Necro Talks "Die!", Producing For Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2"

Exclusive: The Brooklyn underground-turned-death rap veteran says Chef Rae selected a beat he made in 1997, and he gave to the Wu emcee for free, out of respect.

Late last week, emcee/producer/Psycho+Logical Records CEO Necro released his sixth album, Die!. The RBC/Fontana nationally-distributed project is entirely self-produced, and finds the Brooklyn veteran experimenting with both a bigger studio sound, as well the lyricist's continuously elevated rhyme schemes.

Speaking with HipHopDX Wednesday evening, the man who's previously produced for Cage, Missin Linx and brother, Ill Bill's Non Phixion group, explained how Wu-Tang Clan's chef broke a self-imposed embargo on producing for artists beyond Necro's label and family circle.

With Die! toying with both lyrical and musical experimentation within Necro's "brutal" Rap sub-genre, the multi-talented veteran explained how this work fits within his cult-acclaimed catalog of albums dating back to 2000's I Need Drugs. "To me, there will never be an end, 'cause I happen to really love makin' Hip Hop," said Necro candidly. "Makin' Hip Hop [is my love] more than the performance or the persona." If Necro explains his adolescence and industry tenure, that "persona" seems to dust the line of his actual lived experience. However, he ellaborated, "I gotta be a persona, 'cause if I'm not a persona, then there's nothing to back up the shit. If I'm gonna rap brutal, I have to be somebody that's willing to punch somebody in the face, or else it holds no weight." Having netted over a million dollars in Rap sales in the last decade - from his self-sufficient operation, Necro also said that persona affects paper. "I gotta go out there and I gotta talk shit and I gotta generate interest. And I gotta back up all that Necro shit that [I'm] saying."

Speaking more specifically about Die!, Necro also said that while he's known for a certain, very precise style, that does not mean he's not challenging himself lyrically. "Slayer makes Thrash, Metalica makes Heavy Metal, Necro raps brutal," he declared, drawing a comparitive analogy from two bands he deeply admires. "That doesn't mean everything I make is going to be the same kind of brutal." Necro's researched verses often touch on war, women, boxing and Horror films. "People tend to avoid that I'm flippin' all the subjects. I might make a brutal war track, but [it's a track about war]. It is a different subject. I am rapping with concept. I do experiment."

"It just so happens I've got my own sound attached to the name Necro," said the Brooklynite producer, who wanted to also explain musical growth. "The Necro sound is what-the-fuck I choose. I happen to be very obscure, and at the same time, do original shit that people haven't really fucked with yet. For example, on my title track, 'Die' , it wasn't the easiest to flow on that. It's a pretty fast, up-tempo track. It's a little obscure, but if you listen to the original [sample], it's a break - and it's never been used. I never heard anybody freak it."

The man who says he makes 30 beats in one sitting stopped to admire his production craftsmanship. "I freaked it! Honestly, shit's a lil' unorthodox. The way I hooked up the drums [Necro copies the percussion], there's snare kicks on every downbeat. Why? It's beautiful. It gave me the chance to do some next shit." Like Large Professor, Diamond D or even newcomer J. Cole, Necro then has to provided lyrics for the tracks he makes. "Plus the flow - when I started rhymin' to it, shit wasn't that easy. It wasn't like I sat down to it with your regular, average flow with a beat that's boom-boom-bap, boom-bap. That wasn't your typical 90 beats-per-measure shit, this shit was like 107. It required some angle to approach. It's even deeper than saying you're just going to rap on shit. You gotta come off! I don't give a fuck what you're trying to experimentally, if you don't come off, and cats hear it and go, 'that's lyrical,' you fuckin' failed! For me, I wouldn't have released that track if I didn't think I fuckin' came off. So I sat down, took me some time, and finally got in the mode, was able to kill it."

