N.O.R.E. - GOD'S FAVORITE Vinyl 2xLP
It's interesting that Victor (N.O.R.E.) Santiago commences this collection of thug rap with an apology for his last effort. He was unfocused, understandably, with the loss to jail time of his partner in the erstwhile Capone-n-Noreagea duo Kiam "Capone" Holley. But he rapidly shows he's going to set matters to rights with a swift one-two punch to gangsta rapper pretenders in "Nothin'," and a freewheeling track called "Grimey" that's one of the most commercial cuts on offer here. GOD'S FAVORITE finds N.O.R.E. back on top of his game in a wide-ranging set that encompasses hard-core gangsta rap and a lift from Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time." The album is prefaced by a collection of skit phone calls from Santiago's peers including Nelly, Ice T, and Nas, all paying their respects to this lifer's return to form in the street-life stakes. He shows their respect is justified again and again on cuts such as "Mr. CEO," a skewering of big money in the music biz, and "Live My Life" which features an appearance from the inimitably throaty Ja Rule. But ultimately it's in the regretful, angry "Black Clouds" that we get a true glimpse into the rapper's tortured soul.