P.A.P.I. "Student of the Game" Album Review
Review Date: April 16, 2013
at 6:40 AM ET
Release date: April 16,
2013 [Entertainment One Music]
Review by Compay for
Student of the Game may not be Noreaga's best work to date, but it's still
an album that his listeners old and new should add to their
Fans of his music since the days of War Report may favor his
older music, but much of what's on the new album is
trademark N.O.R.E.. Street life, sex, drugs, and gunplay.
As with all of his albums, N.O.R.E. is always listenable, even
if he never puts much attempt in being too lyrical. The Queens
this on Camouflage Unicorns, dropping "I'm the Lefrak king, I
don't care what you say to me, say I don't make sense, cool
that's okay with me."
Where he shines on his latest LP is noticeably "Built
Pyramids", which also features the best beat on the album
thanks to Large Professor. You can expect some vintage N.O.R.E. with "Faces of Death", which feels like a
continuation of "Banned From T.V." Four minutes, no hook, just
N.O.R.E. going hard on the track along with French Montana,
Swizz Beatz, Raekwon and Busta Rhymes.
Student of the Game has a mix of guest features ranging from
long established artists (Scarface, Pete Rock, Havoc) to a few that
have only recently managed a buzz. What's noticeably the most unusual
thing about the guest spots is that Lil Wayne only does the
hook for "She Tried", he doesn't drop 16 bars on the
Most of the beats are fresh, a couple were misses. Beatmakers
for the latest project include Cookin Soul, Illa, Inf, Pharrell, SPK, Pete Rock, Charlie
Brown, Scram Jones, DJ Thoro, Hazardis Soundz, Large
Professor, and Jahlil Beats. Standout beats on the album are
"What I Had to Do" by SPK, "Built Pyramids", and "Camouflage
Unicorns". The last of which has Nore, Havoc and Tragedy
Khadafi dropping bars over a music box sample and gritty
drums. If the sample seems familiar, it's a sped-up music box
version of "Love Story" by Henry Mancini, a different version
of which was used in the beat for Immortal Technique's "Dance
with the Devil."
One of the few complaints I'd have about the new album is the
number of skits and filler tracks. The album is 19 tracks
deep, five of them are skits or fillers. I can understand
showing props to Victor Cruz and Kevin Hart by putting them on, but I have no idea why Scott Disick (Kourtney
Kardashian's baby daddy) is even on this album.
Overall, Student of the Game is worth copping. N.O.R.E.
stretches it a bit thin to make words rhyme (or not at all in
some cases), not
every guest feature is hot, and a few beats aren't quite suited
for him. But the new album is enjoyable, and an overall
step up from Noreality. If you've been a fan for a minute,
you'll probably like the album.
on a past review below to read more