The first time I ever heard Necro was the winter of 1999 in East Chicago, Illinois hanging out with a bunch of hip hop heads. While Brittney Spears, Lou Bega and TLC were dominating the radio, these guys were listening to underground hip hop artists like El-P, Non-Phixon and Necro all the time. And it blew my mind.
It’s important to note that internet music sharing services like Napster had just started, so aside from the radio and, increasingly less, MTV, the only way to get exposed to new music was passing cassette tapes or CDs among friends; what’s more underground than that?
Music at its optimum level dictates, or at the very least, reflects a culture. Every time I hung out with these “heads,” hip hop songs and artists I had never heard before were being pumped in the tape deck of an ’89 Oldsmobile that served as the communal vehicle. The music wasn’t being played because it was “cool” like what Puff Daddy was doing in marketing rap music, but because the music reflected the pace and events of life as it was happening.
Necro’s song “STD,” a narrative about an encounter he had with a female acquaintance, was in rotation at all times. The lyrical content was intense, cartoonish and something like I had never heard before. The production was stripped down and grimy, while the beats reflected the rolling drone of Necro’s New York roots.
Since ’99, Necro has been featured as a rapper or producer on 16 different albums. While the majority focuses on hip hop, Necro created a genre of rap called “death rap,” an homage to his love of death metal, his original musical influence. He even produced and directed a porn movie called “Sexy Sluts: Been There Done That.”
His 2007 album, Death Rap, featured appearances by Scott Ian of Anthrax, Dave Ellefson of Megadeth and even Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed.
As a rapper, Necro has been featured with the likes of Wu-Tang’s U-God, DMC from Run-Dmc, and Ill Bill from Non-Phixon and La Coka Nostra. As a producer, aside from producing all of his own tracks, Necro has created tracks for Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Cage of Eminem battle rap fame, and most recently, Kool G Rap, one of the most influential emcees in history and the original gangster rapper.
Necro’s latest project, The Godfathers, is a collaborative effort with Kool G Rap. Once Upon A Crime drops on November 19th.