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Gravediggaz

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New York City (1993 – 2001, 2010 – present)

Gravediggaz was a group from New York City. They were well-known for their dark sense of humor and abrasive, menacing soundscapes. The group was formed in 1993 and was effectively a “supergroup”, bringing together Prince Paul (formerly producer with De La Soul and Stetsasonic), Frukwan from Stetsasonic, Too Poetic from the Brothers Grimm, and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan (who at the time of Gravediggaz’ formation had only just released their first album). The group are widely credited as being one of the most influential and pioneering groups in the small subgenre of horrorcore.

The group’s first album was originally titled Niggamortis; however, the potentially risqué title was changed to 6 Feet Deep for the American market (European versions of the album retained the original title, and also included the bonus track “Pass The Shovel”). Released on August 9 1994, 6 Feet Deep was a mix of over-the-top ghoulish black humor, cartoonish violence reminiscent of the Geto Boys, esoteric references to the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths, and gritty, foreboding beats reminiscent of RZA’s work with the Wu-Tang Clan. The four members adopted Gravedigga alter-egoes for their work with the group: RZA became RZArecta, Poetic became the Grym Reaper, Prince Paul became the Undertaker, and Frukwan became the Gatekeeper. The three rapping members (without Prince Paul) released a collaborative EP titled “The Hell EP” with UK artist Tricky in 1995.

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