Poetic Succumbs To Cancer


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.

The Gravediggaz

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.

"I was

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."

Poetic touched

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."