Last week, Necro spoke with HipHopDX. In part one of the conversation, the Brooklyn-based emcee/producer spoke about challenging himself on his just-released album Die! After taking a lengthy hiatus from producing outside artists, Necro also spoke on his 1997 beat for “Gihad” appearing on Raekwon‘s 2009 album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II, which was HipHopDX’s album of last year.
As that conversation continued, Necro explained why un-returned calls and lack of interest from emcees led him to stop entertaining producing others. He revealed that his music has landed in some legendary hands, and even one superstar peer from the ’90s underground Rap community. “I’ve been makin’ beats for years, and givin’ beat CDs to people for years,” Necro told DX. “I’ve given beat CDs [and] have stuff sent to Kool G Rap, I’ve had stuff sent to Rakim, Big Daddy Kane‘s house, all these dudes who don’t even live in New York and had no idea I sent it to them, ’cause some of these dudes live in [Virginia] and [I] have different contacts [to] have beat CDs sent. I gave Cormega beats, I gave Tragedy [Khadafi] beats – I gave Eminem beats.”
With Eminem working with acts such as DJ Spinna and Thirstin Howl, III in his early days, that may not be surprising to hear. However, interestingly enough Necro revealed that the CD Slim Shady received included what would become one of Necro’s most championed productions. “I gave Eminem a beat CD, the first beat on it was ‘Black Helicopters’ [as later titled by] Non-Phixion, before they used it,” he revealed. “So a lot of people have had chances, where they could have rocked over a Necro beat. And they didn’t. It got to a point where I felt either [one of] two things: either I’m gettin’ hated on ’cause I’m white, which would kind of suck, ’cause I’m seeing all these white herb kids’ beats used. I was never askin’ for money. I’m thinkin’ either dudes don’t like me, ‘fuck this dude Necro’ or maybe the beats aren’t good enough. Maybe my style – and I was givin’ such grimy shit too, real dark – [was too much]. I wasn’t getting called back.”
Besides the case with Raekwon, who’s grown close to Necro’s brother, Ill Bill, the experiences from a decade ago forced the producer to focus on keeping his work in-house. “If you’re [Psycho+Logical Records], I’ll produce some shit for you. Pretty much after 2000, I decided no more. That’s when I started PLR, in November of ’99,” he said of the label that includes Mr. Hyde and Q-Unique. Family also is an exception for Necro. “Bill, he’s my brother, so he’ll always get beats for me. One thing about Bill is he won’t take beats from somebody that’s wack. He won’t use my beats just ’cause I’m his brother; he’ll be the first one to tell me if he doesn’t like one of my beats. The funny thing is Bill always got my beats, he understood my beats. Some of the biggest Non-Phixion hits and bangers are [produced] by Necro: ‘C.I.A. Is Trying To Kill Me,’ ‘Refuse To Lose,’ ‘I Shot Reagan,’ these are all Necro joints.” These tracks appeared on the celebrated group’s The Future Is Now, The Green CD/DVD and various 12″ singles dating back to 1998.
Necro was also asked about “First Blood,” a scratch-based concoction that has the potential to be a new classic within his catalog. Necro explained how an ’80s Sylvester Stallone film staple inspired the song’s music and writing. “When I make a track like ‘First Blood,’ [it’s] me trying to give you that Rambo experience. Anybody who’s [around] 30 years old, they grew up knowing that movie, that music. And nobody in Hip Hop ever freaked it. A lot of people [are inspired by war], but nobody ever did War. Okay, I want to make that happen.”
After the music came the words, “I cooked the beat up [and was impressed]. I could’ve said some thug shit, like ‘I’m a hood Rambo.’ But I decided to freak the movie. Here’s the thing: if I would’ve done it and it didn’t sound good, I wouldn’t have put it out. It just so happens when I started writin’ it, it came out hot.”
Necro broke down his writing further, “The first line is flames: ‘Special forces / Professional with a four-fifth / Congressional medal shit / Aggression will get you split,’ once I got that, I already know I’ve got some shit. Everything’s got to be as hot as that first line. I just kept buildin’ off that, and rhymin’ it. People don’t understand – it’s such a big process recording that. You could write the shit and have a good beat and it still ain’t done. Now you’ve gotta step up to the mic and spit it. That ain’t easy. Listen to the way I drop that, I’m hittin’ it. I’m not lazy. Shit is not easy, especially when you’re technical. It takes breath control and multiple takes.” With a core audience that respects delivery, lyricism and a syncopated flow, Necro is unapologetic to those who might not notice the lyrical craftsmanship he put in such bars, “But when you know, you know. Certain people, they get it.”