Student of the Game

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Student of the Game
N.O.R.E. (aka. P.A.P.I.) - "Student of the Game", Cover art.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 16, 2013
GenreHip hop
N.O.R.E. chronology
Student of the Game
Drunk Uncle
Singles from Student of the Game
  1. "Tadow"
    Released: January 5, 2013
  2. "Fowl Niggaz"
    Released: February 25, 2013
  3. "The Problem (Lawwddd)"
    Released: March 25, 2013

Student of the Game is the sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. P.A.P.I). The album was released on April 16, 2013, under Militainment Business, Conglomerate and E1 Music.[1] The album features guest appearances from French Montana, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Pusha T, Pharrell, Pete Rock, Havoc, Jeremih, Mick Jones, Large Professor, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, Tech N9ne, Busta Rhymes and Scarface among others.


The album was originally titled N.O.R.E. Pt. 2: Born Again (the album was intended to be a sequel to Noreaga's debut album N.O.R.E.).[2] However, the title was later changed to S.U.P.E.R.T.H.U.G., referencing his 1998 hit single "Superthug".[3] However, N.O.R.E. later announced that he had changed the title to Student of the Game, on the advice of the film company producing the movie Super Thug, which he intended to premiere following the release of the album, as the film would contain no music from the album.[4]

Mentioned guest appearances on the album included Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams, Busta Rhymes, Cory Gunz, and he also expressed wanting to work with Saigon, on a Just Blaze beat on the album, in which Just Blaze responded to, and gladly accepted.[5]


The first promotional single from the album was "Nutcracker". The song credits Flavor Flav as a feature on the song, but his part is a sample from Public Enemy's song "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya, Man", but he appears in the music video.[6] The promo single "Finito", featuring Pharrell Williams and Lil Wayne, was released on June 13, 2011.[7] On September 17, 2011, the music video for "Finito" featuring Pharrell Williams and Lil Wayne was released.[8]

On January 5, 2013, the first official single "Tadow" featuring French Montana, Pusha T and 2 Chainz was released.[9] On January 5, 2013, the song "Built Pyramids" featuring Large Professor was released.[10] On January 6, 2013, the music video was released for "Tadow" featuring French Montana, Pusha T and 2 Chainz.[11] On February 25, 2013, the second single "Fowl Niggaz" was released.[12] On March 17, 2013, the music video for "Built Pyramids" featuring Large Professor was released.[13] The third single "The Problem (Lawwddd)" featuring Pharrell was released on March 25, 2013.[14] On April 15, 2013, the music video was released for "Dreaming" featuring Tech N9ne and ¡Mayday!.[15] On June 11, 2013, the music video for "The Problem (Lawwwddd)" featuring Pharrell was released.[16]


Commercial performance[edit]

Student of the Game debuted at number 116 on the Billboard 200 selling 4,100 copies in its first week of release.[17]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores

Student of the Game received mixed reviews from music critics. Bruce Smith of HipHopDX gave the album three out of five stars, saying "N.O.R.E tries to recreate “Banned From T.V.” with “Faces of Death.” The features of Raekwon, French Montana, Busta Rhymes and Swizz Beatz can't match the original lineup of Nature, Big Punisher, Styles and Jadakiss. The beat composed by Jahlil Beats doesn't give off the epic feel Swizz did on the original. Student of the Game has its moments, but they are few and far between, lost amongst filler, comical skits, and some very poor attempts of to keep up with what is popular now. N.O.R.E doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, and his attempts to do so drag this album down."[19]

Track listing[edit]

