One thing that many rappers try to establish their entire careers is their image. Necro has effectively created his image as an anti-government, anti-establishment and anti-society character. The simple basis of his name is an abbreviated take on a most morbid sexual proclivity. Similarly, there it is no accident that he released his 6th official LP, “Death Rap”, on September 11th, the nation’s most mournful day.
Necro first became known in 2000 for a single that sampled LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” in a very twisted way by re-inventing it as a song that challenges the leaders of DARE, “I Need Drugs”. The 12″ single caused quite an underground buzz and created a kind of cult popularity for the producer/rapper and his Psycho+Logical Records’ minions. The following years he became more known, even by his fans, for his wickedly unique work behind the boards that channels a wide variety of samples and sounds. His work with Non-Phixion emcee’s; Sabac, Ill-Bill and Goretex is certainly his most well-known. What Necro lacks in skill, as compared to his peers, he tries to make up for with pure shock.
“Death Rap” is a different album that most Necro fans are used to, that builds upon what he did on his 2004 album “Pre-fix for Death”. He still has the same enunciated end of his bars, the same flow and the same subject matter. However, “Death Rap” seems to draw a lot from the group that Necro is touring with in conjunction with the album release; The Insane Clown Posse. It is an unfortunate truth, but much of “Death Rap” whips into a hardcore metal-rock frenzy that is painfully unsuited for the featured artist.
The album kicks off with a typical Necro track with “Creepy Crawl”. It is a short cut at just over two minutes but the Mariachi-inspired loop sets a formidable backdrop. It seems like Necro does have difficulty in constructing songs with a combination of strong verses and fitting hooks, mostly because he is just spattering his wild lyrics randomly, like Pollock painting on an empty canvas. This becomes obvious immediately when popping “Death Rap” in and pressing play to unleash lyrics on the opening track such as, “Knife to your chest, your colon flexes/ Slashing the word ‘war’ in your solar-plexus” and “Needle tracks to my arm/influenced by Beatles tracks doing your fetal sack harm.” This could clearly be some kind of demented freestyle that just packs as much insane lyricism in a single track. It really epitomizes the nature of almost every track on the LP.
“Some Get Back (Revenge)” meticulously points out Necro’s thirst to get even. It is one of the more blatant conceptual tracks but it certainly fits the mood of the CD. Other tracks attempt to reach some kind of deeper level, like “Portrait of a Death Rapper”, which assumedly is supposed to be a self-reflexive piece given the name of the album, but there is no real difference between the personality he has on the rest of the album, though another unpredictable sample makes it interesting.
Once again, the main downfall is not in what Necro has already established on his previous LP’s, but rather the urgency to appeal to a broader audience by mashing in unnecessary death metal tracks with high-profile artists from Shadows Fall, Lamb of God, and even Scott Ian from Anthrax shows up on “Evil Rules”, but the hooks that these guys croon fall anywhere between embarrassing and laughable. The chorus on evil rules goes as follows, “Death Rap!/ Extreme violence and brutal murder/ Cut your head off with a machete/Evil Rules!”….seriously? It’s hard to take seriously. Plus, all of these mish-mash tracks have such generic guitar chords that it is hard to tell if it is a sample or live instrumentals, meaning that they sound like stuff that you would get pre-loaded into your computer as completely generic metal music.
One thing that can be said about Necro is that he is very unpredictable as both a rapper and a producer. The lines he spits as a rapper can cause one to cringe, but it is clear that he has an understanding of the sick things he talks about when he says things like “Helter Skelter written in blood on the refrigerator.” He is well-studied in areas of homicide and general brutality. He has the sense to coerce the words into a strangely humorous tinge in some instances. The beats on the album often switch midway through and offer bizarrely hypnotic samples. Some may argue that this Koch distributed album actually strays a little bit on the absolutely hardcore that Necro fans love, which is true to a certain extent, but not to the point that people will start labeling him as ‘soft’ anytime soon.
“Death Rap” released on September 11th, 2007, is 37 more minutes of music from the shocking mind of Necro. The album will not make believers of those that are not into this subgenre of rap, nor will it bring in a whole lot of that metal crowd that it may shoot for. Maybe over the years there is a slight indication that Necro is less raw than he was in 2000 when “I Need Drugs” became a staple of underground shock rap. With Mr. Hyde being the only featured artist that Necro is synonymous with on “Death Rap”, someone needs to remind him to forget this experimental endeavor into metal and continue to focus on the rap aspect of his music.