N.O.R.E. at Transit Lounge February 19
For those street-heads whose chronic-sucking, crip-walking heyday is 15 years behind them, Queens-born Puerto Rican rapper Victor Santiago Jr. will forever be known as Noreaga.
Partnered up with fellow New York City product Kiam Akasi Halley (AKA Capone), Santiago co-owned the East Coast rap game for a solid minute in the late '90s. After meeting in prison, the pair began writing rhymes together and then hyphenated their names to officially form Capone-N-Noreaga, signing to Tommy Boy Records and releasing the classic 1996 call-to-arms War Report. But then criminal charges, jail time, and label troubles killed the tag team's momentum. And by '98, Halley was back in the pen while Santiago had taken a new nom de guerre and launched his solo career with the eponymous record N.O.R.E.
During the last decade, there have been some strange detours: Santiago dabbled with reggaeton for a few years, moved from New York City to Miami, and got busted by cops at Fatburger in South Beach. But still, he scored a couple of chart-crushers such as the Neptunes-produced party track "Nothin." And now it seems he's deep into that old groove again, reuniting with Capone for last year's War Report 2.
There's even a rap-world rumor he's going to go back to calling himself Noreaga. Keep dreaming, street-heads.
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