"Ya'll Don't Wanna" (2000)
Noreaga: “Nokio from Dru Hill, I forget how we linked up, but he was saying he had a record for us. We took him serious, but we didn’t take him serious. But I started to learn, especially after working with Pharrell, that people that is not necessarily gangsters or thugs make the best street music in the world. So instead of me saying, 'We’re not going to do it,' or 'We’re not with it,' we was just like, "Fuck it"—we went to the studio and he played 'Y'all Don’t Wanna.'
“I think Nokio guided Capone with the hook a little bit, and it was just a rap. I believe I was supposed to sing the hook at first. So I was like playing around [in the beginning of he song] saying, 'Yeah, why don’t get me to sing the National Anthem?' I was just trying to be funny. [Laughs.]
“After we had already recorded 'Y'all Don’t Wanna' we didn’t use it. And then DMX beat us to the punch when he dropped 'What These Bitches Want' which was basically the same melodic sound and the same type feeling [and also produced by Nokio]. We was like, 'Wow, we played ourselves.' We had the record, we were sitting on it, and we actually didn’t throw it out. But it was easy from there. We could have been first but we lost that opportunity.
“So many people feel like they know what it takes to make a hit. But I’m going to tell you the truth: nobody really knows. It’s always luck or it’s just up in the air. No matter how long you been in the business, nobody really knows.”
Capone: “That song right there that was a Def Jam move. Def Jam brought that to the table. We basically record everything ourselves, but then sometimes the label will bring something to the table: 'Yo, I think this is a good idea.'
“Nokio was doing work with them and we needed a banger. Nokio’s my homeboy for real for real, so he brought that to the table and it became a banger. [I knew Nokio] from being on the label together. I was actually a Dru Hill fan, I’m not even going to front, I liked the music. And the first time I met Nokio we got mad cool. He smoked like I smoked and he did what I did. So we got mad cool.
“[The paralyzed fingers I rap about are] my index finger, my middle finger, and my ring finger on my left hand. I’m a lefty but I write with my right now. That’s a long story [how my hand got paralyzed], but that’s what a bullet will do to your ass. [Getting shot] was basically [me] being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And you know, you got haters and when you doing good people hate. I got shot in my arm and it came out my back. When it went in my arm it bypassed all my nerves and it threw my shit out of whack. But at the end of the day, I’m still here.
“I learned to write with my other hand. I couldn’t sign autographs, Nore had to sign autographs. I couldn’t write rhymes. I said, 'Fuck it.' I learned to write with my other hand. There’s no telling what else I can do in life when my back is against the wall. It took me about a year or so [to learn] but now I write as well as I used to with my left.”