Heavy D’s death yesterday left fans shocked and mourning. Today we celebrate his life and career with a few samples of his infectious beats…
I know I wasn’t the only person to be totally shocked when I logged on to Facebook yesterday and saw the first trickle of posts announcing Heavy D’s death. Nobody was expecting this – he was still young, only 44, and he was still having fun making music and acting. A new album, Love Opus, was released not two months ago. And the 2011 crime comedy film Tower Heist includes a cameo from the musician.
More than just a rapper, Heavy D created music that was fun and catchy, and it transcended borders. Back in 1991, you didn’t have to be a rap fan to be drawn in by the infectious and exuberant sound of “Now That We Found Love” – but Heavy D’s quick and light rapping style just might make you a convert.
In 1987, when Heavy D & the Boyz first hit the charts, they were part of a sizable subculture of rap that produced fun and playful songs – think Run DMC, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, De La Soul. Heavy D joined in by bragging on his own oversized frame, with “The Overweight Lover’s in the House.”
Not one to be boxed in as just a rapper, Heavy D returned to his Jamaican roots in 2008 with an album of reggae music. It didn’t have the chart-topping impact of his earlier work, but it’s musically successful – like this love song, “No Matter What.”
Heavy D may not have been ready to go on November 8, but even so, he left his fans with some last words of advice. On a Twitter feed that was often peppered with inspirational words, Heavy D signed off with a final, perfect tweet on the morning of his death: “BE INSPIRED!”
Fittingly, Heavy D’s fans have responded with their own words of inspiration, sharing comfort and condolences in his online guest book. In less than 24 hours, the guest book has received more than 700 messages of sympathy and support, and entries continue to pour in from devoted D fans.
Gone from our sight,
but never our memories.
Gone from our touch,
but never our hearts.
You were a great ambassador for hip-hop music and culture. Your music will live on.
Heavy you will be missed. It was listening to your songs as a child that sparked my poetic ambitions. It is still a shock to me. You were the Greatest Rapper ever!!! May your legacy live on. Rest In Peace.
Written by Linnea Crowther