This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
May 24th, 2013
May 24th – Heavy D was born Dwight Arrington Meyers in Mandeville, Jamaica on this day in 1967.
Heavy D, cousin of legendary producer Pete Rock relocated from Jamaica to Mount Vernon, New York with his family in the early 1970’s.
Heavy D released his debut album “Living Large” as Heavy D And The Boyz in 1987.
The Boyz were Heavy D’s dancers whose members were Edward Ferrell a.k.a. Eddie F, Glen Parrish a.k.a. G-Whiz and the late Troy Dixon a.k.a. Trouble T-Roy.
“Living Large” was released on Uptown Records, a label that he eventually became a top executive at.
“Living Large” was produced by Teddy Riley and Marley Marl and produced three classic hit singles “Mr. Big Stuff”, “The Overweight Lover’s In The House” and “Don’t You Know”.
Heavy D’s witty dancehall reggae-tinged rhymes became an instant fan favorite.
His more than capable dancing skills for a large man also made him a favorite with children and especially female fans.
Heavy D had released eight albums since “Living Large”, most notably 1989’s “Big Tyme” which produced three more smash hits “We Got Our Own Thang”, “Somebody For Me” and the anthem “Gyrlz, They Love Me”, 1991’s “Peaceful Journey”, which contained “Now That We Found Love”, featuring Aaron Hall of Guy and “Don’t Curse”, featuring Q-Tip, Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Pete Rock and Kool G. Rap, 1994’s multi-platinum “Nuttin’ But Love” and 1997’s “Waterbed Hev”.
Heavy D’s last album would be 2011’s “Love Opus”.
After his stint as a suit at Uptown, Heavy D eventually became a senior executive at Universal Records as well.
Over the years, in his capacity as a record exec, Heavy D was instrumental in helping to launch the careers of several big name artists like P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige and Soul IV Real, just to name few.
Over the years, Heavy D would also collaborate with the likes of Michael and Janet Jackson, Naughty By Nature, KRS-One and countless others.
Heavy D also experienced tragedy as well when Boyz dancer Troy Dixon a.k.a. Trouble T-Roy died in a freak accident while on tour with the group.
The incident would be the inspiration for the 1992 Pete Rock And C.L. Smooth anthem “The Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”.
Heavy D would also go on to perform the theme songs for “In Living Color” and “MADtv”.
Heavy D would have an equally prolific acting career appearing in the films “New Jersey Drive”, “B.A.P.S.”, “The Cider House Rules” and “Tower Heist”, just to name a few.
Heavy D had also appeared on television’s “A Different World”, “Roc”, “Living Single”, “The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air”, “Law & Order – Special Victims Unit”, “Bones”, “The Tracy Morgan Show” and a co-starring role on “Boston Public”, which was heavily praised, no pun intended, by the critics.
After performing in Cardiff, Wales at a Michael Jackson tribute show, Heavy D’s long plane ride back home to the U.S. most likely may have contributed to the pulmonary embolism that he suffered on Nov.8th in 2011, when he collapsed outside of his apartment in Los Angeles and died.
The music world mourned the loss of one of its favorite performers when news hit the airwaves that he had passed away.
Heavy D’s contributions to hip-hop culture can never be overstated as he played an early key role into crossing hip-hop over into the world of r’n’b and eventually the mainstream.
He was also one of the earliest hip-hop artists to marry reggae into rap music.
His style and fashion sense earned him the reputation as one of rap’s gentleman.
His rhyme skills earned his respect as one of the giants of the industry.