N.O.R.E. got his start after meeting fellow Queens raised rapper Capone in prison. The two collaborated under the name Capone-N-Noreaga and debuted the album The War Report under Penalty Records in 1996. He soon pursued a solo career and changed his name to N.O.R.E.. He also changed his style, focusing on his Puerto Rican roots, by recording songs in Spanish with a reggaeton flair. The single “Oye Mi Canto” reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. N.O.R.E. has worked with many artists including Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss, Three 6 Mafia, Kanye West, Pharrell, Bun B, Tru Life, David Banner, Kurupt, and Lil Wayne.
- The moniker "Noreaga" was inspired by Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.