Necro Necro is here to bring a different atmosphere to the music industry. He has an incredible line-up of hungry MC’s including Ill Bill, Mr. Hyde, Goretex, Sabac, and himself on his own independent imprint. Check out his views on how the industry works and how to beat it at it’s own game.
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: What do you consider yourself first, a rapper or producer? NECRO: Both equally because I am always rapping over my own beats. A good way to compare it is like eating food with a drink. Could you have a pizza without a soda? I know some people do, but not me.
WHO?MAG: Where does the name PSYCHO+LOGICAL-RECORDS come from? NECRO: Psychological is ill because it’s psycho and logical. Certain things just come to me. I might have not really analyzed it from the perspective like “okay, I want to call it call this psychological”, it more like it came to me in my head and I stuck with because I’m basically a psycho that is logical. What that means is I’m “psycho” meaning whatever you would compare to psycho, if it’s thugged out, someone that would toss beatings to people, street shit, or anything else that’s psycho. But at the same time, if I was only psycho, I would probably be in jail right now or dead. I got logic as well. But if you are only logical, you are kinda like a nerd. If all you do is logic, you have no balls to do anything with it. When you’re psycho and you’re logical, that’s the next level. Now you can combine both. That’s what the name represents and it worked really well cause I always felt that I am psychological, very mental, always thinking, always using my mind. And all feelings come from the brain so everything is psychological because it controls the whole body. You pretty much can’t do anything with out the mind. It just worked and I even flipped it a little crazier and spelled it Psycho+ and Logical- so it’s positive and negative. Psycho can be positive and logical can be negative, it’s just ill. If you see the logo, it’s even crazier. I made the Psycho part with all psycho things and the Logical part with rulers and other logical things
WHO?MAG: How did you pick your line up for your label? NECRO: It comes from the fact that I don’t consider myself the star of the label, because Non-Phixion are all stars in themselves. I got all their solo joints on my label and Ill Bill is pretty much on the same level as me on record sales and being known, but obviously first my label was built to promote Necro, then the fact that I am already producing Mr. Hyde and all of the Non-Phixion cats and since I already grew up with all of them, it turned into this situation where I am just a beat machine. Besides just being a label, I can also come forth and just make things happen. I can produce full albums and I can get the money. That’s basically what you need to make an album, money and beats, besides the lyricism. All the rapper has to do is perform and come up with rhymes. I’m putting everything else together. I pretty much just roll with my own crew. Ill Bill is my brother, Non-Phixion, so it was real logical to knock out his debut album. Sabac, he’s on some revolutionary shit and his whole vibe is entirely different, so it let me come with beats the people might not have heard and showcase talent. Mr. Hyde has been waiting to drop shit, but he had to come up in the ranks and earn his earning things and he pretty much earned his keep with the crew. Then his album dropped. Then I had to drop my joint because my fans are insane. If I don’t drop anything, I got my own little cult thing going on, even if it’s just Necro. Then we have Goretex. He is on some dusted crazy shit. Some Andy Warhol on heroin tip. I pretty much just stick to my people. With them, they know what I’m about. They know I keep it real and I have their best interest and they appreciate my beats. I really don’t believe there are too many people better than them.
WHO?MAG: A chunk of your intro’s and artwork seem very retro. Where do you get your concepts? NECRO: As far as ideas, I wouldn’t really tell anyone where I get my ideas from. If we are talking about my album, I had had it drawn by Edward J. Repka, which is a legendary metal cat. He drew a lot of people in the eighties like Death, Nuclear Assault, and the MegaDeth covers. That is a cat that I really respected. That’s part of why I’m really original in the hip-hop world, because I don’t care what people are doing. Just let me do some real original shit that will get me open. That makes me proud to go back to an eighties legend and dig up old vinyl. Every concept is different. For Goretex’s cover it was just Goretex came over with a picture with the goat. I saw that shit and was like, “Yo, that’s it right there. Goretex said, “Yo, that might alienate people”, and I said I don’t give a fuck. I’m not doing this to get on Hot 97, we should just do what we feel which is why hip-hop is real. In 1988, that’s what cats were doing. They did what they felt. Sabac’s album, we tried to do different things. I had different artwork of him at a podium with people shooting at him and him dodging a bullet. It just didn’t come out hot. Who ever drew it, it just wasn’t at the level it needed to be. We were going to put him with Malcolm X in the back, but it wouldn’t look right with an Italian-Spanish kid. So we ran with Che Guevara because he is Latino. Mr. Hyde is on some low budget gore shit. He is a robotic cheap cheap rhymer. His rhymes are some straight kill you shit, very simplistic. He’s very Goth, almost like black and white, but it’s hot, just like U-God is hot when he comes on. And for Bill’s cover I used Paul Gulacy from Marvel. That dude used to draw Batman and Catwoman. For the new album I got, I have other cats drawing stuff to.
