Exclusive: "If It Wasn't A Joe Budden & Fat Joe, My Rap Name Would Be 'Regular Joe'"

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 3:48PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

[With seemingly endless collaborations ranging from the late Big Pun, Nas to newcomers like Wale, rap veteran N.O.R.E. tells SOHH readers how he's been able to keep his hip-hop Rolodex in tact.]

I just think I have my [hip-hop connects] from me being humble. Once upon a time I was one of the hottest dudes in the game and I've remained the same up to who I am right now.

It doesn't matter if I'm the hottest or the coldest or if I'm the mediumest. As long as I maintain my humbleness and I can show people I can relate to them and they can relate to me, I am the everyday man.

If it wasn't a Joe Budden and there wasn't a Fat Joe my rap name would be Regular Joe. That's exactly who I am. I just enjoy things. I enjoy the maintenance man. I enjoy having a conversation with the maintenance man the same way I enjoy having a conversation with President Obama. He follows me on Twitter.

Well, I haven't had a conversation with President Obama but if I did have a conversation with Obama, it would be the same way I'd have a conversation with the maintenance man. That's not a downgrade or an upgrade, it's just that I treat everybody with the same amount of respect so that when it comes time for me to need a favor, I'm good.

Then it's pretty easy for somebody to say, "No problem N.O.R.E., I'll be there. No problem N.O.R.E., I'll send the record. No problem N.O.R.E., I'll come to the video."

I treat everybody with respect whether they're hot or not, medium, cold, ketchup, mustard, you know what I'm saying? I treat them them with respect.

One-half of the Queens hardcore rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga, Victor "Noreaga" Santiago met Kiam "Capone" Holley in 1992 while both were serving prison sentences. Signed to Penalty Records in 1996, the pair released a hard-hitting debut (The War Report) in June 1997, but after Holley was thrown back in jail on a parole violation, Santiago began recording a solo album. His solo debut, N.O.R.E. -- an acronym for "Niggas on the Run Eating" -- was an all-star affair, with contributions from Foxy Brown, Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z, among others. Melvin Flynt -- Da Hustler followed in 1999. His third album, God's Favorite, was delayed several times, but finally appeared in mid-2002. In 2006, he moved to the Def Jam imprint Roc la Familia and released N.O.R.E. y la Familia...Ya TĂș Sabe, a mostly reggaeton album featuring guest stars like Nina Sky, Big Mato, and Daddy Yankee.

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