EXIT THE FAT MAN: Heavy D Dead At 44


At the end of the Heavy D & The Boyz track “A Bunch of Niggas” — a monumental cut featuring the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Guru and Rob-O — Heavy defiantly declares that he won’t stop his craft until somebody says, “That nigga Heavy D was rough in his day.” Well, it’s unfortunate that his time was cut so short, but no one can say that Heavy D didn’t get his props. Mr. Big Stuff, born Dwight Myers, was a hip-hop innovator, mixed various styles and spat with the delivery of KRS-One and the lightheartedness of Posdnuos. He was an experimentalist, fucking with all kinds of sounds: one minute he’s rapping over New Jack Swing and the next he’s rocking over some Pete Rock coldness. Always tender-hearted, Heavy D became a ring-leader of hip-hop, his albums were a meeting place for hip-hop mainstream and underground alike; particularly after the accidental death of his partner Trouble T. Roy at age 22. Perhaps his greatest contribution to hip-hop was his influence as a fat rapper. Before Heavy D, there was no such thing as a Fat Joe, Big Pun, Notorious B.I.G. or a Rick Ross. The “Overweight Lover” Heavy D was a big, big boy; and just how did he get all those cuties? Well, nobody knew. He had no precedent. There was no formula to follow. He got props from across the board, and his name became as synonymous as Chubb Rock, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap as a bonafide Golden-Age icon. His career stemmed into acting and he took a 15-year hiatus from performing live. However, Heavy D made a triumphant return to hip-hop at 2011’s BET Hip-Hop Awards this October, proving once and for all that big motherfuckers can dance, and hip-hop legends never lose their stuff. He passed away this Tuesday at age 44. No doubt that Heavy D was rough, but man did he have class. Rest in peace big fella. — MATTHEW HENGEVELD

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