Album Review | The Gravediggaz – The Pick, the Sickle & the Shovel

This album was released on October 14th in 1997. As far as I can tell, every release from the Gravediggaz after their debut album received way less attention. I’ve never seen anyone mention this album before. That Hell EP that they did with Tricky was pretty bad, so I’m not sure how I’m gonna feel about this project. Prince Paul didn’t even do any of the beats on this album for any of the actual songs. He only produced the outro I think. I really have low expectations for this project, but hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Maybe it’s a hidden gem that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

1. Intro produced by RZA

This intro was pretty unnecessary to me. It’s just RZA talking about how you either dig your own grave or be a grave digger. It sounds like an audio clip from an interview in which he explains what the Gravediggaz are all about. The beat in the background was kinda cool, but this track really didn’t need to be here.

2. Dangerous Mindz produced by 4th Disciple & RZA

The beat on this track isn’t bad. Too Poetic’s goin’ in on the first verse. He doesn’t have the over the top delivery that he had on the previous album. His verse was actually really fuckin’ good. It was really different from what was on 6 Feet Deep though. This isn’t really Horrorcore. It just sounds like typical Wu-Tang shit. RZA’s verse was solid, and Frukwan did his thing. I like the structure of this track. They’re all going in one after another. I like this track, but at the same time I’m kind of disappointed. It lacks pretty much everything that made the original 6 Feet Deep album stand out. This is just regular Hip Hop music. It’s still good, but I would’ve preferred if they stayed on their Horrorcore shit. I fuck with the song though. It’s dope.

3. Da Bomb produced by True Master

The singing on the intro of this track from Frukwan is fucking terrible. The first verse from Poetic is nice though. That line about how his mic turns to a javelin and stabs other MCs was pretty cool. The beat’s nothing special, but it’s not bad. The second verse from Frukwan is alright I guess. He sings at the end of the hook and it sounds fucking awful. RZA’s nowhere to be found on this track. I’m not really crazy about this song to be honest. The first verse from Too Poetic was dope, but other than that this shit did nothing for me. I wasn’t impressed by Frukwan’s verses, and the hook was wack. This track is mediocre to me.

4. Unexplained produced by Too Poetic

This track actually has a really good beat. The first verse from Poetic was solid. Frukwan did his thing on the second verse. RZA’s nowhere to be found on this track. It’s a pretty solid song. I’m not completely blown away, but I definitely enjoyed this track to some extent. I’m really impressed by Poetic’s production honestly. He probably should’ve done more beats because this one is really dope. The song has a really simplistic structure, and none of the lines really stand out that much. They were rhyming pretty well on this track though. I fuck with the song. It’s dope.

5. Twelve Jewelz produced by Darkim Be Allah

The beat on this track is pretty dark. I fuck with it. This track has a really simplistic structure. It’s just one long verse from the RZA. None of the other members of the group show up on this track. RZA fuckin’ killed this song though. This is probably my favorite track on the album so far. I really like the beat, and RZA rapped his ass off. I don’t have any gripes with this track. It’s really dope.

6. Fairytalez featuring Kelis produced by Goldfinghaz

Huh… I really wasn’t expecting to see Kelis of all people on this project. The beat on this track is pretty cool. I’m not really feelin’ Frukwan’s flow on the first verse. The hook from Kelis is alright I guess. The storytelling from Poetic on the second verse was pretty cool. Frukwan’s verse at the end was nonsensical. This track didn’t really do it for me. I don’t think this is a bad song, but I don’t think I’m ever gonna come back to it. I wasn’t really feelin’ the hook from Kelis—I’ve never been a fan of her—and Frukwan’s rapping was pretty underwhelming to me. Poetic’s verses were decent, but they aren’t good enough to make me wanna listen to this song again. RZA didn’t contribute to this track. It’s an okay song. It’s just not for me.

7. Never Gonna Come Back produced by Goldfinghaz

The beat on this track is decent. The first verse from Poetic is about how the girl he loved died. It’s alright I guess. The hook is nothing special. Frukwan’s verse didn’t really do anything for me. The song just ended. This is a pretty underwhelming track honestly. The content wasn’t interesting to me, and the production didn’t really impress me either. Neither of the verses were that good. RZA isn’t on this track. This is just an average song. I’m never gonna listen to it again. It’s not bad. It’s just not very good.

