Heavy D: Remembering The Hip Hop Legend On His 49th Birthday

Heavy D: Remembering The Hip Hop Legend On His 49th Birthday

Dwight Errington Myers was the first rapper to embrace his overweight status as the self-proclaimed “overweight lover”. Heavy D wasn’t even fat, especially by today’s standards. He was pleasantly fluffy, but more than that he was extraordinarily talented.

I don’t think people even know how important Heavy D was and still is to hip-hop, but I do – so I want to share that and remember “Heav”.

Jamaican born and New York bred, Heavy D was a major pioneer in rap music. Heavy D and the Boyz were the very first group signed to Uptown Records. Heavy was also the first rapper to collaborate with pop artists and rap over their songs, most notably Janet Jackson’s Alright and her brother Michael’s Jam. He was also the voice of the rap theme song for “In Living Color”. You know the song, “everybody here is equally kind – what’s mines is yours and what’s yours in mine!” Unbeknownst to many, he was the one who first believed in a skinny little back-up dancer named Sean Combs and convinced Andre Harrell to hire Combs as an intern – and we know where that ended up.

Taking a break from his own rap career following the death of Troy Dixon (Trouble T. Roy, the inspiration for the song They Reminisce Over You), Heavy was the first rapper to become a label head when he became the president of Uptown Records. In his role as the president, he brought us one of the dopest R&B groups we’ve ever enjoyed, Soul 4 Real, whose music still gets played by those of us who remember the magic of 90’s music. Candy Rain! What!!!

Heavy continued working behind the scenes and acting while living in Beverly Hills. I was personally psyched when I saw him in Tower Heist with Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller — his humility came across, even on the big screen. In October 2011, hip-hop fans got an awesome delight when Heavy took the stage at the BET Awards with one of his original band mates, Eddie F, from Heavy D and the Boys. They rocked the crowd and Heavy killed!!! He showed that he is one of the coolest to ever do it. Smooth, collected, and full of finesse — showing the young ones how to be a gentleman and a rapper, and that the two can coincide.


Dwight Errington, better known as Heavy D

But less than a month after Heavy’s amazing performance, he was gone. He’d told his mother that he hadn’t been feeling well and she urged him to see his doctor, which he did. He was sent home. On the morning of November 8, 2011, Heavy stepped outside of his home and collapsed. He was taken to Cedar Sanai Hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. His autopsy showed that he had in fact died from a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot on his lung which doctors say likely rose up from his leg during a long flight. Heavy had taken a long flight to London to honor Michael Jackson, who had died just two years earlier. It was a silent killer that took such an amazing talent from us, and such a warm and loving person as told by those closest to him.

His parents, Eulalee and Clifford Myers were understandably shattered when they lost Heav, their youngest son. They had already suffered the loss of two of their children before him, but he was the one they say, who was so special. He was a good son. To his father, he was a best friend. His father shared that his baby son would call him “old man”, and whisper in his ear to make him something to eat, stew peas and rice was his favorite. “Don’t let mommy cook that rice,” he would playfully tell his father.

When Heavy passed, he left behind so many people who he had touched deeply, including a 10 year-old daughter, who is now 14. MC Hammer spoke kindly about the man he had done so many tours with, and Puff proudly boasts that he owes Heavy his life and career. Did you know that Johnny Gill was his adopted brother? He was also crushed by Heavy’s loss.

A rap pioneer, a good son and father, a friend and a humble Jamaican who was a smooth gentleman. Not ashamed to rap for the ladies and the gentlemen, Heavy was one of a kind and his art went with him. Don’t forget about him.

Watch him work.


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