint themselves with the artist until he found the now-legendary podcast Drink Champs.
Drink Champs launched in March 2016, and following the podcast’s success, N.O.R.E is back and at the forefront of the culture for the second time. In 2018, during an interview with Mass Appeal, the ‘Oye Mi Canto’ lyricist was asked to name his five favourite rap songs ever.
As a Queens native and proud New Yorker, it’s unsurprising that not one of his favourites was recorded or even produced by an artist, not from the East Coast. Below you can see N.O.R.E’s top five hip-hop tracks of all time.
N.O.R.E’s favourite rap songs of all time:
- Grand Daddy I.U. – ‘Girl In The Mall’
- Slick Rick – ‘Children’s Story’
- The Notorious B.I.G. – ‘I Got A Story To Tell’
- Noreaga ft Nas – ‘Body In The Trunk’
- Nas – ‘I Gave You Power’