Gee Street / Island / PolyGram, 1994
Gravediggaz, that looks pretty clear! Yes, Gravediggaz are a Hip-Hop horrorcore group, pioneers of the genre with other artists like the Californian Brotha Lynch Hung or the Houston group Geto Boyz. Horrocore is a sub-genre in its own right characterized by dark and macabre lyrics, with a psychology of terror. Occult and super natural elements can also be incorporated
Coming from rap groups of the late 80s and early 90s, we find the well-known producer of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, the rapper Too Poetic and members of the group Stetsasonic, the emcee Frukwan and the beatmaker Prince Paul, also known for his work with De La Soul among others. But with the Gravediggaz, it is under another identity that they appear. They transform themselves into gravediggers to prepare their horror movie. Prince Paul becomes The Undertaker, Frukwan stands as The Gatekeeper, while Poetic appears as The Grim Reaper and RZA The Rector.
Under their alter-egos, our characters will terrify us and take us to a cemetery in the middle of a dark and icy night where we find Frukwan to open the gates while the reaper, Poetic, follows us throughout our journey. In this terror, as soon as death has struck, the embalmer, Prince Paul, takes care of preparing us in our last moments. The rector, RZA, seems to be in charge and orchestrates our near end.
One might think that RZA is at work on the production. Indeed, he is present but this oppressive universe is mainly the fruit of the demonic genius Prince Paul, rather surprising when we remember his childish beats on 3 Feet High And Rising of De La Soul. Mixed with the wacky genius of RZA who maquavelicly reworks the samples of Soul and Jazz, we land in a horrible and paranoid fiction where death is omnipresent.
We dive into their unhealthy universe with our eyes closed, letting ourselves be surprised by their aggressive and violent flows, sometimes smooth, sometimes jerky. We let ourselves be absorbed in their horror movie, in the depths of darkness, six feet under the ground with 6 Feet Deep, where gore, thrill, gloom are the key words. We shudder, we want to hide, but where? They tell us: Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide… The gravediggers dig our grave slowly, Here Comes the Gravediggaz… We are trapped in the Death Trap until being delivered by the Outro… Rest In Peace.
Too Poetic and Frukwan’s writing is deadly brilliant with a macabre comedy for a psychologically disturbing sadistic farce. Be prepared for bloody scenes of medieval torture techniques that make us feel like a never-ending nightmare, not to mention the nauseating feel of Defective Trip. They are not afraid to offend by playing with family values or by attacking conservative politics, compared to vampires on 6 Feet Deep. 1-800 Suicide goes beyond the codes of self-righteousness and political correctness, where they give some indications to take the step…
Gravediggaz“So you wanna die, commit suicide
Dial 1-800-Cyanide line
Far as life, yo it ain’t worth it
Put a rope around your neck and jerk it”
6 Feet Deep is an atmosphere, a film, mastered to perfection by the rap stars of the time. A classic of the genre that will inspire many other rappers after them, like Necro. Everything is done so that we enter the atmosphere: productions, flow, lyrics, cover … nothing is left to chance for an album that points to perfection. You will not come out unscathed from this diabolically magical adventure.