Super Cat and dozens of artists and friends of late rapper Heavy D have sparked a pertinent discussion surrounding the lack of recognition the late artist has received as hip hop marks its 50th birthday.
Heavy D, born in Jamaica but grew up in Mount Vernon, has been called by experts as one of hip hop’s most influential artists who helped shape rap music in its early beginnings.
The artist, born Dwight Arrington Myers, passed away in 2011 at the age of 44 after collapsing at his Beverly Hills home. His music style began with him as leader of the hip-hop group Heavy D and the Boyz, featuring his childhood friends Eddie F (Edward Ferrel), G-Whiz (Glen Parrish), and Trouble T-Roy (Troy Dixon).
The group’s song, “Living Large,” brought them their first taste of success, and they went on to release the album “Big Tyme,” which sold platinum immediately on release in 1989, sparking hits “We Got Our Own Thang,” “Somebody For Me” and “Gyrlz, They Love Me.”
The group released three other albums before Heavy D went on to form his solo career, where he worked with the greats like Michael Jackson on “Jam,” Janet Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, and others.
Heavy D was known for his smooth raps, which were inflected with reggae music from his Jamaican heritage, but more so, he raised the bar in hip hop as he praised black women and rarely used profanities in his music while also raising awareness on issues affecting children and the black community.
As hip-hop celebrates 50 years of origin, many figures like DJ Kool Herc, Busta Rhymes, and others have received recognition in one form or another for their contributions to the origination of hip-hop.
However, Heavy D’s colleagues believe that the rapper has been entirely left out of the conversation.
Pete Rock, widely known as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, has advocated for Heavy D’s recognition. Rock is also the older cousin of Heavy.
He shared a series of posts lamenting the fact that Heavy D is not a part of the conversation at all.
“I respect absolutely NONE of this talk about 50 years of hip Hop that does not include HEAVY D and the Boyz,” Rock wrote in an IG post.
“He KICKED DOWN the door and paved a way for A LOT OF MOTHERF****RS!! I think his smoothness and humbleness make people forget his impact and relevance in the music business. I NEED EVERY ONE WHO AGREES ( ESPECIALLY EVERYBODY FOR MONEY EARNING MOUNT VERNON!!) TO REPOST AND SHARE SO WE CAN GET HEV A PROPER TELEVISED TRIBUTE for his achievements and contributions to the game,” he added.
Fellow artist Snoop Dogg agreed in the comments, writing, “Facts. Big. Tyme.”
Queen Latifah chimed in, “Heav was my friend. Put us on his tour and showed us what rocking a crowd was About!!! Love to him his family and his Whole Crew!!!!”
“Bruh Heavy D was huge in joining Reggae & Hip-Hop together. It’s sad how humans quickly forget,” another fan wrote.
Marlon Wayans added, “I concur,” while actor Omari Hardwick wrote, “1000%. As special as they come! Who happened to be a dear bro of mine like yourself? And who btw….was 1 of the few hip-hop artists who could equally bring that gift to screen. A very strong actor.”
“I also agree with you my brother … that folk (especially in our culture) who make things look easy while equally possessing humility….usually get overlooked & undervalued. Heav was special & i know he’s smiling with pride & humility at this powerful post from you Rock!” he added.
Platinum-selling Jamaican legend Super Cat also reposted Rock’s post.
“Mi friend and #icon the late great Heavy D #theoverweightloversinthehouse,” he captioned the post.
The post has received support from a throng of artists and actors who knew or worked with Heavy D or those influenced by his music, including Rohan Marley, Lloyd Banks, and many others.