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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, Poetic from the Too Poetic, and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. All these artists were signed to Tommy Boy Records in the late 80’s. After each of them getting jerked by Tommy Boy, Gravediggaz formed and produced a demo in 91’. Shopping it for three years before finally being picked up by Richie Rich who ran Gee Street(a subsidiary of Island Records) in 1994. 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.

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