Noreaga, N.O.R.E. (1998)
Label: Def Jam
A$AP Yams: “N.O.R.E. is probably my memory of the summer of '98. Cause it was the whole album was... Forget that, he was the first motherfucker fucking with The Neptunes. I heard stories about that whole situation, cause Rocky’s manager, Geno Cash, used to actually work, work on that album. I know the whole story behind ‘Superthug,’ I know all that shit. It’ll fuck your mind.
“That album was the whole soundtrack in '98. Everybody fucked with that album. I think Nore was so—to me, I look at Nore, as like the East Coast Young Jeezy, if that makes sense. He came at a time where motherfuckers were rapping they ass off, and Nore would just come and say some like, whatever, ‘I put a bogey out in your face.’ Nah mean? He rapping about selling drugs and shit like that, but from a more simple standpoint, where he wasn’t rapping his ass off or crazy, but it was still dope, cause he was saying some of the illest shit.
“That was Nore’s best quality, was he knew his style so well, he knew his style so personally well, that he didn’t have to worry about being the best rapper, you know what I’m saying? He chose the perfect beats, the perfect beat features to compliment his style the best, and make his product sound just great. To where nobody even complained about him not being the rapper out, or being super-lyrical, which was a really important quality to have back in the days of rapping.”