- Gravediggaz: RZA, Prince Paul "Dr. Strange", Frukwan "Da Gatekeeper", Poetic "Grym Reaper" (vocals).
- Additional personnel: Shabazz The Disciple, Omen, The Aleem Brothers, Killah Priest, 9th Prince, Sunz Of Man (vocals); Ian Berkeley (keyboards); Helis Rogers, Blue Rasberry (background vocals).
- Producers include: RZA, Fourth Disciple, Truemaster, Poetic, Goldfinghaz.
- When the Gravediggaz first stepped onto the scene, they shocked listeners with their horror-core hip-hop. The group comprises four MCs, The RZA, Frukwan, Poetic and Prince Paul, each already known for their thoughtful lyrical content. On their sophomore album, THE PICK, THE SICKLE, & THE SHOVEL, the Gravediggaz are out to resurrect the minds of the mentally deceased, as they did with their debut, SIX FEET DEEP.
- The RZA's haunting production is the perfect complement for the topics tackled by the group. The Gravediggaz don't just rap, they preach. Their topics range from the "Unexplained" to their own brand of "Fairytalez." With their distinctive, left-field style, the foursome are the only MCs in hip-hop who forgo "keeping it real" in favor of "keeping it surreal."
Rolling Stone (9/18/97, p.104) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...an exotic, multilayered soundscape that is often melancholic, but also melodic....the Gravediggaz deliver plenty to sink your pick into."
Spin (12/97, p.160) - 7 (out of 10) - "...THE PICK, THE SICKLE AND THE SHOVEL is less hyperbolic satire than playfully serious caution--for Gravediggaz, the ghetto's particular nightmare has now come to Main Street. Grieving over lost lovers, friends, and family, the group observes the culture of death as part of the everyday landscape..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/31/97, p.108) - "...guest rappers Killah Priest, Omen, and Hell Razor spin oblique horror stories from ghetto hell over bruising beats by RZA and Prince Paul..." - Rating: B
Q (1/98, p.112) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Vibe (11/97, p.149) - "...This second offering from Gravediggaz...finds the Wu-Tang boardsman moving away from production and immersing himself fully in the power of words....RZA is a master MC..."
Option (11-12/97, p.100) - "...Individually, it seems the Gravediggaz are trying to outdo each other (and every other MC) by writing and rapping denser, more complex rhymes than anybody....they maintain remarkable flow..."
Melody Maker (09/13/97, p.50) - "...machetes injustice, decapitates the real criminals, and burys the lot of 'em in a festering, snake-filled pit."
Rap Pages (11/97, p.110) - "...There's a lifetime supply of meta-force wordplay for the heads, enough braggadocio for the hard-core and plenty of hooks for the pop quadrant..."
NME (Magazine) (12/20-27/97, pp.78-79) - Ranked #20 in NME's 1997 Critics' Poll.