Grave condition


Anthony Berkeley, a.k.a. Poetic Da Grym Reaper of Da Gravediggaz, has come down with colon cancer, and a benefit fundraiser for him is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Brownie’s, 169 2nd Ave. in the city.

Poetic, 34, who currently lives in Bay Shore, not only is a rap artist, songwriter and publisher; he’s also the designer of Digga Wear Clothing. He first hit the scene only a few years ago as part of the group Too Poetic, based in North Babylon, and released the single “God Made Me Funky” on Tommy Boy Records.

In 1994, Poetic, the RZA, Fruitkwan and North Amityville’s Prince Paul came together and formed Da Gravediggaz. They gained worldwide recognition for starting the “horrorcore” sound with their debut release, 6 Feet Deep, featuring the smash hit “Diary of a Madman” on Gee Street Records. The quartet’s second LP, The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel, released in 1997, solidified Gravediggaz as more than just another gimmicky group. Poetic is scheduled to launch two brand-new labels, DarcAngel Records and Plasma Recordings, based in Bay Shore and featuring new artists and long-awaited Gravediggaz material.

The fundraiser for Poetic, sponsored by the Life Goes On Foundation in conjunction with DarcAngel Records and Deckstatic, will raise money to defray past and future medical expenses and try to raise awareness about the treatment and prevention of cancer. For more info, call 201-521-9742 or e-mail

The World Is His Oyster Bay

Timothy “T.K” Olphie, who discovered the rap group Spectrum City, which evolved into Strong Island’s own Public Enemy, now is looking to put Oyster Bay on the hip-hop map. Olphie’s Vibe Records plans to release a first single by hip-hop veteran Jesse West, a.k.a. 3rd Eye.

West has produced such songs as “Reminisce (Remix)” for Mary J. Blige, KRS One’s “Step into a World” and Heavy D’s “A Buncha Niggas” and served a stint in the group 24-7. His new single, “The Young & the Breathless,” features Mr. Cheeks and the theme from the soap The Young and the Restless. For more info, contact Mike Squicciarini at Vibe, 516-624-5800 or

The Revolution Will Be Digitized

Chuck D’s ambitious goal of developing a hip-hop website has been realized. The site,, produced by Iguana Studios, has a big mix of news, noise, bits and bytes. And there’s plenty of stuff to download, upload and trade. The Internet, in Chuck’s view, was-and is-the great equalizer.

Cazal Gets Ghetto Like D&D

Central Islip’s Curt Cazal and Q-Ball spray rhymes over a banging beat, along with the rest of the D&D all-stars, consisting of Afu-Ra, Krumbsnatcha, Jane Blaze, Starang Wondah of OGC, Teflon of M.O.P and Fat Cat Kareem, on “Ghetto Like D&D,” the first single from the upcoming Best Of D&D Studios, Hip-Hop Volume 1 album. “Ghetto Like…,” in the same vein as “1,2 Pass It,” defines the essence of the B-boy-infested studio that has produced countless hip-hop classics, including the Notorious B.I.G’s “Unbelievable,” Black Moon’s “Who Got The Props” and Jay Z’s “Ain’t No Nigga.” Since the days of JVC Force, Cazal has managed to stay true to the underground and not sound dated.