Capone-N-Noreaga

The Reunion

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For an example of how dramatically hip-hop's tectonic plates shift, look no further than Capone-N-Noreaga. Just a mere three years prior to the release of Reunion, the group's debut, The War Report, had Capone and Noreaga poised to become one of New York's most promising thug outfits. However, their wings were clipped by the lengthy prison stay Capone began serving shortly before the release of their debut, an artistic death sentence that prohibited the crew from being able to release a follow-up until Reunion. Aided by two commercially successful solo endeavors, Noreaga has attempted to keep the embers warm for Capone-N-Noreaga's aptly titled Reunion. Yet, for a crew that should be chomping at the bit to regain its previous stature, that hunger does not correlate here. However, The Reunion does have an upside, exemplified by the frenetic "Bang Bang" featuring Foxy Brown and the essential DJ Premier-laced "Invincible." But these tracks merely quell the monotony for brief stretches. Contributions from close-knit associates -- Nas ("B EZ") and production from Mobb Deep's Havoc ("Gunz in da Air") -- do little to lighten the load, and their contributions are more detrimental than beneficial. Eager to quickly capitalize on Capone's release, The Reunion sounds like a hurried project, one where the material has been compromised just to get product on the streets. With The Reunion, Capone-N-Noreaga take a step backward.

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