Necro analyzed his opening bars, "You never went to jail, you shook from the look of it / I invented Hell when I took the shit," that's not even as technical as other rhymes of mine because you can't put that many words in those phrases to fit that kind of bar-measure. So you kinda just gotta say some really hot shit. You're not really relying on rhyming eight words in one line."

While speaking with HipHopDX, Necro was also asked about producing "Gihad" for Raekwon and Ghostface Killah for last year's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II. The 2009 DX Year End Award-winning song (and album) served as a milestone for the respected producer who has slimmed down on credits and placements in the last decade. "I got disgusted," explained Necro on his hiatus. "I'm not givin' people beats no more. I don't want to be that dude that puts the power in the hands of a rapper. [If] I make a banger, I'm gonna rap on the banger. Fuck that." Necro said that he makes exceptions for his Psycho+Logical Records roster of artists, which includes Mr. Hyde and former Arsonists member Q-Unique. Additionally, Necro will always produce for Ill Bill, which he last did on 2008's fan-favorite Hour of Reprisal.

As far as breaking the rules to work with Raekwon, the placemement was hardly by design. "What happened was, I wasn't even lookin' to get beats on [rappers' projects]," repeated Necro. "[Ill] Bill had old beat CDs [of mine], and he started fuckin' with Raekwon on some shit," CD. "Bill called and said, 'Yo Necro, can I give Raekwon a copy of this old beat CD you gave me? He's working on Cuban 2, and he's not looking to pay $50,000 a beat - that don't work for [his budget]. He wants gutter, grime shit, and he heard some of your shit and he likes it.' I said, 'Yeah, why not? What do I got to lose?' And you know what, it wasn't even a new beat CD."

Strangely, the instrumental to "Gihad" was made less than two years after the first Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... "Actually, the beat that Raekwon picked was 13 years old. I made that beat in '97," revealed Necro with a chuckle. "It was two years before Rae called me and picked it. Rae had the beat CD for two years. I got a call two years later, Bill says, 'Rae wants to talk to you; he wants to use a beat.' I'm thinking in my head - kind of excited, this is a pretty good look. At the same time, I'm not really one of these dudes that's trying to get beat [placements]. I'm not like Alchemist, no disrespect to Alchemist. He conquered his lane of being that producer that first producer to have something on everybody's shit. I actually tried - I wanted to do that."

Early in Necro's career, the producer shopped beats to several New York Rap icons and even a multi-platinum superstar (which DX will chronicle later this week), but few were receptive. "I would've stayed up all night by the [Ensoniq] ASR-10 if I could actually get the music to people. I couldn't get it done. I wasn't doing it for major money - I would've taken [$1,000]. I would've done shit for the name." With Necro CDs floating around the industry since the late '90s, Cage and Missin' Linx remained the most receptive clients (besides Non Phixion) prior to last year.

With that history in Hip Hop, Necro said that Bill's passing the old beat CD of his brother's was the only way this relationship could have happened. "I wouldn't have gone into the studio and done a new beat CD - no disrespect to Rae. For nobody would I have gone into the studio and made a new beat CD at that point. That just wasn't what I was doing. The fact that Bill said he had an old beat CD, it was easy for me [to agree]. Go ahead."

When Raekwon and Necro finally spoke on the subject of placing "Gihad," Necro respected his fellow veteran in a truly rare style. "'Tell him he can have the beat for free,'" Necro asked brother Ill Bill to tell Raekwon after inquiries were made to buying the track. "I don't even want the fuckin' money; I'm giving Raekwon the beat for free on spec, 'cause it's [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II] and I know what a big record it is. If he's really 'bout it, and he's really 'bout usin' my beat, then I'm not lookin' to make money off of it, 'cause that's good enough of a payment." A die-hard fan of Hip Hop, Necro felt honored to be included on the highly-touted project, pairing him with producers such as Dr. Dre, RZA, Erick Sermon, J Dilla and Marley Marl. He's complimenting me enough by saying, 'This record is dope, and this [album] has been anticipated for 14 years.'" All Necro wanted was proper credit in the EMI Records release's inserts, which happened to be prominently featured on the back of the six-figure selling release. "Hey, it happened! He dropped it. Much props to Raekwon for [letting me be a part of] a classic album, something Hip Hop really appreciated. I want to thank Bill for that."

