Victor Santiago, Jr. (born September 6, 1977), better known by his stage name N.O.R.E. or Noreaga, is an American rapper of Puerto Rican descent. He is one half of the group Capone-N-Noreaga. Music career, Early career: N.O.R.E. (or Noreaga as he was then known, after Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega) first came on the music scene in 1996 as part of the duo Capone-N-Noreaga. He teamed with fellow rapper Capone, who he had met in prison, to form the group. As Noreaga: This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. The War Report & N.O.R.E. (1997-1998): They signed to Penalty Recordings in 1996 and released their debut album as a group, The War Report, in 1997. The War Report was a commercial and critical success which made the group well known among rap audiences. The album received praise for using the traditional grimey boom-bap sound of classic New York City hip-hop, which at that time was falling out of favor to a more futuristic sound. The album peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the singles "Illegal Life", "Closer", and "T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York)" all charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart. Following the release of the album, Capone was again sentenced to a jail term, which left Noreaga to make another album on his own. Noreaga's solo debut, titled N.O.R.E, was released in 1998. The title was a acronym for "Niggas On the Run Eating". The album was even more successful than the group's debut, charting at #3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and being certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album had a long and impressive guest list, including Nas, Kool G Rap, Big Punisher, Busta Rhymes, and others. It also featured in many cases a different production style than The War Report. While The War Report had a more traditional New York sound, moments in N.O.R.E had more of the modern futuristic sound, with tracks produced by newer producers such as The Neptunes and Swizz Beatz. The Neptunes produced the hit "Superthug" which reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. This song, along with Mase's hit "Lookin' At Me", was one of the Neptunes' first high profile productions and made them one of the most sought after production groups in hip-hop. It also started their relationship with Noreaga as they would produce more hits for him in the future. Melvin Flynt - Da Hustler & The Reunion (1999-2000): Noreaga released one more solo album using that stage name. His second solo album was released in 1999 and was titled Melvin Flynt - Da Hustler. The album was a moderate success as it did reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified Gold, but it did not quite reach the success of his previous effort. The album's most successful single was the Neptune's produced "Oh No" which reached #49 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart. Noreaga's partner Capone was released from prison in 1999, and in 2000 they released their second album as a group, The Reunion. The album was not well received critically and failed to match the commercial success of the group's first album or Noreaga's solo albums. Allmusic reviewer Matt Conaway summed up the album by stating "With The Reunion, Capone-N-Noreaga take a step backward." The group would not release another album until 2009. As N.O.R.E.: This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. God's Favorite (2002): Despite the disappointment of his group album, Noreaga still planned to pursue his career as a solo artist. He now changed his stage name to N.O.R.E., which was the same as the title of his debut solo album. After some delays his third solo studio album, God's Favorite, came out in 2002. The album was more successful than his past solo effort, as it peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum. It contained the major hit "Nothin'", produced by the Neptunes, which reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It became N.O.R.E.'s highest charting hit and remains so to this day. N.O.R.E. y la Familia...Ya Tú Sabe (2004-2006): Following God's Favorite N.O.R.E. changed his musical focus. He began recording some Spanish language songs to reflect his Puerto Rican background and made some reggaeton songs rather than traditional hip-hop. The reggaeton single "Oye Mi Canto" was released in 2004 and became a major hit, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally supposed to be a single from an upcoming album titled 1 Fan a Day, but the album never came out. Instead, N.O.R.E. released a mixed reggaeton and hip-hop album in 2006 titled N.O.R.E. y la Familia...Ya Tú Sabe, which included "Oye Mi Canto" as a bonus track. The album had both English and Spanish language tracks. It did not chart nearly as well as any of N.O.R.E.'s previous solo albums, as it only reached #82 on the Billboard Hot 200. Noreality, S.O.R.E., Channel 10, & The War Report 2 (2007-2010): Following this to date N.O.R.E. has released two more solo albums, Noreality in 2007 and S.O.R.E. in 2009, both of which failed to chart. In 2009 he also released a third album with his partner Capone, which was titled Channel 10. This album did chart at #136 on the Billboard 200. In 2010 he released a fourth Capone-N-Noreaga album, The War Report 2. The new album was meant to be a sequel to the group's 1997 debut. It was released on July 13, 2010. The album's first single was "Hood Pride", featuring Faith Evans. This album charted slightly better than their previous effort, reaching #104 on the Billboard 200. Again as Noreaga: This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. Superthug: The Album (2010-present): N.O.R.E. is also working on a seventh solo album, titled Superthug: The Album. He has released a new single "Nutcracker" featuring Flavor Flav. Since then, Funkmaster Flex debuted the "Nutcracker" (Remix), featuring Imam Thug, Red Café, Bun B & DMX. On the single cover he used his old moniker "Noreaga". But it is unknown at this moment if he has changed his name back