WHO?MAG: A few of your songs seem to twist different styles of music together. Explain your influence that rock and heavy metal has on your creativity? NECRO: I grew up in Glenwood Projects and I’m totally being influenced by hip-hop and there are gangs all over the PJ’s. Everywhere I walked there were fist fights either with me in it or somebody else. Hip-hop is just there bumping. Kids on the bench bumping Roxanne and La-Ti-Do-Ti and all that. And at the same time, my brother got into metal. We would watch this channel called U68 and it would one minute play a Beastie Boy song, then the next minute play Queen, and then go into a Run DMC video, then to an Anthrax track. It definitely infested my brother’s ears and the certain click I had in the PJ’s of just kids that were really up on music. By 12 years I was already in a death metal band opening up for death metal legends. I’m 12 years and I’m playing a B.C. Rich Guitar opening up for Sepultura, Obituary, Bio-Hazard, Immolation, Sadus, and they were the craziest ill bands at that time. But at the same time, we are going back to the projects. I even had long hair when I was 11. We still went to the park. My brother started rhyming and he was real nice. Everybody in the project was sweating my brother. When he would rhyme, people would literally run after him just to say what’s up. I see my brother rhyming, then I got nice, then Goretex got nice after. Basically we just grew up with both styles and incorporated them both.
WHO?MAG: You just released five albums in less than six months that you completely produced and released under your own imprint. What advice can you give someone trying to start their own label? NECRO: Number one, you better be about it. You better be serious. Don’t think this is a hobby or something you can do like paper mache’. It’s a serious business and it will eat you up. If you aren’t real about it, you will lose you money. Make sure you are serious about it and make sure you have talent. If you aren’t willing to spend 24/7 of your time or every dime you make, you’re not going to make it. There’s no way. The only people that excel are the people that are really about it. It’s like if you are an actor trying to make it in Hollywood, you have to go to a lot of auditions and really put your work in. You got to get knowledge. It’s 90% business and 10% art. Your cd’s are just coasters. Once you make an album, regardless how beautiful it may sound, all you got is a piece of plastic when it’s finished. Now you need a business to push it. If you are your own label, then you gotta realize, you are your own label. Being your own label is a lot of responsibility, a lot of work, and your going to have to put on about 100 hats. My advice is to do it. Make it happen because you will make more money. But not a lot of people are built for it just like most businesses. Most businesses don’t even last five years. Some are lucky if they even last one year. Me, I’m almost in my fifth year. Most people are finished after five. Just keep in mind, not everyone can do it. You can be all about your label, but if your music is garbage, you’re fucked. So you do need that 10% of that artistic good shit. How do you know? You need to get fans. You need the fan base. Its frustrating when you know your stuff is hot because you got fans, but you got these gate-keeper business people who may not understand hip-hop or be into your style and they might actually fool you to believe you can not get into this game. It’s all about fans because fans are your customers. All businesses revolve around customers. If you have people who like your stuff, you’re in.