The victory however, was bittersweet for Necro. With a 13 year-old beat, the artist would loved proper recognition sooner. "It would have meant so much more to me if when I was trying to get beats out there, mothafuckas showed me love. That's how it works in the game: when you don't care anymore, then [your dream finally happens]."

Stay tuned for more from HipHopDX's 90-minute conversation with Necro. His album Die! is in stores now on Psycho+Logical Records.

42 Comments

  • Henchman

    Necro NEVER seen in the hood . Says it all really

    • SutterKane

      Your right, it does say it all. It says that he's made over a million dollars completely independant and isnt a stupid fuck thats gonna throw his life away by hanging out in the "Hood" and getting into unnecessary bullshit to impress people like you. But for the record, him and Ill bill did grow up in the projects, there just not loser enough to go hang out there now. If I had a million dollars you wouldnt see me in a section 8 neighborhood either, lol. You can have fun in your projects and trailer parks, I'll be chillin elsewhere.

  • DIRRRT

    Necro deserves more spotlight. This mufucka knows how to hustle and make sum brutal music. To this day, he's probably the only REAL rapper around. So what if he raps about buck 50's, splatter sprees, and edgy pornography, that shit IS real and it does happen every day. It's way better than that bullshit you hear on the radio, pussy shit like Akon, T.I., or Lil' Wayne, to me that shit is not rap, its pop. The radio plays other bullshit that is just ridiculous, like Asher Roth, that white boy is fuckin whack. If ya gonna keep playing the same bullshit over and over and over again, just start playing fuckin' disco music again. Eminem has sold the fuck out and he's still the same bitch he was when he first started. Necro would murder Em in a rap battle and in real life. Em needs to quit making music, go back home, smack his bitch up, shoot up some more pills, and go rape some homosexuals and dead animals as that's what his raps are famous for. DIE!

    • Anonymous

      yo man, don't hate on eminem. i agree entirely with what you say about necro, he's a fuckin beast with beats, lyrics, persona, everything; Em is just too dope to try and make fun of. SSLP and MMLP? like are you kidding me? pure genius

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  • live evil

    wow theres a lot of people up here giving there opinion and really dont know shit about shit/necros the shit/he dont have to be famous/hes famous in new york were it matters not down south or the mid west were it doesnt matter/learn hip hop/learn necros roots/learn were he comes from/reality rap music dude/not fake like your so called famous rappers/oh yeah white rapper that doesnt sound like the slim shady homo/u ever heard of ra the rugged man or diabolic/quality white dudes in hip hop/you know what yall dudes need to turn the radio off or the tv/whatever it is

  • guccimaya

    FINALLY Necro's talents behind the boards being recognized! His raps and his style still the same but his beats are beasting.

    • live evil

      necros a monster on beats his rap is for those who choose to listen to it//i got kids so its hard to listen to him but he is ny streets finest//quality hip hop/ill bill too/if you like necro beats i got beats that are dope too//youtube.com/liveevilinc or myspace.com/liveevilinc or im one of the best akia mpc users in the world on akai mpc network im on reverbnation search l.i.v.e. liveevilinc or slime city music/peace real hip hop world/peace necro

  • bxvet

    nice to see dude gettin props for his production he's talented no doubt. Production is tight and ya he raps about gory shit but so did gravediggaz and their first album is DOPE and so is Die! dude just cant get his marketing game right for example to promote his album he puts out a video for white slavery and does shows with fuckin ICP? If that's all I knew about him i wouldn't buy the album either.

