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Biography

Ron Raphael Braunstein (born June 7, 1976), better known under his stage-name Necro, is a Jewish-American rapper, producer, director and record label owner from Brooklyn, New York. He is the owner of Psycho-Logical-Records founded November, 1999. He is the brother of fellow rapper Ill Bill.

Biography

Necro was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in the Glenwood Housing Projects, where he lived for eight years from about 6 years old to age 14, when he moved to Canarsie. He is the son of two Israeli expatriates and of Israeli and Romanian ethnicity. Necro's father was a Romanian born Israeli combat soldier and his mother an Orthodox baalat teshuva.

He began his musical career at 11, playing guitar in a death/thrash band named Injustice. But in due time, he made a transition from heavy metal to hip hop. In 1988, he started rapping after being influenced by his older brother, rapper Ill Bill. Necro derived his stage-name from the Slayer song "Necrophiliac". Before that he called himself "Mad Mooney", which was a character from a Clive Barker book. He made his first demo in about 1990 and won a demo battle contest on the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show on WKCR-FM. In about 1993 Necro started rapping full time and made a demo called "Do The Charles Manson". In '95 he proceeded to rap on the Wildman Steve and DJ Riz show WBAU 90.3FM.

Stylistic characteristics

Lyrical style:

Necro lists Kool G Rap as one of his biggest influences in terms of multi-syllabic rhyme structure and content, as well as LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Rakim and the Geto Boys. Necro is also influenced by heavy metal/death metal lyrics, as well as gangster/horror movies and popular culture.

Death rap:

Necro invented 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. This sub-genre of rap combines death metal beats with explicit raps about violence, death, the occult, and sex.

Production:

Necro is a self-taught musician and has been playing instruments since the age of ten. He started producing hip hop beats in 1989 by looping up records and bought an Ensoniq EPS in 1991. In the following years he produced beats for artists like Non Phixion, Cage, Krist and Missing Linx, who all released independent singles. The first record he produced that received airplay was "No Tomorrow" by Non Phixion in 1996, put out on Searchlight Music/FatBeats Distribution.

The first wave of albums released on Necro's label were entirely produced by Necro himself. This includes the debut solo albums of Non-Phixion members Ill Bill, Sabac Red and Goretex after he already produced 7 songs for Non Phixion's debut album The Future Is Now in 2002.

In 2009, a beat Necro produced in 1997 was used by Raekwon on his album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II for the song "Gihad", which also featured Ghostface Killah.

Death metal influence:

Since the inception of his rap career Necro has been tied to the genre of heavy metal, and more specifically death metal, which has altered his path into hip hop. He has been quoted in interviews citing death metal as a key influence for his rhymes, Chuck Schuldiner's Death in particular. Necro's adoration for death metal is apparent in many of his lyrical themes such as the glorification of violence, the discounting and persecution of Christianity, and a proclivity towards narrating the horrors of war.

Necro has said that he is heavily influenced by Kill 'Em All, Reign in Blood, Slowly We Rot, Leprosy, and Master of Puppets, and he has remarked that those albums take him back to "the '80s when shit was pure".

Necro is the first rapper to ever rap over a grind blast beat on the track "Suffocated to Death by God's Shadow", with the drums being played by Mike Smith from the band Suffocation.

Necro also collaborated with Scott Ian of Anthrax and Dave Ellefson of Megadeth, two members of the "Big 4", on the track "Evil Rules".

Necro has also been known to reference heavy metal acts in his rhymes as well. For instance, on "Underground", Necro states he will "penetrate your skull like a riff from Obituary's 'Slowly We Rot'" and quotes Metallica's "Master of Puppets" by saying "Taste me you will see / more is all you need / dedicated to / how I'm killing you". Over the years, Necro has increased his referencing and collaborations with underground metal acts, as evidenced by his 2004 album The Pre-Fix for Death, which features many references and collaborations with heavy metal musicians from Obituary, Hatebreed, Slipknot, and Voivod. In addition, Necro created his own supergroup known as The Circle of Tyrants, named after a song by Celtic Frost. The Circle of Tyrants album also contains collaborations with artists from Testament, Exhumed, and Sepultura as well as song titles named after '80s thrash metal songs such as Slayer's "South of Heaven" and Metallica's "The Four Horsemen".

Concepts:

Necro is known for releasing conceptual songs. Songs have tackled topics like the Manson murders ("Creepy Crawl)" "Cockroaches", "Scalpel", "The 12 King Pimp Commandments", "Dead Body Disposal", "The Human Traffic King", "White Slavery", "I Need Drugs", "Food For Thought", "S.T.D.", picking up women ("86 Measures of Game"), cannibalism ("Human Consumption"), suicide ("You Did It"), bondage and sex games ("EdgePlay"), watersports and micturation ("Piss"), life as a pimp ("Out the Pocket"), a revenge tale ("Some Get Back"), and war narratives ("First Blood").

