The War Report 2: Before the War

by: Capone-N-Noreaga

The sequel to their debut album, The War Report 2, finds Capone-N-Noreaga catching that debut fire again some 13 years later and righting the ship after a decade of lackluster full-lengths. The opening “Pain” puts the excitement right up front with the veteran duo furiously trading rhymes over a sample of the Exorcist theme, and dropping that twisted bit of humor that has always made them more than just grim (“My homie got cancer/And just found out that his wife is a dancer”). Singer Faith Evans adds a sweet hook to the hardcore anthem “Hood Pride,” and when the guest shots from Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Raekwon play out like it was 1997 all over again, the album becomes a throwback lover’s dream. They should be sitting down for the closing “Obituary,” which delivers a painfully long list hip-hop’s fallen soldiers over the coldest of DJ Green Lantern productions. Producers Alchemist, Scram Jones, and Buckwild also contribute prime beats, but it’s the lesser-known Dreddy K. Amarae who steals the show with the crooked Kraftwerk-like construction he throws under “My Attribute.” ~ David Jeffries

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