8. Pit of Snakes produced by RZA & True Master

I actually really like the beat on this track. The hook from RZA is nothing special, but he did his thing on the first verse. The second verse from Frukwan was cool too. The background vocals during the hook sound really dumb. Poetic did an alright job with the final verse. I kinda fuck with this song. I feel like it’s far from greatness, but I still enjoyed it to a certain extent. It’s definitely not one of my favorite tracks, but I still think it’s dope. I fuck with this song.

9. The Night the Earth Cried produced by RZA & 4th Disciple

The beat on this track is decent I guess. The first verse from Too Poetic was okay. RZA was goin’ in about slavery and black people being lynched. The hook’s cool. Frukwan’s verse wasn’t bad. This is kind of a boring song. Nothing about it really stands out. It’s just a super average song about how black people have been brutalized throughout history. It’s not a bad track, but I don’t really think it’s that good either. I’m never gonna come back to this. It’s decent though.

10. Elimination Process featuring Shabazz the Disciple & Omen produced by Too Poetic

This song features a rapper named Omen. There’s no way it’s the Omen who’s signed to Dreamville though. This song starts with a really stupid spoken intro. It’s pitch shifted, and it sounds fucking stupid. The beat on this song is kinda cool. I’m not feelin’ the hook, but I like Poetic’s aggressive delivery on the first verse. He did his thing. Frukwan’s verse was alright I guess. Shabazz the Disciple’s verse did nothing for me. Omen’s verse wasn’t bad. I don’t know… Poetic’s verse was cool, but other than that this track didn’t really do anything for me. I mean, the beat was kinda cool too. That’s it though. I won’t be listening to this ever again.

11. Repentance Day featuring Killah Priest & Hell Razah produced by Too Poetic

This song has a decent beat. I’m not really feelin’ the way Killah Priest is flowin’ on this first verse. The hook is nothing special. Poetic did his thing on the second verse. Hell Razah’s verse was fine I guess. RZA & Frukwan are nowhere to be found on this track. This is a pretty underwhelming song. Once again, I don’t think it’s bad; I just don’t think it’s good enough for me to want to hear it again. It’s a song about having to repent for your sins because the world is ending. It doesn’t interest me personally. It’s an okay song. It’s just not for me.

12. Hidden Emotions featuring True Master produced by True Master

This song starts with a 2 minute long skit in which some guy’s baby boy is being born. It’s a really unnecessary skit. The beat on this song is average as hell. The hook is nothing special. None of the verses on this song really did anything for me. This is a pretty boring song. I wasn’t really feelin’ the verse from True Master. This is another super average Hip Hop song that I’ll never listen to again. Nothing about it stands out as being bad, but it’s not good either. It’s average.

13. What’s Goin’ On? featuring Blue Raspberry & 9th Prince produced by RZA

The beat on this track is actually kinda dope. The first verse from RZA was decent. The hook is average. Blue Raspberry just provides some background vocals, which are decent I guess. Frukwan’s verse was fine. Poetic & 9th Prince has alright verses. The singing from Blue Raspberry on the outro is fine. I don’t really like this song. The production is relatively dope, but that’s pretty much it as far as positives go. Nothing else about the song really stands out to me. This is yet another average song that I’lll never have the desire to listen to again.

14. Deadliest Biz produced by Frukwan

This beat is pretty shitty. I’m not feelin’ the first verse from Frukwan. The hook is nothing special. The second verse from Poetic did nothing for me. The song just ended. It’s got a pretty simplistic structure. This is one of the worst songs on the album to be honest. There’s not a single aspect of this track that I enjoyed. The production is wack, and neither of the two verses from Frukwan & Poetic were very good. RZA’s not on this track. This song is mediocre to me.

15. Outro produced by Prince Paul

This was a pretty unnecessary track. The beat from Prince Paul is underwhelming, and the entire track is just RZA talking about the Gravediggaz. There’s no reason to discuss this one.

This is an okay album to me. On the outro, RZA said that you either love the Gravediggaz or hate them, but I don’t think that’s true because I was pretty indifferent towards almost every song on this project. Truthfully, this is just a super average album. There are barely any interesting beats on this project. The rapping isn’t that good either. All the flows are pretty stale. The Gravediggaz pretty much ditched everything that made them unique on the first album. This isn’t a Horrorcore project. It’s just a collection of super average Hip Hop songs from Wu-Tang affiliates. I didn’t enjoy this album, but it’s not even bad. It’s just super “meh.”

Favorite Song: Twelve Jewelz
Least Favorite Song: Da Bomb





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