Back in the early 2000’s the idea of a proper Gravediggaz reunion or a recasting was super exciting. Over and over there were rumors. Warcloud, Killah Priest & Shabazz would be more involved. RZA would take the reigns again. But nothing ever really materialized after the death of Poetic, making Nightmare In A-Minor their last official collective effort.
Nowadays I’m not following everything what happens that much, and much time has passed since it sounded like something I’d like to hear. But some time ago Prince Paul took the time to share an unreleased Gravediggaz demo called The House That Hatred Built.
Apparently this was the first demo the group recorded ever, back in 1991. This recording, and the start of the Gravediggaz, predates the recording of the Wu-Tang Clan for RZA. There is actually a lot of interesting information about this and the formation of the Gravediggaz in this interview he did with Brian Coleman at Trinity College. Like how the album was recorded in full before Enter The Wu-Tang, but only released 9 months after. So be sure to read all about that there.
Another thing I came across, was the fact that the Gravediggaz declined a deal with Ruthless Records. Prince Paul actually met with Eazy-E & Jerry Heller, and this was during which he had a hard time finding a home for the record. But the deal they offered was so bad he still had to decline. There is more to read in this track by track run down of 6 Feet Deep that Prince Paul did with HipHopSite back in 2013.
Speaking of tracks. It seems that from time to time people did still record under the Gravediggaz monniker. Which leads to the following track I came across, 2 More Cups Of Blood. In 2010 Shabazz did an interview with Wu-International in which he revealed that the Gravediggaz was back together. It was him, Priest, Frukwan, 9th Prince, Beretta 9/Kinetic was there, and RZA & Prince Paul were also involved. Shabazz stated, ‘3 more songs and the new album is done! I recorded at Rza’s crib. He called me and we had a looong overdue reunion!!! Priest came thru too. So yes Gravediggaz is coming soon!!https://wutangcorp.com/forum/showthread.php?103433-Shabazz-the-disciple-wu-international-interview!!!!!!‘ He even mentions that he has some Poetic verses that they might use on the record, making it a complete reunion. Sadly nothing official ever saw the light of day or the dark of night save for this track. Apparently this was leaked by RZA himself, and most defintely flew under my radar.
One of the biggest tracks that Gravediggaz are known for, and also introduced some people to Shabazz The Disciple & KIllah Priest, is Diary Of A Mad Man. Now people seem to think that RZA produced this record, but in a video interview back in 2018 Prince Paul cleared up the air surrounding that record: “Alright, so RNS gets credit for the record [sample]. RZA gets credit ’cause it went through RZA, and me, ’cause I put the whole record together: programmed the drums, put the court pieces and stuff in it. But when you look at the credits, everybody goes ‘Yeah, RZA produced it, but Paul had nothin’ to do with it.’…it’s obviously a Prince Paul production, you can hear how it’s done. Nobody makes stuff like that, at least during that time.“
The whole story you can hear about in the video underneath.
That said, Diary of a Madman is obviously a classic that many people hold dear. The track itself with the court, and the video is like no other. The video was actually direct by Hype Williams, who would later direct many more music videos in his own style. Which brings me to the following: Diary Of A Madman Part 2
About six month ago the Warcloud meets Killah Priest effort Savage Sanctuary got released on Black Stone of Mecca. This album carrying the track Diary of a Madman Pt. 2 featuring a slew of people on a original RZA beat. The track first surfaced on a Black Knights album a few year ago, but with in a horrible state. This time around they seemed to have cleared up the recordings and the mix a bit.
Rumors about this track travel back to around 2005 I believe. Word was that a part 2 was recorded with Priest, Shabazz & Warcloud. And again nothing ever got released, and now we finally have the track, 15 years later. Was it worth the wait?