Necro is one of the most respected rappers and producers in the underground as well as being undeniably the most brutal. His metal credentials are impressive too both in his time as a young metal head in the Brooklyn projects with his band Injustice and his later career as a hip hop artist with albums like Gory Days, Death Rap and The Pre Fix For Death which featured lyrics on a par with most death metal bands and on the latter, guest appearances from some of metals finest. Ahead of his upcoming new album The Notorious Goriest, we caught up with Necro to hear all about his love for metal and its influence on his hip hop, working with rap legends like Kool G Rap, tales of metal in New York and crazy live shows.
How did you get into metal in the first place and what was it about the music that attracted you to it?
I started hearing Metal in the projects as a kid, I was playing guitar and loved the complex brutalness of heavy riffs.
Did you get into metal and hip hop around the same time? And were you hearing both sounds around the Glenwood projects where you grew up?
Yeah and on TV they used to have a channel that played Metal & Rap videos on the same channel back to back called U-68 hosted by Emo Phillips, it was dope as fuck.
Your first metal band was Injustice when you were very young. How did the band get together and did you ever record any material?
Yeah, our demos are on Youtube & Spotify – I was 11 years old – The band was mainly dudes from The Projects, me, my brother, and Mike Nabatov and the drummer from another hood in the Italian area of Brooklyn.
What was the Injustice sound?
Mix between Death Metal & Thrash Metal
Injustice opened up for Napalm Death and Sepultura, what do you remember about those days?
I was young and nervous and didn’t wanna fuck up on stage cuz our music was very technical, so I used to be in awe of all the Metal Legends, I was a real fan, it was a sick experience mixed with a lot of nerves because I am not social but I did go to L’Amour quite often to see bands live.
Were you getting metal groupies then?
I was but I was real young and didn’t know much about girls or how to interact – one time I stole my brother’s girlfriend, her name was Wendy, it was weird, she was with him and then somehow became my girlfriend for a short period of time, picked me up from 9th grade and I looked cool having an older girlfriend, but I was so focused on music I think that is how I became good at it, while other kids focused on social I focused on art in my mind because it needed focus to excel.
When you were a young metalhead, were you going to shows in Brooklyn and the rest of New York and what was the sickest shows you saw back then?
Yes I was, prob Death live, I was in the front row banging my head with long hair down to my ass, and the show with Obituary & Biohazard was crazy, a lot of cool bands and I can’t remember all the shows, it was so long ago.
You’re the most prominent rapper to have such respected metal musicians on your album with features from everyone from Danny Lilker and Away to John Tardy and Scott Ian. How did you hook up with these guys to be on your album and were they fans if Necro before?
I basically reached out as I don’t think a lot of rappers even acknowledge them, so I was basically the only Hip hop artist even wanting to work with them and doing something legit, so they were happy to have the interest as well, it was a mutual collabo, half of them I just paid for studio and a few others I paid a small fee, but it was all based on some sort of love because as I said these guys are not featured on anyone’s albums in this way ever, it was a rare occasion for them all.
I saw an interview you did on the past where you said that a lot of rappers wouldn’t give you credit but the metal guys were embracing your brutality. Is that still the case or have things changed on that front?
Hip hop is based on ego – people give props when they are friends with you or if they don’t feel threatened, or if you are such a legend like Rakim where it’s expected, but if it’s someone like Necro that you were watching on your come up, and I inspired you to do it indie, make merch, represent very straight forward, a lot of these guys wanna act like they came up with that idea on their own, and won’t say Necro was a huge influence, it’s ego, that is just how these dudes are, everyone wants to be the man and will be selective with who they say influenced them because they wanna look like geniuses, so they will give props to the super legends that everyone knows like an Ice Cube because they don’t feel like they are losing anything, what if I give Necro props and he disses me or doesn’t show respect back? but they know Rakim or Cube don’t know who the fuck they are and prob never will really, so it’s easier to dap them – but props to the few that have shown love, you know who you are.
From your rapping and lyrics to the production and your artwork, your music has always been heavier than a lot of metal bands. Is that how you’ve always wanted your music to come across, that grimy, hard stuff?
Yeah being white means we get looked at as soft until we crack you in the face and shit gets real, so I always made my music extra brutal because I felt that is what was needed, and sometimes it turned people off because they cant handle it, its like let’s diss white boys for not being real or authentic or hard, but when one white boy is super hard, now we gonna diss him for being too hard, you cant win, and that’s when i realized i don’t give a fuck about being accepted and I’ll build my own fan base and do as i please and support those that support me, everyone else can suck a dick, cuz they don’t really matter anyway, if you got no love for me, I got no love for you, simple logic.
You are one of the most underrated lyricists in rap and when you reference metal in your lyrics like when you rhyme that you will “penetrate your skull like an Obituary riff from Slowly We Rot” on Underground it combines the best of both worlds. Do you take inspiration for your music from the lyrics in metal as well?
