On Sunday, July 15, 2001, 1:45pm EST at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills, 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, every 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. A non-profit organization called The Life Goes On Foundation (LifeFoundation@aol.com) was established in his honor to help raise money for his medical bills and bring further awareness to his cause and the cause of others stricken with debilitating illnesses.See Also:
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.
"Poetic 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. Poetics lyrics stream forth from a mind faced with terrible realities. In April 1999 he was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer and was given 4 months to live. Poetic and Frukwan sort through a milieu of social and private issues. Poetics anger, rage and determination clearly shows on this album, that he has no problems rhyming about his disease, it's effects, or anything else that pisses him off.
"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." Jeffrey Collins adds, "Everyone here at Echo International is saddened by this tremendous loss. We knew he was a fighter and prayed for him to pull through, but we will do our best to make sure his music is heard around the world. People deserve to hear what he had to say."
Lisa "Chase" Patterson and Hard Hittin Harry at Meridian Entertainment would just like to say, "Poetic was not just a client, he was a brother and a close friend, words cannot express how we feel right now, we just know we will miss him immensely. Poetic wouldn't want anyone mourning for him, he would want everyone to celebrate his life and his new album."
Memorial services will be set up shortly, please contact Chase or Harry at Meridian Entertainment for further information.
For More information contact: Meridian Entertainment
201.521.9742 (fax) 201.521.9745
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