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