19 December, 2013@2:41 am
Necro has been putting down for years in the underground hip-hop scene, with a loyal legion of fans that follow his every move, and violently populate the Psycho+Logical-Records message boards. He’s built up a strong catalog of releases for himself and other members of the Non-Phixion crew, and made a lot of noise during the indie hip-hop era of the early 2000′s. His latest project comes as quite a surprise, as he teams with the legendary Kool G. Rap to form The Godfathers, with Once Upon A Crime.
Its always been clear that G. Rap has been a heavy influence on Necro, whether it be through his abrasive, breathless delivery, or the brutal subject matter of his rhymes. So seeing these two team up together makes a lot of sense, with Necro producing the album, and both of them trading off verses.
If you’ve heard a Necro project before, you kind of already know what to expect here. Necro commandeers this project, as his influence weighs heavier over it that G. Rap’s, due to his creative direction, production, and mic duties. Necro spits like a crisper version of G. Rap’s famous flow, with the lyrics just a bit meaner, the content just a bit darker.
The album kicks off on a high note with “Teflon Dons”, an almost perfect execution of the two rappers’ styles, over a raw track from Necro. This continues into “The City”, which also works, despite the hook being a slightly corny flip on Lovin Spoonful’s 60′s “Summer In The City”. This problem of rehashing things we’ve heard a million times before isn’t isolated to “The City”, as a matter of fact, as “Omerta” rips the theme from The Godfather. Guess it’s appropriate for a group called “The Godfathers”, but how many times has hip-hop mined these old mob movies for ideas?
Among the album’s lengthy 18 tracks, things are largely hit-and-miss. “American Sickos” completely nails it, as Necro takes it back to off-kilter, early 90′s jazz-loops, while he and G. Rap trade verses at 120+ BPM. On the other hand, we get tracks like “Black Medicine” and “Unsub”, which suffer from R&B hooks that don’t exactly compliment Necro’s rugged production. For every great track, there’s a skippable one.
Once Upon A Crime is a triumph for Necro in the fact that he has cut an album with the very man that inspired him to become an emcee to begin with. In that respect, whether we like some tracks, don’t like others is irrelevant, as Necro has achieved a personal milestone with Once Upon A Crime.
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