N.O.R.E. Reminisces on His Wild Days Throwing Salmon at the W Hotel
For much of his career, N.O.R.E.'s been known for delivering grimy rhymes across his catalog of music. But the Queens native isn't always living up to the famed "Superthug" title of the 1990s. N.O.R.E.'s got jokes and one conversation with him is guaranteed to leave you laughing your ass off. The rap vet keeps the laughs going in this edition of XXL's ABCs.
From A to Z, N.O.R.E. offers some insightful and hilarious commentary on every letter of the alphabet. First off, A stands for Alchemist, the lauded producer who's crafted beats for Noreaga during his C-N-N days ("Bang, Bang," "Queens") and for albums like 2007's Noreality ("Drink Champ"). "A, Alchemist, the producer," he shares. "Because I hung out with Alchemist for three days and I didn't see him eat not one time. He made beats and drank coffee and smoked weed and that was it. It's amazing."
When it comes to the letter H, the 40-year-old rhymer, who recently released his seventh solo album, 5E, gives a nod to a libation that was once his go-to-drink of choice. Now, not so much. "H, let's go with Hennessy," N.O.R.E. says. "I personally stopped drinking Hennessy a long time ago. If you can't handle Hennessy, I don't recommend you drink ’cause it turns everybody violent." Take note.
Podcast Papi also gives himself a shout-out for letter P. N.O.R.E. kicked off his "most professional, unprofessional podcast" Drink Champs in 2016, and since then, he's had resounding success with all-star interviews—his very first podcast interview began with Fat Joe—and never-before-heard stories only he would share as a rapper who's lived through many of hip-hop's different eras. "I used to hate podcasts, man," he admits. "I can't believe the damage I've done in this podcast world." Tune in to hear what he's got planned for his next episode.
If you ask N.O.R.E. what Q represents, any rap fan should know he'd pick his hometown borough of Queens. "I realize I could've never grew up racist," the "Uno Mas" rapper explains. "I my whole life had White friends. I my whole life had Latino friends, Dominican friends, Haitian friends, Russian friends. I literally know how to eat every type of food... I just realized that the other day. I was driving through Queens and I looked and I seen every single race on this planet in one block."
And since it's always important to reminisce on the good old days, N.O.R.E. recalls what it was like to live the lavish life up in the W Hotels around the world. "The W Hotel was one of the most unique hotels from when I first came in the industry ’cause the W stood for whatever, whenever, whatever," N.O.R.E. says matter-of-factly. "And we literally, rappers, took that shit too far. Like literally. I kid you not. I remember taking salmon and just putting mad salmon on top of [the ceiling] because we didn't know what smoked salmon was. We ordered salmon and they brung us smoked salmon and we're like 'What the fuck is this?'"
Watch N.O.R.E. break it down even further with his thoughts on Dick Cheney, energy, the youth and more in his version of the ABCs above.
See Photos of N.O.R.E.'s Different Looks Over the Years