The War Report

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The War Report
The War Report.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 17, 1997
Capone-N-Noreaga chronology
The War Report
The Reunion
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Source[2]

The War Report is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Capone-N-Noreaga (C-N-N). The album features the singles "L.A., L.A.", "T.O.N.Y.", "Illegal Life" and "Closer". Tragedy Khadafi appears on more than half of the album's songs and served roles as both producer and executive producer. Despite its strong underground overtones, the album was a commercial success, listed on 1997's Hip Hop/R&B Top Five, and certified Gold in the US.

Significance and impact[edit]

Considered a classic by fans and critics The 50 Greatest Debut Albums in Hip-Hop History, The War Report's signature sound was distinctively underground and hardcore for its time, a trademark that garnered street credibility for the group. The unique chemistry of Noreaga's unorthodox lyrical delivery, combined with Capone's streetwise slang and Five Percenter references, established the duo as a household name within the hardcore hip hop community. Furthermore, the album created a large and devoted cult following for the group and launched the solo career of Noreaga, who subsequently went on to achieve significant mainstream success (most notably with the Neptunes-produced club anthem "Superthug").

More importantly, The War Report is often credited with reviving East Coast and hardcore hip hop, signaling a return to realistic and gritty hardcore street aesthetics (defined by unapologetic tales of violence and drugs) and spelling an end to the surrealistic, ostentatious, and narratives of mafioso rap. The Importance of Capone-N-Noreaga’s War Report | Yorapper Beginning in the end of 1996 and throughout 1997 (during the commercial height of Puff Daddy's pop-oriented Bad Boy Records during its Arista Records years), mafioso hip-hop gradually lost its critical acclaim within the underground scene from which it originated. As it crossed over into the mainstream, the concept was becoming increasingly generic (as seen with the hip hop supergroup the Firm, which rhymed almost exclusively about the mafioso life). Upon the release of The War Report, however, Capone and Noreaga brought new life into the gangsta rap subgenre, becoming an instant underground phenomenon that foreshadowed the rise of similarly styled emcees who went on to cross into the mainstream for the remainder of the mid 1990s (i.e., Royal Flush and Mic Geronimo), into the late 1990s (i.e., DMX, and Ja Rule) and into the early-mid 2000s (i.e., 50 Cent and Jadakiss).

The success of the album managed the group to make a sequel titled The War Report 2: Report the War. The album was originally scheduled to be released on June 15, 2010, almost exactly 13 years to the original, but it was pushed back a month later to July 13, 2010.[3]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Producer(s) Featured Artist(s) Length
1 "Intro" Charlemagne 1:32
2 "Bloody Money" EZ Elpee 4:33
3 "Driver's Seat" Nashiem Myrick & Carlos "6 July" Broady for The Hitmen Imam T.H.U.G. & Busta Rhymes 3:40
4 "Stick You" Naughty Shorts Tragedy Khadafi 4:43
5 "Parole Violators" Havoc Havoc & Tragedy Khadafi 2:30
6 "Iraq (See the World)" EZ Elpee Castro, Musaliny (From Musaliny-N-Maze), Mendosa & Troy Outlaw 5:33
7 "Live On, Live Long" Naughty Shorts 4:50
8 "Neva Die Alone" Buckwild Tragedy Khadafi 3:23
9 "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)" Nashiem Myrick & Carlos "6 July" Broady for The Hitmen Tragedy Khadafi 4:28
10 "Channel 10" Lord Finesse Tragedy Khadafi 3:21
11 "Capone Phone Home" (Interlude) 1:43
12 "Thug Paradise" (Many pressings of the album mistakenly list "Stay Tuned (Interlude)" as track 12; "Thug Paradise" appears in its place on numerous retail versions of The War Report, also on the soundtrack of the 1997 film Nothing to Lose. "Stay Tuned" does appear on a few early pressings of the album, along with the original version of "Closer" in place of the Sam Sneed remix.) D-Moet (uncredited) Tragedy Khadafi 3:30
13 "Capone Bone" Marley Marl 3:37
14 "Halfway Thugs" Charlemagne 3:13
15 "L.A., L.A. (Kuwait Mix)" Marley Marl, J. Force (uncredited) Mobb Deep & Tragedy Khadafi 4:49
16 "Capone-N-Noreaga Live" (Interlude) 2:43
17 "Illegal Life" Tragedy Khadafi, Havoc (drum programming) Tragedy Khadafi & Havoc 3:49
18 "Black Gangstas" Buckwild Tragedy Khadafi 2:59
19 "Closer" (Original pressings of the album had this version, while subsequent pressings included the Sam Sneed remix of "Closer" in place of the original.) DJ Clark Kent Nneka 4:04
20 "Capone Phone Home" (Outro) 1:33

^Busta Rhymes' part is cut off before he starts. He only appears on the last 20 seconds of the song, ad-libbing over the hook. The songs "Stick You," "Parole Violators," "Halfway Thugs," and "L.A., L.A (Kuwait Mix)" are partially edited, even though the album was released with an explicit-lyrics sticker.

Sample-clearance issues caused two tracks, "Married to Marijuana" and "Calm Down (Feat. Nas & Tragedy Khadafi)," to be cut from the retail version of the album. Both songs were originally on the promo version sent out for reviews but were omitted from the retail album when it hit stores. Both became popular mixtape and underground radio tracks and were released as white label 12-inch singles.


Album singles[edit]

  • "Illegal Life"
    • Released: 1996
    • B-side: "L.A,. L.A."; "Stick You"
  • "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)"
    • Released: 1996
    • B-side:
  • "Closer"
    • Released: 1997
    • B-side: Closer (Sam Sneed Version) Produced By Sam Sneed
  • "Capone Bone"



Year Song Chart positions
US Dance
Singles Sales
1996 "Illegal Life" 84 18 18
"L.A., L.A." - 39 -
1997 "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)" 56 16 -
"Closer" 63 9 -


  1. ^ a b c Leo Stanley. "The War Report - Capone-N-Noreaga - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Capone-N-Noreaga - War Report CD Album". Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  3. ^ Hanna, Mitchell (June 15, 2010). "Tuesday Rap Release Dates: Gucci Mane, Bun B, Nappy Roots | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  4. ^ "Capone-N-Noreaga Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Capone-N-Noreaga Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "1997 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 52. December 27, 1997. p. YE-39. Retrieved June 2, 2021.