The wizened old death rattle of a voice reminiscing about "Glenwood Motherfucking Projects, man" on the new Ill Bill record sounds exactly like Jim Carroll. It's really Uncle Howie, a guy about Jim's age, also from New York, also an ex-junkie, who, with a little help from his rap-star nephews Necro and Ill Bill, recently kicked 38 years of addiction, got off the streets and into the rap game. Before this year all I'd seen of Howie was him shooting heroin on a Necro album cover, shooting heroin in the video for the "I Need Drugs" single (a hilarious 2000 remake of LL's "I Need Love"), and in these really poignant pictures from Necro's website that chart Howie's doomed trudge through life (one of them is a chilling black-and-white shot of Howie as a mere boy: handsome, smoking, eyes slitted and looking for trouble). These days, he raps on tour with his nephews, blesses tracks with his gutter-vet cackle in the studio, and enjoys a healthy folk-hero status in the horror-rap... More >>>