WHO?MAG: There has been limited white hip-hop artist in the industry, and for the exception of the Beastie Boys and Eminem, majority of them were considered one-hit wonders. What needs to happen to break these stereotypes? NECRO: First of all it’s not only whites, but it’s also Latinos. I only say Latinos because, shit, I want someone on my side considering that I’m getting hated on. It’s a pure fact that what you said about white artist is the same about Latino artist. You barely see any of them either. Just Fat Joe and Big Pun. Who else? So what does it take? You don’t see Eminem coming out with any new white kids. He’s a white kid, but he didn’t put any white kids on. So a white kid got on, but he didn’t help put any white kids on. Beastie Boys have a lot of clout in the game and they didn’t put any white boys out. The only time you see a white kid is when a black guy is pimping him. I’m not talking about anybody’s skill now, they can be the most incredible lyricists. I’m just saying anytime you see a white guy getting props or respect, there was a black guy behind him saying that he’s okay. When a white kid is by himself, do you know how many roadblocks there are? They can’t even get a review in a magazine. I was told by XXL Magazine that my Gory Days album was too brutal. Now analyze that. I am a white kid from Brooklyn, NY and my album is too brutal. I’m from the home of Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z, both black artists. Both considered incredible. Then you have a white boy. Most people expect them to be corny. You have a white boy who they are saying is too hardcore and too rugged for their magazine. You can’t win! See my point? Either your too soft if you are white or you are to hardcore. What do you have to be? You have to be a white guy that a black guy co-signs. Doesn’t matter if you are your own persona, incredible, or a thug. This is because the media is fucked up. The people that write these stories about someone getting props, it always starts with “white boy this” and “white boy that”. There is always a joke that makes the white guy look like a cornball and sometimes it’s white people writing the articles. These people really aren’t down with the street shit. They are perpetrators trying to address the culture, but know nothing about the streets. In the streets there are all colors. If you are really in the streets, there is everything from Arabs, Latin, Italians, and blacks everywhere. What’s it gonna take? It’s going to take someone like me who speaks my mind. See Eminem doesn’t really talk about these white issues in his songs. He doesn’t go there. Maybe because his whole crew is black or maybe he never grew up like me. Most of my crew is mixed of Italian, Latin, Asian, and Jewish. We’re all different. I was approached once and was asked “What do you think about wiggers?” What’s a wigger? A white guy who wants to act black? Then what do you call a black guy who wants to be Italian? It’s a big joke. Its like media has allows blacks to take what’s good about Italians. Some rappers talk about I’m in the mafia, and I’m a gangster, and I’m Gotti, and you call yourself Capone or Luciano, then why can’t a white kid see a black kid who might dress fly and just say “he dresses fly”, I want to add that to my persona. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Everybody does that. In fact, everybody smart does it. If you had any brains, you’re gonna take all the dope stuff from everyone you meet.
WHO?MAG: East Coast artist only accounted for 24.1% of total hip-hop radio spins in 2004, opposed to 43.6 percent in the South and 29.7 percent in the Midwest. Do you feel this is a trend or a fad? NECRO: I think its good business. People are handling their business better is what that is. New York is all major labels and all these business heads and A&R who never wrote a rhyme before or never did a lot of things that rappers do. The south got iller business wise. It’s very hard in NY to sell 80,000 units just in NY. But if you come from Tennessee, you can move 80,000 units in Tennessee just in that one state. It’s a hustler’s mentality and people support more out there. People in NY are less to support and all the big businesses are here so it’s all big brainwashing. People don’t understand that labels are just businessmen that are like “Yo, you got product? Let me pimp you.” They sit behind desks when the fact is you should sit behind desks. But most artists just want to be artist and not learn the business. Is it a trend? I think its business. I think NY can be running shit.
WHO?MAG: What’s next in store for Necro and PSYCHO+LOGICAL-RECORDS? NECRO: Me just taking my game to the next level. I got a lot of ideas after I dropped these five things. I got a lot of things to implement, new mentalities, new intelligence, and new things to fuck with. I won’t get into them now until they are implemented. I don’t like talk about things until I do it. The way to take Psycho+Logical-Records to the next level. Things will just get iller and keep moving up the ladder. We’ll get there. I sold 100,000 albums this year, indy, myself! I get all that money. Basically coming up, I’m dropping 5 more albums and a world tour. I’m going to drop an album called Circle of Tyrants with Ill Bill, Goretex, Mr. Hyde and Necro basically just rapping violent shit.