Necro & Kool G Rap first announced their “Godfathers” project and collaboration as far back as 2011. Late November that year, The Godfathers released a digital mix CD, titled, The Pre-Kill. The digital mix consists of fifty previously released songs of Kool G Rap & Necro going back and forth song for song. Not long thereafter they announced their first official full length album would be released in the first half of 2012. As it turns out it took a bit longer to release “Once Upon A Crime” but the end-result was well worth the wait.
Kool G Rap of course is an undeniable legend and veteran in the rap game. With over 30 years experience and 10+ full length albums under his belt, we know what to expect from G Rap. Hard hitting, high quality gangsta rap with his signature lisp. Necro also has a 20+ year career, establishing himself as a leader in the genre of violent & often horror inspired hip hop. At some point he coined the term “Death Rap” to describe his style of ultraviolent hip hop and to set himself apart from other genre labels created by the media.
For a lot of people Necro & Kool G Rap’s teaming up came out of left field, but when listening to “Once Upon A Crime” one cannot conclude anything else other than it works incredibly well.
Necro spits the opening lines of the album on “Teflon Dons”;
“Clap you in the beak with the snub-nose heat. Wrap a towel around you head like a sheik to stop the blood leak. Slaughter your aorta, your heart forfeits. Hang you up, Colombian necktie, gore drips”
and immediately sets the mood; this is no auto-tune, hipsteresque softcore rap. This is that old-school grimy New York rap!
G Rap starts his verse with that typical style of painting a setting; “Yeah, corporate money, gorgeous honies, Tommy guns roar like the The Roaring Twenties. G Corleone in an office with Sonny, round magazine bullets lost in your tummy”.
They’re not treading any new ground here, but in today’s climate of watered down hip hop it’s a delight to hear some aggressive, no frills lyricism.
Necro’s angry, fast and urgent delivery is alternated by Kool G Rap’s more laidback approach. While Necro pretty much eats up the beat and leaves no room to escape, G Rap lets the beat breathe a bit more, while still coming with dope punchlines off course. Both styles have their charm and work well together.
“Once Upon A Crime” carries on with “The City”, upbeat song which samples Joe Cocker’s “Summer In The City”. “Omerta” draws a sample from the Godfather movies’ theme and gorily details the ramifications of breaking the code of ‘Omerta’. “Crook Catastrophe & The Gunblast Kid” is maybe the first Western influenced gangster rap song? The beat & lyrics make me think of the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West. The chorus has a genius sample of Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”. Singer Lemmy’s raspy voice declares “If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man
You win some, lose some, it’s – all – the same to me”.
The only guest verse on “Once Upon A Crime” comes courtesy of long-time Necro collaborator Mr Hyde. He delivers a dope verse on “Wolf Eyes”. I’m glad Necro & Kool G Rap decided to keep most production in house (All songs are produced by Necro, except “Unsub” which was co-produced by G Rap), cause nowadays a lot of albums suffer from too many producers putting in their 2 cents, which often result in an incohesive array of tracks.
You can say a lot of things about Necro, but you can’t say he doesn’t pay attention to detail; “Once Upon A Crime” has a 40 page booklet, including all of Necro & Kool G Rap’s lyrics. As well as really dope drawings of Necro & Kool G Rap as the Godfather’s in different settings. The tracks “Wolf Eyes” and “Heart Attack” received their own single artwork. All in all a real treat for any Necro and / or Kool G Rap fan.
Now let’s hope Necro & Kool G Rap take this show on the road!
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