I did on the come up, not as much now because I have so many styles and concepts and ideas to draw from, but in the early days I did look at a lot of metal lyrics for inspiration, it’s always a part of me, Metal doesn’t leave you, its in your heart for life, its a way of life mentality and influence cuz it’s so different that if you identify with it, you are it, I used to rock a MC leather jacket like James Hetfield, that was my idol, all those guys, same way Hip hop legends were my idols for rapping like Kool G Rap, Rakim, KRS, Kane.
As a rapper, did you ever get shit for your love of metal?
Nobody ever stepped to me talking shit but I didn’t get much love on The Sounds Of The Underground Tour so it was metal heads hating on me for being Hip hop.
When you work with a legend like Kool G Rap like you did with The Godfather’s, would you bring up a metal influence on a track or do keep it strictly hip hop?
More brutal and less Metal, because G Rap is not into Metal like that but he has rapped super brutal shit in the past so I made sure it was very hardcore lyrically but not particularly Metal influenced.
Who would you love to get on a Necro album in the future?
Rza would be cool, or Ozzy.
You’ve had Harley Flanagan and members of Hatebreed on your albums too. Were you big into hardcore too? Obviously New York has a legendary hardcore scene, were you going to hardcore shows?
Not really, I knew them but my scene was mainly Thrash & some Death Metal, I was never big on going to shows, I got myself to the point where I was the show, on stage, and that is where I am most comfortable, being the show, that was always where I yearned, I would see the stage and the wires and want to be the center of attention, the person everyone was there to see, now I have that in countries all over the world, and it’s natural, no big deal really, because you get desensitized to these things after a while.
You’ve produced a multitude of hip hop artists like Raekwon and Cage as well as all of the Non Phixion crew but would you ever produce an album for a metal band and who would you love to work for?
I don’t know if I could produce a metal band like the way the best metal producers have, that is a career and big endeavor, I might make a Necro metal album, but producing someone else is basically making the sound and engineering it, not creating it like I do with beats.
Do you check out and listen to newer bands or do you keep it classic?
I keep it classic, nothing competes with 1986 Metal.
You are renowned for your live show and have credited Metallica as an inspiration when it comes to rocking it onstage. What do you make sure happens in your shows to elevate you above other performers?
Well I don’t take any shit, so you won’t see anyone disrupting the show or the show stops and someone gets their ass kicked, so I command attention and the show, as it’s my show so you did come to watch me, then I make sure I am rehearsed and tight and sober, so no fucking up my lyrics in a drunk stoop-er, I am a pro on stage, and I make the crowd pit hard, so there is involvement – I do my best to perform the songs like the record but with a live feel, and for the crowd to participate as much in the show, not much special effects because this is not a circus, just raw energy live with a focus on the music.
Which metal bands would you love for Necro to tour with?
Slayer or Metallica would be cool but I don’t think metalheads like rap so it never goes down well.
What’s the wildest audience that you’ve ever played to?
A lot of insane shows, one that comes to mind was California, Los Globos, the crowd was so insane it was like the craziest Slayer show you could imagine, super aggressive, and I loved it.
You’ve played at Download in the U.K. as well as other metal festivals, how does your take on rap go down with these different crowds?
Download went down well because I think there is enough metal heads that like Hip hop there, so 3500 people came to my tent while Motley Crue were on, but if it was a smaller venue all about metal, then the 1000 people would hate me mostly, but Download UK prob had 50,000? so there was a good amount of open minded fans that day, plus the UK is way more open minded musically than the USA.
Horror movies play a big part in your music too. What are your favorite horror movies of all time and you seen any new horror films recently that you can recommend to us?
I haven’t really watched new movies, but I love movies like High Tension, Maniac, Blood Sucking Freaks, I have seen so many so it’s hard to choose movies over others unless you just watched it freshly, I watch a lot of TV cable shows lately.
What music are you working on at the moment? Hopefully there’ll be more new Necro music soon!
I am working on completing THE NOTORIOUS GORIEST – hopefully that is done this month and I can release it immediately.
Are you a fan of any UK artists that you’ve heard?
I don’t listen to a lot of foreign rappers as much as foreign music I sampl
Have you get any final words for all your fans in the U.K.?
Yes check out all my websites and buy some merch at my store
and I love you all, much respect – see you soon on tour
Check out my Spotify here – https://open.spotify.com/artist/51vjIMmHWyVqDrkxD07Jh7?si=kGRxkQ51R6CBj7rQlXNdJw
Buy Necro merch here – www.necroproduct.com
Follow me on Instagram here – http://www.instagram.com/necrorules
Follw me on Facebook too – http://www.facebook.com/necrohiphop
Youtube – www.youtube.com/necrovideo
Official Site www.necrohiphop.com
THANKS – SALUTE