NORE4_LORESWith five studio albums already under his belt, it would seem that N.O.R.E. (aka  P.A.P.I.) ‘s lyrical capability, his dedication to the game and the dimensions of his craft is unquestioned. But on his long-awaited new album ‘Student Of The Game’, the Queens rapper proves that he has elevated his stature from rookie to seasoned emcee.

His latest offering, is no different as far as hardcore hip hop is concerned. Led by the single, ‘Tadow,’ a collaboration tying him with fellow rap stars French Montana, 2 Chainz and Pusha T, the album is crammed with a lot of foot-stompin’, hands-in-the-air tracks. Another cruise in and you’re slapped in the face with the true essence of N.O.R.E. This is naturally in line with much of what we’ve come to expect from one-half of the heavy rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga.

‘Student of the Game’ demonstrates his ability in remaining current amongst today’s hip hop generation. An even greater asset is he’s authority in gathering French Montana, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon and Busta Rhymes all on the track ‘Faces of Death’. This is a collaboration that may sound dark but, luckily, the artists shine through the music rather than the subject matter.

Other tracks like ‘Drunkerer’, ‘Student of the Game’, and ‘She Tried’ featuring Lil Wayne – rocks with an infectious, clear-cut energy. Another upbeat offering, ‘The Problem (Lawwwddd), showcases the standout production and vocal skills of Pharrell Williams. His lavish sound is a neat contrast to the sparse, ambient arrangements typically dominating the radio charts.

At its best, ‘Student Of The Game’ surpasses the impact of N.O.R.E.’s previous efforts. He might be tempting fate with a track called ‘Dreaming’, but it’s evident that N.O.R.E. is fully conscious. Whether you’ve followed his career since the 90s or this is your first hearing of him… one thing is for sure – N.O.R.E is continuing to enhance the foundation of his lyrical prowess and endurance.

So onto the giveaway.

Ahead of the release of N.O.R.E.’s new album on May 6, we have five copies of ‘Student Of The Game’ up for grabs. All you have to do is answer the question below – couldn’t be much easier!

What does the acronym N.O.R.E. stand for?

a. N**gas on the Run Eatin’

b. National order research exchange

Email your answer (a or b) with ‘N.O.R.E.’ in the subject line to [email protected] . You must also include your name and contact details. Competition closes on Monday 13 May 2013. Good luck!