Sunday, July 15, 2001, at Cedar Sinai Hospital in California,
Anthony Berkeley aka Poetic
of The Gravediggaz succumbed to his two year battle with
metastatic colon cancer. Poetic had been fighting for
his life for the past two years, ever since he collapsed
in the studio in 1999 from stomach pains and became diagnosed
with the dreaded disease, cancer. At the time he was give
3 months to live.
came on the scene in 1995 after dropping their album 6
Feet Deep (Niggamortis). They then turned the industry
on its collective heads in 1997 with the release of The
Pick, The Sickle and the Shovel (Gee Street) which
showcased the "horror" of oppression and the
hard "core" realities of life. Originally the
group consisted of RZA of Wu Tang Clan, Frukwan of Stetsasonic,
Prince Paul, renowned producer of De La Soul and Poetic
AKA The Grym Reaper of The Brothers Grym. The RZA was
unable to contribute to the new album Nightmare in
A-Minor (Echo International), set to drop August 23
but that obviously has no effect on the versatility that
shines through on the singles Rest in Da East b/w Nightmare
in A-Minor and on the album.
was the brother I never had," says Frukwan. "I
love him dearly and I always will, we always had each
others back. He did this album, despite this illness and
showed a true love for hip hop against all odds."
It’s true that Poetic fought the odds, going into the
studio despite the nausea and pain that came with cancer
treatments, he never stopped his creativity for this album.
It shows intensely on songs like "Burn Baby Burn"
where he rhymes about the horrors of cancer and how he
dealt with it. Poetic’s lyrics stream forth from a mind
faced with terrible realities.
honored to have worked with him," says Prince Paul,
"whatever he has done musically is going to live
on, and I am proud to have been a part of that."
other artists as well. Kool G. Rap’s wife and Emcee Ma
Barker said "He was like a brother. I met him from
mikey dee from Main Source and we became family after
that. I remember recording tracks Thanksgiving at his
house. He will be missed dearly regards to his sister
Dawn , his brother Eddie Goldfingers and his niece Courtney
who loved him dearly."