Wu-international site has been on stand by for a while now due to renovation and reconstruction of the site, but only one thing sees fit to make me want to post up anything up, , the Wu reunion was huge but everyone knew about it and with the bickering and disagreements there was no need coming online to post it up, releases of new Wu related albums which have been slow this year by the way didn't tempt me either, and as I ponder on doing a tribute to a fallen soldier, I get an email from Shabazz the Disciple that the widow of Poetic aka Grym Reaper wanted to get in touch to collaborate on a well deserved commemoration of Poetics anniversary of his death, I quickly jumped on that opportunity, mainly because I am a big fan of the man and his music, a fan of Gravediggaz.
It's a shame one tends to appreciate a gift when they lost it, The Wu fans always hailed Poetic as a lyrical genius who like ODB had such a unique style and voice that no one has come close to emulate or sound like today, a great loss not just to the Wu fans or hip-hop but to music and a generation today who think Odd Future started horrorcore. What made Poetic unique apart from his unique flow and lyrics and his positive message? Poetic was also a producer and had other projects in different alter ego where he displayed different styles, in addition, I gathered some inside information that he also had other groups outside of Gravediggaz as well as solo projects. What makes this article and dedication very important and relevant today is that his Deedee (Poetics wife) had also come forth to inform the fans as her main aim is honor Poetics memory the right way to remind people of his accomplishment but also to the delight of any fan also introduce them to music to come, and also to correct many of the misinformation that have been circulating the internet over the years. Interesting we asked for a snippet which unfortunately was not possible within the short notice but exclusively covered some key points with DeeDee who was kind enough to share all with the fans after years of silence.
Poetic departed on the 15th of July 2001, 13 years ago lets all celebrate his legacy which will live on . Enjoy
I like to say thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these questions, highly
appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be
altered, edited or changed when this is published online.
Wu-International: Hi DeeDee, thanks for getting in touch, please let us know what you mainly want to share with the fans?
DeeDee: Thank you for the timely response. It is always nice to hear from someone who appreciated his work. Yes I have seen past dedications over the years and appreciate the sentiment. I am not sure if you were considering a write up this year or not but there are things that I want people to know.
I want people to know that before during and after recording Nightmare In A Minor, Poetic was working on many projects that also included solo material.
After several years of battling infringements and receiving information that his music was stolen from studios, lost or damaged I am able to move forward with a righteous release.
It is time to share some of what moved me just hours ago....his music. As I listen to his lyrics, the delivery, and the message, I am moved as if it were my first time listening. The lyrics, the message and delivery....He was definitely an artist well before his time. Some in particular still have me in awe of his craft.
His material has been stolen from various studios, missing from others or endured damage. Before any stolen or rearranged material is misrepresented and passed off as being released "in his honor" again, I want to make it known that it is not a representation of truth or his wishes, and what I have in my possession will be released. Poetic asked that his music, name and likeness not be used without my consent and over the years I have realized why he put so much emphasis on protecting his name, image and likeness.
Future of Gravediggaz? Other members like Shabazz The Disciple were added to the group after Rza and Prince Paul moved on to other ventures and there has been talk of a reunion album over the years. It was a great idea for all to come together to create Nightmare In A Minor, but unfortunately contribution by Shabazz was removed from the final product along with the alteration & replacement of Poetics contribution after his death. I can not speak on behalf of the lasting members, but I am quite sure they will continue on with their solo projects, and represent Gravediggaz as a whole.
If you would incorporate some of these facts (not necessarily verbatim) into your contribution to his legacy it would help move things in the right direction.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
-Hunter S. Thompson
While the above quote mirrors events leading up to...and after Poetics death, I chose to lean toward the positive while discussing a future release, but like all elements in life, the facts add balance.
Wu-International: Will you have snow snippets of some of the unreleased songs you want to put out much later?
DeeDee: Yes, and I plan to release much sooner than later
Wu-International: What will these projects be? His solo? His group work? How much work will be coming out in future and what forum do you intend to put them out?
DeeDee: Both solo and collaborations. Over time I intend to release all music. The forum will depend upon what is the best fit for the project and I hope to cater to those who truly appreciate his work. Although a digital release is popular, I would also like to present limited physical copies with package inserts to serve as memorabilia.
Wu-International: I have been in touch with omen aka omn999 who told me also about poetics request for his music not to be released without your consent, who were the final members of Gravediggaz after prince Paul & RZA moved on?
This would be correct. Poetic was adamant about protecting the use of his name, image and likeness. He specifically requested that the use of any of his vocal arrangement, music, name and likeness be deemed infringement without clear written consent. Shabazz The Disciple became an official member. Both Shabazz and Poetic had plans to continue on creating music under the Gravediggaz name. Frukwan was of course a lasting member.
