Noreaga's career in hip-hop is one you can write several books about. From shootouts in Queens to helping introduce the world to a genre shifting production duo named The Neptunes, a single autobiography wouldn't do the LeFrak rapper's life stories justice.
However after remaining a household name in rap for nearly two decades, N.O.R.E. is still driven to keep up with the competitive nature of the entertainment industry. Most recently, the Queens bred emcee released his seventh solo album, Drunk Uncle, to the masses (We're including that Roc La Familia album on the list).
"Drunk Uncle is actually a fan project," N.O.R.E. tells VIBE with a laugh. "I don't [normally] read comments. I [only] read comments when I post my shit. And it's been a title that my fans gave me for like 2-3 years. They started calling me "Drunkcle." Everybody calls me their Drunk Uncle [laughs]. This is actually my first time 100% listening to my fans, and what I realized is they don't want me to cater to them -- my fans wanted me to be me!"
Listening to his followers is exactly what the veteran rapper did. He started out the campaign with "Moments" -- a nostalgic single and music video that covers major events from his tenure in rap. To N.O.R.E.'s surprise, the track was loved by his fans, young and old.
"Everything that I spoke about -- you can see it, everything is visual. And I'm glad there's a chance for real hip-hop to come back," says Noreaga about the reception of his "Moments" single and his latest LP. But music is just one of the avenues the Slimefather is dabbling in.
The podcast world is what the New Yorker is after now. With the success of his newly launched Drink Champs podcast -- which recently hosted DMX -- Noreaga is fully focused on taking Elliott Wilson's spot.
However, don't think he's done helping connect the dots when it comes to the beats. After a recent phone call with his longtime friend Memphis Bleek, N.O.R.E. hinted that he helped put a potential NYC summer remix anthem into play.
"We did something great for the city," says Noreaga about some recent behind the scenes work he did with Bleek. "We can't announce it now. But we connected two dots... and without me and Bleek, them dots wouldn't be connected, and it looks like it's going to happen. I got my homey on the phone with his big homey. [You know] Bleek's big homey... and me & Pun's big homey... you should be able to come up with the story. Something great is about to happen for the city. "
If you still haven't figured it out -- please watch this music video now.