Necro is a devoted fan of the 1983 film Scarface. Necro sampled the main character from Scarface, Tony Montana, in "Cockroaches". Necro has also rapped, "I live scarface scenes" in "Gory Days", and rapped Montana's infamous quote, "you fuck with me you fucking with the best", whilst sampling the quote simultaneously in "asBESTos". Necro also took the title from "Push It to the Limit" which appeared in the film's soundtrack and used the title for his own song "Push it to the Limit". Al Pacino's work besides Scarface plays a recurrent theme throughout Necro's work. Necro's new collaboration with Kool G Rap is called The Godfathers as is the movie The Godfather that made a star of Al Pacino. In "asBESTos", Necro raps, "I'm completely rehabilitated, reinvigorated, reassimilated" which is taken directly from an Al Pacino quote in Carlito's Way. Al Pacino's influence is also present in Necro's acting. Necro performed a scene from Heat which stars Pacino in the Manhattan Monologue Slam.

Injustice:

Injustice was Necro's first death metal band, formed in 1986, before he was a teenager, playing guitar. With this band, alongside his brother Bill, he played live shows with bands such as Napalm Death, Sepultura and Obituary at the Brooklyn club L'Amours. Injustice recorded two demos before splitting up in 1990 due to not securing a label contract.

Psycho+Logical-Records

Necro founded the independent record label Psycho+Logical-Records in November 1999. In seven years, Psycho+Logical-Records has released over 23 albums.

Touring

Necro has been performing live since the age of 11. In 2007, Necro played the Download Festival at Donnington. Some of the groups he has opened for include Run DMC, Beatnuts, Sepultura, Kool Keith, Napalm Death & Biohazard. He has headlined sold-out shows in all of NYC's mid-sized venues such as Brownie's, Wetlands, The Knitting Factory & SOB's. During the summer of 2009, Necro was a featured artist on the Rock the Bells tour appearing in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

Controversy

Sounds of the Underground:

In 2007 Necro toured with Sounds of the Underground. On July 25, 2007, he decided to leave the Sounds of the Underground tour. Necro commented, "I decided to leave the tour collectively with my manager and booking agent (both tour organizers) because we felt the tour's demographic was not receiving hip hop well. I was facing hostile, disrespectful crowds and was returning the same energy back ten-fold by being more aggressive than them. It was making a lot of people in the tour crew nervous and there was concern someone might get hurt (NOT ME). It was also being suggested that maybe I tone down my live show and not antagonize the already antagonistic crowd. I couldn't roll with that as it's not my style. I was holding back enough as it is but there is a line. All the bands on the tour loved us and everyone behind the scenes knew we displayed major heart and never once got fazed by the hostility. We finished every show with middle fingers up and a big fuck you to the crowd.I will make one thing clear for the haters: we NEVER got booed OFF the stage. Not once. Yes a ton of emo kids booed us at every show, but we had a twenty-five minute set every night and we stayed on stage for every minute of it, and we represented. Every show had at least 100 to 200 NECRO fans in the pit tearing it up, and our meet and greets were incredible! It's just a shame these little kids are so closed-minded. The majority of the hate was coming from mop top emo sixteen-year olds who have no clue who the originators of metal are, and didn't respect my 'rest in peace' chant to metal legends (Dime, Cliff, Chuck, Piggy, Sob). As far as the tour organizers and I are concerned, you are my peoples so it's all love and I'm thankful for the opportunity to prove I can murder it in the worst of situations. This actually did a lot for me and is just one move in many my team will make to blow NECRO up".

Riot at Vancouver show:

On Saturday March 21, 2009 Necro had an appearance scheduled at a Vancouver, Canada nightclub (Richards on Richards). When promoters announced that the show was canceled at the last minute, fans became violent and chaos broke out. People began to throw bottles, chairs and tables at the venue's DJ (DJ Sage of the Vancouver hip hop radio show Urban Renewal Project).

Perth incident:

On June 5, 2009, Necro was fined $3000 after fracturing the cheekbone of a man who provoked him in a Perth, Australia street. Necro pleaded guilty to the assault. He was arrested at his hotel later that day, forcing the cancellation of his show at Perth's Hyde Park Hotel.

Ani Difranco:

On May 18, 2010, Necro released his latest album, entitled DIE! On July 17, 2010 Necro revealed (through his website's forum) that he is being sued by Ani Difranco due to sampling her song "Used to You" for the track "The Asshole Anthem". iTunes and Amazon subsequently removed the album from their stores, and Necro has confirmed he is in the process of re-releasing the album without this track included.

Inspiration in Tori Stafford's murder:

On March 23, 2012, jurors in the Tori Stafford murder trial in London, Ontario were presented with a connection between Necro's music and Tori's admitted killer. The court in the trial of Michael Rafferty heard testimony from convicted murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic that she listened to Necro the day she abducted Tori. Rafferty's defense attorney also noted similarities between the song "Garbage Bag" and letters McClintic had written when she was in a youth facility in 2007 and 2008; the letters described the hypothetical torture and murder of a person. At 5.12pm on 8th April 2009, the day of the murder, Terry-Lynne McClintic was positively identified as purchasing garbage bags. 8-year-old Tori Stafford had been found dead in a green garbage bag on July 19th 2009.

Necro issued a press statement on the 23rd March 2012 saying that he does not support "anything that brings harm to children". Necro also says that he thinks he has been unfairly blamed for the actions of his fans.