Review Summary: Maybe they should’ve stuck with the “horrocore” gimmick.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
What do you get when you put together two of the best, most original producers in hip-hop? When Prince Paul of De La Soul and Handsome Boy Modeling School fame hooked up Wu-Tang mastermind RZA they produced an album with a horrorcore theme that was sonically amazing, what you would expect from producers of that caliber. By the time the Gravediggaz released their second album, RZA’s stock as a producer had shot through the roof with the first two Wu-Tang albums and several solo efforts by his clansmen that established him as one of the top beatmakers in the game.
So what do you get when you put together these two amazing producers? You get “6 Feet Deep”
the Gravediggaz debut album. For their second album RZA steps away from the boards and lets his understudies True Master, 4th Disciple and Darkim Be Allah
produce the bulk of this album while only contributing one track along with a few co-producer credits. Prince Paul on the other hand is nowhere to be found, only producing the outro, what else he contributed, (if anything) is anybody’s guess.
With the Gravediggaz, RZA gets a chance to shine on the mic and not get lost in the shuffle among other great MCs like he does in Wu-Tang Clan. RZA AKA Rzarector is the most distinctive member of the Gravediggaz because of his voice and his superb flow, he displays his skills on his solo ‘Twelve Jewelz’ which is an incredibly dense lyrical track. A highlight of “The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel”
is ‘Dangerous Mindz’ over an eerie beat provided by 4th Disciple, all three MCs: Poetic AKA Grym Reaper, Frukwan AKA Gatekeeper and RZA all deliver memorable performances. But tracks like these are few and far between and there are some awful tracks also like ‘Da Bomb,’ maybe the word “Gravediggaz” is too long to continually spell out as the hook, ‘Fairytalez’ is a half cooked idea where too much time is spent on “3 Little Pigs” but the track is notable for featuring the first performance by Kelis.
The imagined nightmares of the Gravediggaz debut are now replaced with real life situations like grieving over deceased loved ones like on ‘Never Gonna Come Back’ with a soulful Barry White sample courtesy of Goldfinghaz(?) that creates an emotional, melancholic atmosphere. ‘Elimination Process’ is an atrocious take on the “Gilligan’s Island” theme that fails on every level. For every good track on here there are two awful ones and it takes some sifting to find them, ‘The Night The Earth Cried’ is one the best songs of the album once again displaying RZA’s woefully underrated MCing but it makes you wish he would’ve had a bigger hand in the production. RZA’s understudies provide an appropriately melancholic backdrop for the mostly somber content with a similar sound to their mentor but they’re not quite there yet.
“The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel”
has some good moments but ultimately falls short of it’s predecessor, the Gravediggaz went with a more serious approach as opposed to the shock value of their debut but as a result, it is not as entertaining a listen. With all the talent involved here, you would’ve thought this could be better but at least this group produced one great album which was “6 Feet Deep.”
“Never Gonna Come Back”
“The Night The Earth Cried”