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Heavy D

A Jamaican-born American rapper and actor.

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R.I.P. Heavy D

  • Nov 9, 2011
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Updated: 11/9/11 at 2:30p

Rapper and actor Heavy D (real name: Dwight Arrington Myers), 44, died today, Tuesday, November 8th at 1p. Update: Vibe at first reported that this was due to "respiratory problems" but, the newest update said that he had pneumonia.  TMZ is reporting that a "911 call was placed from Heavy's Beverly Hills home around 11:25 AM to report an unconscious male on the walkway." He was rushed to the hospital this afternoon and pronounced dead around 1:00 p.m. The police said there are no suspicions of foul play.

The death comes as a shock to the hip-hop community, a month after a comeback performance at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards show. He's also in the new movie "Tower Heist" that's currently out in theaters. Earlier today, he tweeted "SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER..RIP.. truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived.. GODS SPEED,MR FRAZIER!" and 2 hours later, his final tweet, "BE INSPIRED!" What a lesson in how short life is, at first RIP Joe Frazier was a trending topic and now, it's RIP Heavy D.

Without Heavy D, there wouldn't be a Biggie, Mary J., Jodeci, Soul For Real, Al B Sure!, Marley Marl, Pet Rock, Puffy/Diddy/Dirty Money/whatever, New Jack Swing, Monifah, Lost Boyz. Living Color and MadTV's theme songs would've sucked or been nonexistent. He performed the rap on Jam by Michael Jackson and appeared in Alright by Janet Jackson. R.A the Rugged Man refers to him in his song, Da Girls They Love Me.

"It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up magazine, Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine..." Biggie rapped in one of his best hits, Juicy, which is one of the best hip hop songs of all time, if not the best.

Born in Jamaica and raised in Mt. Vernon, New York, Heavy D was the first artist signed to Uptown Records which is a significant influence to hip hop and R&B. He and the Boyz released their debut album, Living Large, in 1987 with producers Teddy Riley, Marley Marl and DJ Eddie F. It was not a commercial success when it first came out but, in 1998,  with hits like Overweight Lover's In The House, Mr. Big Stuff and Don't You Know, it was selected as The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums Ever.

The second album, Big Tyme, was a bigger commercial success and added Pete Rock onto its list of producers. We Got Out Own Thang, Somebody for Me, Big Tyme, and Gyrlz, They Love Me were the chart toppers off of that album. 

One of the Boyz, Trouble T. Roy, died at 22 from a fall in Indiana in 1990. His passing influenced They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y) by Pete Rock and C.L Smooth and still considered one of the best hip hop songs of all time. His passing also inspired the Platinum album, Peaceful Journey, which added Howie Tee to its growing list of producers. Now That We Found Love, Don't Curse (my fave), Is It Good To You were the three chart toppers from this album.

Don't Curse (ft. Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Kool G. Rap, Q-Tip & Pete Rock & CL Smooth)

Blue Funk, their fourth album, reached Gold and had two hits, Truthful and Who's the Man? Primo and Jesse West with DJ Eddie F and Pete Rock were the producers with guest appearances by Terri & Monica, 3rd Eye, The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Gang Starr and Rob-O.

Nuthin' But, Love, the fifth and final studio album for the group had an amazing lineup of producers: DJ Eddie F, Teddy Riley, Marley Marl, Erick Sermon, Kid Capri, Easy Mo Bee, The Trackmasters, and Pete Rock and is my favorite album of the group's. The first track, Friend & Respect, had spoken word from LL Cool J, Buju Banton, KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Little Shawn, MC Lyte, Martin Lawrence, Pete Rock, Positive K, Q-Tip, Queen Latifah, Spike Lee and Treach. Just look at that list of talent and that should answer any why's you may have had as to why this is my favorite album! The album reached Platinum with chart toppers; Nothin' But Love, Black Coffee, Got Me Waiting, Sex Wit You. 

Heavy D would go on to release two solo albums, Waterbed Hev and Heavy which didn't do as well as his work with The Boyz but, was the first time that Heavy included himself on the production team.

Heavy D was also an actor with film/TV credits that include: Tower Heist, Roc, Living Single, Life, The Cider House Rules, Boston Public, The Tracy Morgan Show, Law and Order: SVU, Bones, Step Up, and Are We There Yet?

He always helped out where he could and had a tremendous heart. Here's hoping that he passed quickly and painlessly and now,  rests in peace. The hip-hop community has lost a significant icon today and my thoughts are with his family and other fans. Remember his last tweet and always, BE INSPIRED!

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November 10, 2011
I remember Heavy D & the Boyz from my childhood and all through my junior high years. I didn't know much about him other than the few songs I remember from way back and that he did the them for In Living Color.  Thanks for the info, Sam! 
November 11, 2011
You are most welcome, Kendall! Glad I can help educate :)
November 09, 2011
Nice tribute, Sam. R.I.P. Heavy D.
November 09, 2011
Thanks Debbie!
About the reviewer
Samantha ()
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I'm a human jukebox that is constantly changing my station depending on my mood!   Feel free to share your passion with me in my communities: Pass the Remote!, Hip Hop Culture, Wedding Planning … more
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Dwight Arrington Myers (May 24, 1967 – November 8, 2011[3]), better known as Heavy D, was a Jamaican-born American actor, rapper, record producer, singer and former leader of Heavy D & the Boyz, a hip hop group which included G-Whiz (Glen Parrish), "Trouble" T. Roy (Troy Dixon), and Eddie F (born Edward Ferrell). The group maintained a sizable audience in the United States through most of the 1990s.

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