ALBUM REVIEW – Kool G Rap & Necro (The Godfathers) – Once Upon A Crime
When talking Hip Hop greats Kool G Rap gotta be mentioned near the top of your favorite rappers list. The Juice Crew legend shook up the late 80’s and 90’s with street hits alongside producers Marley Marl, DJ Polo and others. Necro came up rhyming with his brother Ill Bill, used the internet as his space to market and went on to carve his own lane by creating the Psycho+Logical Records label and tour most of the world.
After years in the making, the two have finally united as The Godfathers for their 18-track collaborative project, Once Upon A Crime. It should surprise no one that when Death Rap’s finest and the Mafioso pioneer from Queens start expressing their visions over hardcore beats there ain’t nothing pretty. The two emcees contribute a verse to each song with Necro handling the production. Most of the songs start off with a Necro verse followed by a hook and G Rap anchoring. “The Pain” is one of the album’s standout’s with its haunting piano loop, warm snares and gruesome baseline. Clever wordplay and lyrics are all over this album as you would expect. In “Hustler” Necro raps, “No time to shoot the shit/cause when you finish taking a shit/some muthafuckers gonna shoot it/people get shot to shit/over a hit/ya shot/you got a rock of coke in your beard.” During “The City” Kool G Rap rhymes, “Blow slugs/get no love/this ain’t Wimbledon/ deadly stares for teddy bears/my thugs gremlins/ real dealy like hillbillies who still silly/ leave you still as Achilles under lilies/ you still feel me?”
In many ways this album was necessary. Necro’s style and delivery has been heavily influenced by Kool G Rap so it’s only right that we get to hear them together. Unfortunately, it ends up becoming overkill rather quickly. The repetitive formula of verse-hook-verse over dark, looped beats becomes a challenge to listen to for the entire project. Most of this album sounds as if it was crafted with the rappers in separate studios. This is nothing new with today’s technology but this project would have benefited from a more cohesive effort. I’m not sure what their intentions were but this is essentially a Necro album featuring Kool G Rap. Several songs here will have lyrical fiends rewinding but this is neither artist’s best work.
7 out of 10
Words by Real Eyes