Necro â€“ Death Rap
Hip-hop / Rap
Ron “Necro” Braunstein, 31, is a rapping white guy from Brooklyn. If you look closely, you’ll see that’s two strikes against him, coming into the release of his fifth album, and first under the burgeoning Koch Distribution label. It’s not that 31-year-old white guys can’t win over an industry that they’ve never before conquered, but the next who does will be the first.
Necro claims to have invented the “Death Rap” genre, so it’s fitting that it’s also the title of his latest release. Of course, he could’ve called it “Horrorcore” or “Gravediggaz II” and no one would have known the difference. Say this much for Necro, thoughâ€¦ the dude has no use for ambiguity.
The chorus to the opening track, “Creepy Crawl”, is: “stabbing and stabbing and stabbing and stabbingâ€¦ repeat 50xâ€¦ until you die!” Hey, it is what it is. The absence of subtlety keeps any of this material from reaching the subversive heights of say, Eminem’s “97 Bonnie & Clyde”, but Necro never tries to be anything less thanâ€¦ well, let him explain for himself on “No Remorse”:
“Blast you with Metallica, rip ya head to shreds like Gallagher’s sledge hammerâ€¦
You’re dead like space shuttle Challengerâ€¦”
Necro, himself, handles all the production which results in a million miles per hour metallic vibe that works with the subject matter and mic work. He gets up from some guest instrumentalists from time to time and, more often than not, the change is effective in breaking up some of the album’s monotony. Scott Ian of Anthrax is terrific on “Evil Rules”, for example.
Hell, there are even some moments of clever lyricism as Necro name drops a “Harry Osbourne” simile on “Some Get Back (Revenge)” and compares himself to Tupac’s cartoonish caricature Makaveli on more than one cut.
The phrase “not for everybody” was pretty much written with this album in mind. There’s nothing here that fans (or detractors) of hip-hop/metal mash-ups haven’t already heard, but damned if Necro isn’t occasionally entertaining. With a second listen, a few of the musical nuancesâ€”at least, I think they were nuancesâ€”start trickling through. Hey, don’t look at meâ€¦ I’m as shocked as anybody.