  • Cosmicslop

    Yo..seriously..nexro's production on die is incredible..Check a song called asbestos..the dude is a horrorcore rapper..His shit is mad gorey and just fucking..i cant even explain it, it's fucking insane. Let's just say he is the complete opposite of drake..like complete opposite is a good way to put it i think

  • jdinfinityq

    Wow, I rarely, and I mean rarely respond on DX posts, only because there is usually some interested convo going on that I don't feel the need to interrupt. But I gotta say that Necro is really really weak, I mean this dude is the kind of "musician" people point to when they want to say hip hop is dead. The weak low end production--yeah his production is fairly weak, these beats ain't pro tools rocket science. And most troubling is his straight up ignorant misogyny, which far exceeds the worst rapper on the worst day. He lacks concept, variability in flow, narrative and really most of the other basic aspects of good emceeing. Where skills should be he places out right violence against women and pathetically obvious drug references. I mean I am stunned at how bad this dude is.

    • kush nap

      jdinfinity1 sounds like a jealous producer. having trouble shopping your soundclick beats bro? necro freaks samples and got some of the craziest basslines goin in rap right now, and he plays a lot of the bass tracks live. pro tools rocket science? you clearly started producing in the 2000's, cuz this nigga was making bangers before pro tools was an option. you were probably better off not sayin shit, cuz now you sound like a jealous fag.

    • c4ined

      Dude , why dont you produce 15 years of hiphop and release 6 albums in a row and produce an underground classic album like the future is now and run your own merch company and have a fan base of over 2 million or even just try and MC/RAP , THEN COME BACK AND GIVE US YOUR OPINION AS IT MIGHT ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING THEN !!! FUCK YA LIFE !!! DIE !!! IN STORES NOW !!!

  • Lupé

    can't figure out a worst name for a rapper than necro.

  • WTF-MAN

    My Cock Aches For Necro

  • DIE HAHAH

    NECRO IS A GOOD RAPPER AND PRODUCER. I THINK THE ONLY THING HOLDING HIM BACK IS THAT HE DOESNT COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ARTISTS MORE. MAYBE HE'S ANTISOCIAL BUT DUDE NEEDS TO APPEAR ON OTHER ALBUMS IF HE WANTS TO BUILD A BIGGER FANBASE. AND HAVE AT LEAST 1 OR 2 OTHER ARTISTS ON HIS ALBUMS. OR IF HIS STYLE DOESN'T MIX WELL WITH OTHERS JUST GET HIS BEATS OUT THERE AGAIN. LOOKS LIKE HE HAS THE EXACT OPPOSITE PLANS THOUGH.

  • jay324324

    i didnt even kno who necro was til ob4cl2 poped out.. after readin this interview i gained alot of respect...and then i seen the last video am i the only one who was disturbed by that video of him rapin a bitch n puttin guns in the mouths... and thats why hes not famous lol

  • mcrd101

    this is not hate: necro, In my opinion, is a plague to the label "underground hip hop". When has he rapped about REAL stuff? I cant think of one song. Now, maybe he does have a few, but so do mainstream artists. He's all horrorcore, and thats not real. What's real is talking about what you know. & i extremely doubt necro knows about performing gruesome murders. He's the equivalent of gangster rap with better imagery

  • TDOTMOVEMENT

    His production is dope...not a fan of his rhyme content though.

  • doubl negative

    Does anyone want an X-XL Necro tour T-shirt? It features the Pre-Fix for Death character shootin' up some green shit, some hoe blowin' him and a dude he just murderd with his intestines on display. I bought it in '07 when I was 18.5 stone, I'm 13.5 stone now. As for Gihad, it's a dope track, but there are iller joints on Cuban Linx II. The Pete Rock joint and all of the Dilla ish were my favourite tracks on that LP.

