N.O.R.E. Noreality

N.O.R.E. has been putting time into the hip-hop game for over a decade and like many of his colleagues, switched to an independent label to experiment with a new sound. With his signing to Babygrande, the anticipation grew for his comeback, especially with word of the Kanye West, Jadakiss, Peedi Peedi and Three Six Mafia appearances. Noreality starts with the welcoming banger "Set It Off,” produced by Swizz Beats, which matches the quality of the only other standout track, "Throw ’Em Under The Bus.” The rest of the 13-track disc tries to cleverly be creative and fails, especially with its more aggressive reggaeton influence. "Pop A Pill” and "Drink Champ” are lacklustre attempts at being comedic, while "Paternity Test” just suffers from downright bad lyricism. However, Noreality does earn bragging rights with its roster and selection of singles. The old N.O.R.E. charisma peaks out occasionally but the rest of the album sounds like he’s having an identity crisis. (Babygrande)