1."Kenny Smith Speaks"  0:15
2."Student of the Game"Victor SantiagoCookin' Soul2:39
3."Tadow" (featuring French Montana, 2 Chainz & Pusha T)Santiago, Karim Kharbouch, Tauheed Epps, Terrence Thornton, Ray Fraser, Shandel GreenIlla, Infa4:09
4."Hang Hang Resume"  1:48
5."The Problem (Lawwwddd)" (featuring Pharrell)Santiago, Pharrell WilliamsPharrell3:30
6."What I Had to Do" (featuring Scarface)Santiago, Brad Jordan, Edwin AlmonteSPK3:04
7."Victor Cruz Speaks"  0:15
8."Vitamins" (featuring Pete Rock)Santiago, Peter PhillipsPete Rock3:41
9."Thirsty"Santiago, C Barrionuevo JRCharli Brown Beatz3:12
10."Scott Disick Speaks"  0:29
11."Fowl Niggaz"Santiago, Fresser, GreenIlla, Infa2:20
12."She Tried" (featuring Lil Wayne)Santiago, Fresser, Green, Dwayne CarterIlla, Infa2:40
13."Camouflage Unicorns" (featuring Tragedy Khadafi & Havoc)Santiago, Percy Chapman, Kejuan Muchita, Marc ShemerScram Jones, DJ Thoro3:20
14."Only Bad Ones" (featuring Jeremih)Santiago, Jeremih Felton, C Barrionuevo JR.Charli Brown Beatz4:12
15."God’s Angel" (featuring Mick Jones & Chris Jones)Santiago, Christian RodriguezHazardis Soundz3:31
16."Built Pyramids" (featuring Large Professor)Santiago, William MitchellLarge Professor4:28
17."Faces of Death" (featuring French Montana, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Busta Rhymes)Santiago, Kharbouch, Kasseem Dean, Corey Woods, Trevor Smith, Orlando TuckerJahlil Beats4:15
18."Drunkerer"  1:50
19."Dreaming" (featuring ¡Mayday! & Tech N9ne)Santiago, C. Barrionuevo JR, Aaron YatesCharli Brown Beatz3:50
Total length:53:29
Sample credits
  • "Faces of Death" contains a sample of "Banned from T.V.", as performed by Noreaga and produced by Swizz Beatz.


  1. ^ Cooper, Roman (2013-03-20). "P.A.P.I. (N.O.R.E.) "Student Of The Game" Release Date & Cover Art | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  2. ^ N.O.R.E. Does Not Support "S.O.R.E." (N.O.R.E. Pt. 2: Born Again Coming Soon) 57th Ave.
  3. ^'s Channel Live: Spotlight N.O.R.E. Ustream.
  4. ^ Reid, Shaheem (June 29, 2012). "N.O.R.E. Changes Title of Upcoming Album to Student of the Game". XXL. Harris Publications. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  5. ^ @noreaga there it is. @therealsaigon wake up and get to writing!! oh wait i gotta make a beat. i gotta cook up somethin queensworthy Twitter.
  6. ^ "N.O.R.E. - Nutcracker | New Hip Hop Music & All The New Rap Songs 2011". HipHop DX. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  7. ^ "N.O.R.E. f. Lil Wayne & Pharrell - Finito | New Hip Hop Music & All The New Rap Songs 2011". HipHop DX. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  8. ^ "New Video: N.O.R.E. Ft. Lil Wayne & Pharrell "Finito"". Rap Radar. 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  9. ^ "New Music: P.A.P.I. Ft. French Montana, Pusha T, & 2 Chainz "Tadow"". Rap Radar. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  10. ^ "Listen: P.A.P.I. f/ Large Professor "Built Pyramids"". Complex. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  11. ^ Stevens, Kaitlin (January 6, 2013). "Video: P.A.P.I. ft. French Montana, 2 Chainz & Pusha T - Tadow". The Source. L. Londell McMillan. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "iTunes - Music - Fowln****z - Single by N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. P.A.P.I.)". 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  13. ^ "Built Pyramids featuring Large Professor | N.O.R.E. | Music Video". MTV. 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  14. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Problem (Lawwddd) [feat. Pharrell] - Single by N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. P.A.P.I.)". 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  15. ^ "New Video: P.A.P.I. Ft. Tech N9ne x ¡Mayday! "Dreaming"". Rap Radar. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  16. ^ "New Video: P.A.P.I. x Pharrell "The Problem (Lawwwddd)"". Rap Radar. 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  17. ^ Paine, Jake (2013-04-24). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 4/21/2013". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  18. ^ Lymangrover, Jason (2013-04-09). "Student of the Game - N.O.R.E." AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  19. ^ a b Smith, Bruce (2013-04-18). "N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. P.A.P.I.) - Student Of The Game". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  20. ^ "N.O.R.E. - Student Of The Game - Audio CD - Underground Hip Hop - Store". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-17.