N.O.R.E. Explains Split W/ Jay-Z’s Roc-La-Familia Label, “With Spanish Music, He Clearly Did Not Know”

N.O.R.E., one half of the rap duo CNN, recently broke his silence about the issues he faced as an artist on Jay-Z‘s folded Roc-La-Familia label and the promise his former boss didn’t keep that left him depressed.

In an interview with radio personalities Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg the Queens, New York-bred emcee debunked rumors claiming he continues to carry a grudge against the former Def Jam CEO.

“I am not mad at Jay-Z, I really wanna clear that up,” N.O.R.E. said. “Jay-Z’s a wonderful businessman. He’s ill. For me to say he’s a wack businessman, then that makes me wack. Clearly that’s not what I’m saying. But with the Spanish music, he clearly did not know.”

Becoming a part of Roc-La-Familia through his contract with Roc-A-Fella, the rapper described his main concern he had with Jay-Z.

“This is the only problem that I had: He said, ‘Yo N.O.R.E., I’m gonna make you the president of Roc-La-Familia.’ So here I am, I’m like, that’s big for me,” he explained. “And then next week, he says, “Juan Perez is the president of Roc-La-Familia.”

Despite losing out on the presidency, N.O.R.E. became an active artist on the roster but soon encountered internal problems with Perez.

“I don’t think he was a Dame Dash, per say, but I think he didn’t have to be a Dame Dash, he had to be who he was at that time but here’s my problem that came up with that,” N.O.R.E. added. “I tell him one day, ‘Yo O.G., I need a flight to Puerto Rico ’cause I gotta do a record with Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, [and] his exact words to me was ‘F*ck Daddy Yankee and Don Omar.'”

Eventually leaving the label as it folded in early 2007, N.O.R.E. claims his issues with the music played a major role in his weight gain and which later reached 310 pounds.

“I was depressed from what I did with the Reggaeton and I don’t regret what I did with the Reggaeton, I regret how it went down,” he added. “But I became depressed.” He says it was this depression that led him to eat until he was extremely over weight. 

With a new CNN album due out early 2009, N.O.R.E. has since stopped eating meat and lost a considerable amount of weight as he documents his workout plan via YouTube videos entitled “N.O.R.E Still On The Run Training.”

In related news, former Rap City producer and one-time Roc-A-Fella employee has spoke exclusively to SOHH about his upcoming documentary where he outlines the fall of Roc-A-Fella records. He cites Dame’s attempt to install Cam’ron as the label’s president as one of the reasons for the rift. [Read full story here.]

[For more on your favorite rappers from the Big Apple peep SOHH NYC]

[Correction: An early version of the story reported that N.O.R.E. gained 310 lbs. as opposed to weighing 310 lbs.]

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