Seminal Queens hip-hop duo (as know as CNN) mix their unorthodox delivery with hardcore streetwise metaphors
A true tale of redemption. Born Kiam Holley (who would adopt the name Capone, after the notorious mobster) and Victor Santiago (who then took his stage nomenclature from yet another infamous gangster, Noreaga), these two hardcore rappers grew up in different projects in Queens. After stints in crime, which led to them being incarcerated in the same facility, they met and formed an immediate bond. When they emerged as free men, they took their passionate voices to the mic. Signed to Penalty Records in ’96, they dropped the singles “Illegal Life,” and “L.A., L.A.” with Mobb Deep (contributing to the pantheon of East/West Coast rap battling). Fighting against adversity, they were able to release their debut, 1997’s The War Report, which reached the R&B Top Five and went gold. After a difficult period, the two friends reunited for the 2000 classic The Reunion. Over the sometimes tumultuous, always exhilarating years, they released several mixtapes and three more full-length records, the latest being 2015’s The Lesson. Last year saw the duo delving into the fashion sphere, with a collaboration with one of the hottest clothing lines in hip hop and mainstream culture, Supreme. The apparel features artwork off their original album, where it all began.