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One-half of the Queens hardcore rap duo Capone -N- Noreaga, Victor "Noreaga" Santiago met Kiam "Capone" Holley in 1992 while both were serving prison sentences. Signed to Penalty Records in 1996, the pair released a hard-hitting debut (The War Report) in June 1997, but after Holley was thrown back in jail on a parole violation, Santiago began recording a solo album (though Capone -N- Noreaga have never parted ways). His solo debut N.O.R.E. -- an acronym for "Niggas on the Run Eating" -- was an all-star affair, with contributions from Foxy Brown, Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z, among others. Melvin Flynt da Hustler followed in 1999. John Bush

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