Gravediggaz

Please note that the inexcusable misspelling in the band name will affect their album grades
*special introductory paragraph!
*6 Feet Deep
*The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel
*Nightmare In A-Minor

The Gravediggaz are a Wu-Tang Clan side project of some sort - a rap outfit comprised of African-Americans. Perhaps the first-ever African-American group to penetrate this traditionally white form of music. But they brought their own special African-American twist to it, taking the white beats and white "spoken" rapping style and combining it with African-American horror movie themes, with the band claiming that they were the undead and singing grotesque lyrics about suicide, mayhem and chewing their own arms off. Instead of the smooth groove beats that America was used to hearing through the work of traditional white rappers like Vanilla Ice and The Beastie Boys, these African-Americans would scream, spit and creepily intone their lyrics over a backdrop of spooky noises and off-kilter piano samples. It was weird, wild and completely unique! But just when overjoyed parents were sure that things couldn't get any better, The Gravediggaz changed. They changed!?!? Why did they change? Well, I'll tell you why.

You ever heard of "The Hispanic Causing A Panic"? I forgot his actual name, but he was why.


* 6 Feet Deep - Island 1994. *
Rating = 10

This may be my favorite rap/hip-hop album of all time. As I mentioned above, it's like "horror rap" or "splatter rap" or something - the vocalists go beyond mere "gangsta rap" as they get right up against the mic and scream at you about such important urban topics as murdering people, cremating the bodies and evaporating the ashes. You can hear their social consciences ringing the alarm as they list about twenty different ways you can commit suicide ("confront an alligator; let it eat you raw"?). You can feel the tingle of ghetto genocide as they joke, "Can any Jehova's Witnesses be down with the Gravediggaz?" And so forth. The voices are wild (one kind of trembles like an insane man, one screams maniacally like an insane man, one wheezes out his words like an insane man and the others, if there are others, probably do something like an insane man), and the music is fucking FANTASTIC. Nearly every single rap on here is backed by an impulsive beat and foreboding piano samples, with the occasional synth drone and guitar riff adding to the diversity of the day. I don't know what rap fans are into, but as an easily bored rap listener, I can vouch for this disc as not having a single solitary moment that doesn't rivet me to the back of my chair (even the non-musical "Mommy, What's A Gravedigga?" features cool lyrics and excellent delivery). And I can't even say that about all that many ROCK albums!

As for the Wu-Tang connection, the masterminds behind the album appear to be two men named Prince Paul and RZA. Are they in the Wu-Tang Clan?

Or am I thinking of Kenny Rogers And The First Edition?

Reader Comments

ant@achap.demon.co.uk (Anthony Chapman)
Totally agree with you about "6 Feet Deep" (or "Niggamortis", as it was titled hear). It's a masterpiece.

I don't think its fair to call it a Wu-Tang spin-off (at least for the first album). Prince Paul was the musical mastermind behind the whole album. Rza (of Wu-Tang) was there in a merely lyrical capacity.

Prince Paul produced the first two De La Soul albums (and some of the third - "Buhloone Mindstate" - their finest, imho). He was also part of the pioneering group Stetsasonic, as well as producing records for Justin Warfield, Princess Superstar, MC Paul Barman, Beastie Boys, and many others. Not to mention putting out a truly bizarre solo record ("Psychoanalysis : What Is It?"), and the masterful soundtrack to an imagined movie ("A Prince Among Thieves").

Basically, he's THE MAN!

Sorry if I'm sounding patronising (it isn't mentioned in the review, so I thought I'd point it out). :-)

bbaker@westontrawick.com (Brian Baker)
6 Feet Deep is the greatest hip hop record of all time...

Bloodshot@rydas.com
I noticed you like the GraveDiggaz. Who Knows you might like this stuff I got going on.

Here's the commercial
http://www.rydas.com/bloodshot/camphorror.wmv You can buy the album at
www.RedrumMedia.com

Thanks for your time. No this isn't spam. I ran across your review on the gravediggaz and figured this might interest you.!

pedroandino@msn.com
after all that gangsta rap, you may wanna try something different. you have horror rap like insane clown posse. the fans are a hardcore bunch of wild cool and psychotic juggalos/jugglettes. a rabid cult that will kill anyone gives them a bad review and likes ja rule! evil song like mommy what's a gravedigga? and diary of a madman will terroize the pussy white folk asses outta this town! anyone seen tales form the hood? then see the gangsta's die! they never again made another gangsta classic like the grrrrrrravediggaz! unless u are like that chick on that stupid show makin' da band! sara ain't hip hop! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! every saturday, rap attack, gas attack, mr.magic! what the hell are you talking about! how the hell you do not know juicy and you wanNa be a bad boy rapper? shitting toilet, smoking cock cocaine loving sippping beer! START OVER!!!!!! START OVER!!!!! START OVER!!!! U KEEP FUCKING UP DA WORDS !TAKE IT OUTSIDE THIS SHIT IS SO DISGUSTING U A FUCKING PUSSY WANKSTA!

