It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the release of Noreaga’s solo debut studio album, N.O.R.E. is the debut studio album by American rapper Noreaga. The album that featured hit singles like Superthug and N.O.R.E. peaked at number one on the Billboard Hip-Hop charts. This classic album featured hip-hop royalty like Nas, Kid Capri, Carl Thomas and Busta Rhymes with production from The Neptunes, Trackmasters and DJ Clue to name a few. To properly pay homage to this classic album, Heather B from the Sway In The Morning crew thought it would be dope to recreate one of the album’s classics, Banned From TV. The Swizz Beatz produced track featured Nature, Cam’ron, Styles P, Jadakiss and the late Big Pun.
In order to do a remake of a classic track like “Banned from TV”, there had to be some serious due diligence done, because you can’t just put anyone on here. There has to be some connection and relevancy to it where it really makes sense. The line up that was chosen represents the true essence of the track by their sheer love of bars.
“The Original has ALWAYS been one of my FAVORITE hip-hop tracks. The choice of artists and the order in which they spit made the record constantly PROGRESS. ANoyd, Chris Rivers, Oswin Benjamin, Fred The Godson and Shawn Smith ARE the LYRICAL PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT.” – Heather B
All five emcees chosen are true hyenas with undeniable lyricism. When you are the son of a hip-hop legend often times you draw unfair comparisons when you just want to be your own person and create your own lane. Chris Rivers could be that, and I’m sure he has those instances of comparison. But his music speaks for itself and that separates him from his father’s legacy to allow him to create his own. But Big Pun can rest easy knowing that his son is carrying the torch! Chris is another spitter who has been making his rounds in addition to pushing his latest project Delorean.
ANoyd has been bubbling and really making a name for himself on both coasts. Murdering every freestyle from LA Leakers to Flex. He dropped Blame It On JAY-Z in the first half of 2018 which put him on a lot of people’s radar. But one of his biggest moments was when he spit on Sway In The Morning. His 5 Fingers of Death appearance surmounted all of the freestyles he had previously done and elevated him into another stratosphere of emcees. It is safe to say ANoyd cemented his spot through a solid body of work.
Oswin Benjamin initially hopped in a Friday Fire Cypher as a last minute entry and an unlikely to make a lasting impact. But as soon as he touched mic, it was clear that something special was happening. He proved to be the rare breed of rapper who was able to marry the wisdom and divinity from a godly flow, pairing it with everything going on in the street. From that moment on he has not slowed down. He released his first EP, Hueman and most recently was featured on Styles P’s latest album G-Host. Oswin is moving into a rare territory and that type of gift deserves to be on a record of this magnitude.
And the final emcee to float on the live version was Philadelphia’s own, Shawn Smith, a true wordsmith. After freestyling for 20 minutes on The Come Up Show, then coming to slaughter the Sway In The Morning Friday Fire Cypher, it was clear that Smith is ahead of his time. His metaphors and witty punchlines have been murdering crowds like he did in the last Doomsday Cypher.
During the celebration of Sway In The Morning’s 7th year at Shade 45 on Sirius XM, these four got together to murder the classic Banned From TV beat! Watch below and below on the lookout for the full-length audio version featuring Fred The Godson as well. And most importantly much respect to Noreaga for putting out a timeless album and congrats on celebrating 20 years of hip-hop legend status!