It’s the year 2000; the mood has eased up across the world with the relief of knowing that Y2K was nothing but a big joke. I mean, this was only the 20th prediction in the 20th Century, if not more, when someone prophesized that the world would end. Once we moved passed all the hysteria, it was now time to get into more important matters. One hip-hop legend decided to utter his concerns at the beginning of his track, Y’all Don’t Wanna. “Why they don’t get a nigga, like me, to sing the national anthem, it’s nothing?” These comical yet straightforward words stated by Noreaga was followed by a classic hip-hop beat from Dru Hill member Nokio with verses from both Capone & Nore (rap duo CNN) were forever stuck in my head. At the time, I’m 13 years old and I remember being in middle school standing up for the pledge of allegiance with someone randomly blurting out the line, leaving the whole class to laugh out loud (literally laughing out loud, no acronym). It was pure humor for Nore to even ask the question, but with the way things are going now, a “Super Thug” may finally get his shot.
If you’ve been keeping this year’s presidential election under careful surveillance, you may have noticed that two of the leading candidates have been accused of some heavy accusations. They’ve been under suspicion of everything from criminal allegations with the FBI, to being a blatant racist. Although this is nothing new to the United States, it has never been under this large of a microscope thanks to social media and technological advancements. and the fact that people are accepting it it’s not that far fetch that Noreaga may finally get to sing the national anthem. Nore is once again influencing the culture, re-creating himself through his Drink Champs podcast show with co-host DJ EFN. The format is simple, a little reckless, but genius. The Drink Champs invite a rapper or two over for a good conversation over countless alcoholic beverages and everything on the record. The respect and comfort level of the guests around Nore, multiplied by the amount of alcohol consumed, plus iconic stories, equals triumph for the podcast. Drink Champs has been bouncing back and forth from the number one and two spots on the music podcast charts with only seven episodes aired (sorry Rap Radar, who doesn’t like a good story?).
For the hip-hop generation that’s on their daily commute, lounging around with the homies, or just trying to pass time in your not so exciting desk job, Drink Champs is perfect for you. Coining themselves as, “the most professional unprofessional podcast,” Nore has led the way in giving us countless jewels of previously untold stories. There’s the time Nore finally convinced Fat Joe that he was really half Puerto Rican, or the story about Ja Rule & Murda, Inc. offending Lennox Lewis and scaring him off of Nore’s video shoot, and the drunken tale of Nore and Jadakiss, which ended in Nore jumping on a fan’s back and leaving his car and keys with a complete stranger. In addition to the previously mentioned artists, Nore has had other notable legendary hip-hop guests like Capone, Memphis Bleek, KRS-One, 2-Chainz, and the controversial DMX.
We are all well aware of the demons of Dark Man X. In this episode, Nore recalls a memory of telling Def Jam that he needs to fly out to Los Angeles to record with DMX in three days. To make a long story short, Nore ends up paying for multiple hours of unused studio time, and doesn’t end up seeing DMX until the 3rd day, even though they were staying right next door to each other. On that 3rd day they end up racing toy cars and playing pool. Eventually him and DMX finally meeting a random guy on the street who had his own studio and saying “Look at that Nore, we found a guy with a studio.” They end up recording music with the random engineer, leaving Nore to pay again, and DMX falling asleep six bars in. DMX also told of story of him rapping for Puff Daddy, before he was signed, and being told by Puff that his voice was too rough. The beauty about the DMX interview is that it led to him being invited by Puff to perform at the Bad Boy Reunion Tour. Nore also hinted on possibly being a mediator for a conversation between Drake & DMX, which may be the reason Drake recited some of X’s lyrics on U With Me, a track off of his most recent album Views. With all the positive energy Nore is spreading, it’s no wonder Pharrell Williams sought him out over twenty years (ago?) to give him some classic production.
Noreaga has always been credited as one of the first rappers to work with Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes. Apparently Pharrell was a huge fan of Nore and directly delivered the Superthug beat to him (some would call them the inventors of turn-up music). Another big fan of Nore is Jay-Z, “I ain’t tryin to hear about your guts and glory, I’m tryin to hear B.I.G. and some cuts from Nore.” Nore’s surprise phone call from Jay-Z , which took place last Thanksgiving, was to clear up the infamous rumors surrounding the Terror Squad vs. Rocafella fight in the 90’s. It has been mentioned on Nore’s track Moments and in numerous interviews since. This call also led to Fat Joe and Jay-Z finally having a conversation. Nore has been reconciling rap beefs, both ancient and new. Some of the truces that he’s help to facilitate include 2Chainz and C-Murda, and Troy Ave v. Styles P. The resurgence of Nore and his positive energy ignites a sense of optimism, which is shared through life lessons, and told in a language that those who are usually on the shit end of the stick can relate to. With this type of leadership and enlightened thinking, at the very least we can let a Super Thug sing the National Anthem.
A new episode of the podcast Drink Champs can be found on iTunes every Friday.