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The Pick, The Sickle And The Shovel - Gee Street 1997.
Rating = 4

Their friends in the neighbor"hood" most have poked fun at their thriller schtick, because now they're J.ust A.nother R.ap B.and. It's appropriate that the first song on here is called "Dangerous Mindz," because every single song on here sounds like it belongs in a film about Michelle Pfeiffer trying to teach black kids in a violent, drug-infested inner-city school. The vocals are cool, calm and collected. The lyrics discuss the troubles of being a young black man in today's society (probably). And the music sounds like Dr. Dre was at the wheel - smooth, slow and BORING. The CD has its moments ("Da Bomb" is awesome! And not just in the sense that "awesome" actually is the definition of the popular slang term!), but no more moments than any other rap album you're likely to hear. And for that, I canna forgive. Forgive? SHIT I forgive! I vomit for you, Gravediggu!

GOD DAMMIT TO HELL!!!!! I just checked ebay and found out these assholes just put out a new album! And here I am reviewing `em like a jackass, not even knowing that I'm missing a full ONE THIRD of their recorded output! FIG!!!! I'll try to buy it as soon as I can, if I can find it cheap enough. It's called Nightmare In A Mirror.

And SO ARE YOU!!!! IT'S YOUR NEW NICKNAME AND I HOPE YOU LIKE IT - CUZ YOU'VE EARNED IT!!!!!

Reader Comments

No1Yanks23@aol.com (Matt Reyes)
When I looked at the new reviews and saw Gravediggaz in big bold letters I said, oh crap. I thought you were gonna trash them for sure considering their a Rza side project. I've only heard both of these albums (the first two) once. I liked The Pick the Sickle, and the Shovle more because it's better musically

FAstronaut@aol.com
Prince Paul is the best producer in hip hop. He produced De LA Soul's first three albums, and has solo albums and stuff. RZA makes the beats for Wu-Tang Clan. Biz Markie and others also make contributions to Gravediggaz. That is a really good album.

ant@achap.demon.co.uk (Anthony Chapman)
I also wholeheartedly agree with your appraisal of the second album. It's a stinker. I don't think it's merely coincidental that Paul handed production duties over to some kids from the Wu-Tang substitutes bench. A great shame.

I know *nothing* of this third album. Off to look now :-)

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Nightmare In A-Minor - BMG 2002.
Rating = 7

Knockers Up! Hi everyone, I'm Rusty Warren, here to tell all you lusty ladies about the new Gravediggaz album. Knockers Up!

Nah, I'm not really Rusty Warren. I just enjoy playing fictional characters like that every once in a while. Which reminds me of my favorite Squeeze song -- "I was tempted by the fruit of my mo-ther!" Awww yeah, we all heard that once! And I think you know what I mean by "squeeze" -- as in "SQUEEZE my mom's boobalicious chestballs!"

Let me pause here to point out that RCN is the worst piece of shit ISP in the entire fucking universe, Windows 2000 is the worst piece of shit OS in the entire fucking universe and Gateway makes the worst piece of shit computers in the entire fucking universe. Now shall I continue:

It's obvious right when you pick up the new Gravediggaz CD that something ain't right. Because there's only two people on the cover. So then you read the little booklet inside and learn that one of the band members passed away from cancer two days before my last birthday. So that helps explain it. And then you look closer and realize that the one who died IS ONE OF THE TWO GUYS ON THE COVER.