  • Htt20

    "I'm not givin' people beats no more. I don't want to be that dude that puts the power in the hands of a rapper. [If] I make a banger, I'm gonna rap on the banger. Fuck that." Necro said that he makes exceptions for his Psycho+Logical Records roster of artists, which includes Mr. Hyde and former Arsonists member Q-Unique. ------------------------------------ And suddenly Necro's existence becomes meaningless...

  • Dr. Deadbeat

    From the jump off NECRO is a REAL HIP-HOP HEAD!!! In the late 90's when www.necrohiphop.com was just getting up, I began buying vinyl, CD's etc. Str8 from the site & NECRO autographed posters for me and later when the Gory Days DVD / CD came out he autographed the case's cover on the strength that I was a fan, customer & REAL HIP-HOP HEAD. The moral of the story REAL recognize REAL. I never asked for an autograph, but I definitely appreciate it. Anyone talking shit is obviously & clearly full of shit. NECRO is a blessing to HIP-HOP anyone who doesn't see that is a cancer to our culture...

  • Charmelle

    WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CRYSTALLAKE416 Raekwon + Necro beats would be a great full length

  • k one

    that Gihad beat is incredible!!

    • kush nap

      indeed it is. whats crazy is, he got at least 100 beats on that level. maybe hed be open to doin more work with legends that wanna get down. sean price, and necro. come on, rae, ghost, he could smash on the game as a producer, and still drop his solo shit to satiate his fanbase. hope he warms up to it, but i get the bitterness.

  • Ah Hell

    Necro's personality sucks seeing him on video's on ughh.com talkin' all that shit that he wouldn't do. He clarifies why in this interview in the beginning, to make money. After reading on he history of Gihad on OB4CL2, I must say I got some more respect for him. That track was a definite standout track on the album and for it being as old as it was, simply wow. Even more so for Necro giving it to Rae out of homage. That's real Hip Hop right there. I just might check out DIE! now. Big up Necro, you sick minded fuck.

  • LAmizo

    I respect Necro for being a hip hop purist, but I don't dig him as a rapper, or as a producer really, he's like a indie Eminem, but he's never grown as a rapper. That Gihad beat is mad simple and dated, not the best beat on OBCL2 that's for sure.

  • khordkutta

    Ive never really peeped dude before, but I got a GANG of respect for him reading this interview.

  • longback

    id say he hasnt bust a nut in a longtime judgin by does videos watta pervy fuker he is..go out an get urself a women instead of gettin dimes in yo videos dat dont even lik u jus want yo grade..class producer do

  • WORDUPNIGGA

    HIS SHIT KNOCK HARD. GUTTER RAP NIGGA SHIT

  • Truly Yrz

    I respect Necro a lot more after reading this. I always wanted to know why he and Cage didn't work more.

  • roksteady

    i respect his hustle, but to be honest that beat is garbage and doesnt fit wih the album what so ever...

  • Assassin221

    Not a fan of the way this dude raps but you gotta respect his hustle and his production game is on point.

  • freshyboi

    thats so awesome that he didnt want any money for the beat! real hip-hop shit right there.

  • Whatsreallygood

    Ill shit. After reading this, I have so much more respect for Necro. Yeah, hes a sick fuckin bastard but his beat game is magnificent. Muthafuckas need to get up on his shit.

  • kush nap

    gihad was straight classic man. necro need to do more production work for the wu. gulliest white boy out, hell never get the proper respect. been cookin heaters over a decade. beat after beat, bangers. get at this dude. he gave that beat up for free? chef better get back to him for that. i think everyone can agree gihad was a standout track and wed all be happy to hear more of that. future is now, he had standout beats next to pete rock, large pro, and premier ob4cl 2 he had a standout track next to j dilla, dr.dre, marley marl, rza, and alchemist. production genius. heads know.

  • caligreen805

    wow a 13 year old beat huh? now thats dope. who says vintage hip-hop beats cant make a comeback?

  • dumpinonyou

    NECRO IS FUKIN SICK!! DIE!! HAHAAA

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