Several years ago Frukwan, Shabazz and Killah Priest created music and performed as Gravediggaz. It doesn't appear feasible or even realistic for all members to come together as a whole on a continuum or at all for that matter, but it would be nice to see the Gravediggaz projects that Poetic had in the works see the light of day and be performed around the world by a few remaining members. Why not? I look forward to it.
Wu-International: Frukwan seems to have been the closest working member to poetic, will you be working close with him or others for poetics releases?
DeeDee: The operative word here is seems. Poetic was involved in many projects, and various artists even after his diagnosis. The two were separately working on solo material prior to Nightmare In A Minor. Poetic was diligently working on solo material, collaborations, and compilation albums with artists who were under his production company. Poetic also created a label. This label entered into a distribution deal for the release of Nightmare In A Minor, but unfortunately after his death the contract mysteriously evolved from a Pressing and Distribution license to an artist deal in perpetuity. I will work closely with those that respect his wishes and appreciate his contribution to the art. I look forward to working with those that have love for him and respected him. I will work with people that were already in the midst of recording with him, provided we are on the same page and they do not pose a threat to his legacy. I will work with those that I can trust. This is not common place these days, not specific to the music industry.
Wu-International: What other information out there about poetic is out that is not correctly represented?
DeeDee: This would require a discussion at length. So much falsehood occurred prior to and after his passing. I would begin by telling you that Poetic did in fact see physicians regarding his symptoms years prior to his diagnosis. Testing to rule out cancer was denied due to having no family history of the disease and appearing to be healthy otherwise. It was rumoured that he did not create the moniker “Tony Titanium.” He did create it and also assigned this moniker to a solo album. He did not refuse treatment. He denied experimental treatment after being denied the Gold Standard. There are many factors surrounding his plight. Nightmare In A Minor was not released in his honor. He was disheartened about the finished album being held after its completion. After his death his recordings were altered and removed. Shabazz and Omens vocals were also removed. I received calls asking that I stay out of their business when addressing changes. One voice mail in particular is probably still on my voice mail and stated. “YES, WE ARE CHANGING THE MUSIC,POETIC WASN'T BOB DILLAN” Later....the changed compositions were released and referenced being released in his honor. I could go on.....
For clarity. It was not the group members who said stay out of their business when I learned the Poetics music was being altered...it was the owner of the distribution/later that released the album. I wouldn't want this statement to be misinterpreted.
Wu-International: Did you recover stolen or damaged poetics recordings?”
DeeDee: No, I did not. The stolen music was not stolen from my possession. All compositions in my possession are accounted for. Any release after his passing was not authorized. While I have always been open to share his music with the world...there are individuals that took it upon themselves to release his music either for free or for sale but this is in conflict with his wishes. I spent several years fighting copyright infringement involving his work. I have been faced with others collecting his royalties for many years. I have even been told that Poetics wishes were of no concern to them. I realize that these type of acts wont stop, and while I continue to protect what Poetic loved, I now intend on releasing what added fuel to his life, his music. I would like to set the record straight and let it be known that if it is not released with my consent, it is fraudulent and attained under the lowest level imagined.
Wu-International: Thanks very much, obviously due to time we are just putting out this short update to let his fans know but will need to connect with you again in future on a more detailed interview as well as updates, please let us know where fans can go aside from Wu-International to get news about Poetic?
Below are 2 sites that will merge (facebook) and a twitter where I plan to update progress on the projects.
Wu-International: Thanks DeeDee, any last words?
DeeDee: First, I would like to thank you for not only working on the submission to the site, but on such short notice. It means more than I think you know. Your gesture is appreciated. My issue with sound will be resolved this afternoon. If it is not corrected in time for the posting of the article, I will definitely share the snippets as soon as prepared today. The style of the snippets will be from the moniker "Grym." I am hoping that I was able to express the past negativity without outshining the very positive direction and mindset to release. I am looking forward to future releases and view them as balancing the scale.
Regarding moving forward: It is ironic making snippets of "unreleased material" when full songs of various unreleased material that was scheduled for release is uploaded on youtube. The take down notices are futile. The compositions that Cilvaringz advertised for sale not too long ago was in fact stolen material. Who did HE get the material from? This is what holds up paying tribute to Grym's legacy. It is unfortunate that someone in his camp is responsible for the leaks. To steal from the home studio when Poetic turned his back during recording while ill? To confiscate from studios or use copies of what was gained under the guise of confidentiality? Only to desecrate? This is love for the art and your fellow man? I suggest artist take time to make it a practice to find ways to protect what they create with other artists. A handshake means nothing, who you break bread with may be plotting against you. If you don't have your word...you have nothing.
Another version of the stolen material will be offered for release as well.
Wu-International: No, no.. Thank you!!
Download Unreleased Snippets to Grym Reaper Album here
Grym Reaper Wu-Int Exclusives
Poetic Aka Grym Reaper
Read First Interview
Gate Keeping With Frukwan
<Read Other Interviews>