So presumably the two "name" rappers in the Gravediggaz -- RZA and Prince Paul -- got sick of the crap and left it to Frukwan and Poetic (Poetic passed away - at a tragically young age. I feel much more sympathy for him than for Dee Dee Ramone, whose work I loved to pieces but good lord how many times can one man get addicted to heroin in 5 short decades?). This sounds like a recipe for Disaster A La Mode, but it's actually oodles better than that last piece of crap they put out as a quartet. They bring back the scary, dark music and they sound ANGRY. Not insane or homocidal like on the debut, but definitely mad. And rightly so - the fuckin' guy was dying of CANCER! And he KNEW it! Not only that, but in one of the absolute most chilling songs I have ever heard in my life, he talke about it. I generally don't quote entire verses, but this was his reality. His reality had become even worse than the nightmares they sang about on the first record. This is from "Burn Baby Burn":

Yo, pain builds my character
Deranged cancer cell begin to damage my shell
Tissues begin to swell
A human pin-cushion needles begin pushin
through my, melanin color, blood begins gushin
Hunger - pain is, fed through my veins
Tryin to maintain body and brain under strain
Belly bein drained from my nose through a catheter
To maintain my stamina, game is high caliber
Flashback my dossier file before the hospital
Lots'll pay a pile of cheddar to see me rock my style
Got lots of smiles from man woman and child
A Gravedigga here runnin wild like the Nile
Ghetto, X-File, the horrorcore bringers
City morgue singers, new rap era beginners
Four years out of seven I remember tourin
And this year I'm measurin my urine

Even Joey Ramone wasn't that explicit. But life can get worse, can't it? Here - please enjoy a bit more reality - this is from "Last Man Standing":

"Evident objective is New York City.. we're ready to attack!
Planes circling, ready to strike.."
"No more defenses - our armies, wiped out.
Artillery, air force, everything wiped out.
This may be the, last broadcast.
We'll stay here, 'til the end."

WHEE! UPLIFTING FUN-TIME RAPULAGE NOT UNLIKE THE FINEST WORK OF THE FRESH PRINCE HIMSELF, WILL "SUCK COCKS FOR STARRING ROLES" SMITH!

2 Rappers cannot equal the mind-blowing weird cacaphony of screaming you'll find on their debut, but they try. The anger comes through in every song, both in the lyrics and performance. The beats are all fast and filled with spooky piano lines, squiggly noises and whooshy wind eerieness. And most importantly of all -- these songs would fit about as comfortably into a Michelle Pfeiffer movie as my huge fuckin cock would fit into her vaginer.

Only trouble is that almost every single song has the same exact mood and sound. It's dark and morbid, but, like... ALL THE TIME. It starts to wear really thin about halfway through. STILL! A good album that, in my opinion, does a decent job of redeeming the formerly good name of the GraveDiggers.

By the way, you may not see any more reviews from me -- because I'm going to be RICH!!! Check out this email I just got!

Dear Friend,

This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. The message could be strange but reel if you pay some attention to it. I could have notified you about it at least for the sake of your integrity. Please accept my sincere apologies. In bringing this message of goodwill to you, I have to say that I have no intentions of causing you any pains.

I am Ms. Nnengi savimbi, daughter of the late rebel leader Jonas savimbi of Angola who was killed on the 22nd of febuary 2002 . I managed to get your contact details through "The World Business Journal", a journal of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce in South Africa in the time I was desperately looking for a trustworthy person to assist me in this confidential business.

my late father, Jonas savimbi was able to deposit a large sum of money in differnt banks in europe My father is presently death and the movement of his family members (including me) is restricted. We are forbidden to either travel abroad or out of our localities. Presently, the US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS my father transfered to Netherlands is safe and is in a security firm. Before you can get access to it i have to give you the password I am therefore soliciting your help to have this money transfered into your account. before my government get wind of this fund .You know my father was a rebel leader in Angola before his death My reason for doing this is because it will be difficult for the Angolan government to trace my father's money to an individual's account, especially when such an individual has no relationship ,I decided to keep that money for my family use. At present the money is kept in a Security Company in nertherland.

I am currently and temporarily living in Angola with my husband my brother has a refugee status'in The Netherlands. Moreover the political climate in Angola at the moment being so sensitive and unstable.With this password and information I will send to you, and power of attorney to the security firm, When you are ready i will give you the information needed before you can get access to the fund you will then proceed to Netherlands where the US$8,500,000.00 EIGHT, MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS will be given to you as payment. Alternatively, you can have the fund transferred into any account that suits you.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Savimbi.

See what I mean? I WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE OF THAT AWESOME ARTICLE ABOUT MY TRUSTWORTHINESS IN "THE WORLD BUSINESS JOURNAL"!!! SO LONG, SUCKERS!!!!

Reader Comments

astrawn@firstam.com
I just read the Joey Ramone reviews and then read this one. Weird huh? Iíll have to check this one out, Iím listening to 6 Feet Deep as I write this.

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Buy Gravediggaz CDs here. That was my advertising pitch.


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