So, by now you’ve probably heard the sad news that the Heav-ster is no longer with us in physical form, although his music remains to inspire us forever. I guess I was a little perplexed to read all the top media blogs explaining that Heavy D, real name Dwight Arrington Myers, had the hit record “Now That We’ve Found Love“. It could be because he just performed the song at the B.E.T. Awards last month, but still I feel that a better discography than that is in order.
Heavy’s first songs were Hip Hop classics and inspired many many artists, including for one, the Notorious B.I.G., who mentions him on the song “JUICY” and gave him a cameo role as a bouncer in his video for “One More Chance“. Biggie got a chance to shine with some major players at the time when he was featured on Heavy D’s posse cut “A Bunch of N****s” along with 3rd Eye,Â Biggie Smalls,Â Busta Rhymes,Â Guru &Â Rob O. I’ve read that this was Biggie Smalls debut on wax, but I’ve also heard that about his collabos with Super Cat and Mary J. Blige, so I’m not positive. Not only did Heavy D inspire Biggie that he could be overweight and still dress fly and rap to the ladies, but he playedÂ an instrumental part in Diddy’s career, being one of the hit artists propelling Uptown Records, where Diddy (at the time Sean “Puffy” Combs), started interning and then moved up to A&R.Â Hev’s first group,Â Heavy D & the Boyz, which includedÂ DJ G-Whiz (Glen Parrish) and hip hop dancersÂ Trouble T. Roy (Troy Dixon) andÂ Eddie F (Edward Ferrell), was the first groupÂ signed toÂ Uptown Records, headed at the time byÂ Andre Harrel.
heavy d & the boyz
Another interesting peice of Hip Hop trivia, Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s biggest hit record “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y)” was about CL’s cousin, Trouble T Roy, who died tragically while dancing back up as one of the “Boyz”.
After his first two albums,Â Living Large andÂ Big Tyme spawned several hits in the late 80’s, both going gold, Heavy dedicated his next album, theÂ platinumÂ Peaceful Journey to Trouble T Roy. Â KRS ONE had always mentioned his fallen comrade DJ Scott LaRock on his records, but never actually made a song about him (post mortem). They Reminisce Over You and Peaceful Journey had became the first Hip Hop tribute records.
Heavy D went on to Record the slept on but critically acclaimed Blue Funk album, as well as a songs with the likes ofÂ Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Supa Cat and B.B. King.
Heavy D was one of the first Rappers (if the THE first) to be given the job of President of the label (a fact not lost onÂ Jay-Z, I’m sure), as President of Uptown Records. After putting out the Lost Boyz album “Legal Drug Money“, Heavy D decided running the show behind the scenes was not for him and he focused more on acting for awhile. He was a musical pioneer, actor, fashion trendsetter and the model of a rapper turned business mogul.
If that’s not enough, the ‘Overweight Lover’ was also one of the first MC’s to foray into the world of film and television, getting his start on the sitcomsÂ A Different World,Â Roc andÂ Living Single and later was cast in the television series Boston Public,The Tracy Morgan Show,Â Bones. He sang the theme song for both In Living Color and MadTV and appeared in several films includingÂ Life,Â Big Trouble,Â The Cider House Rules, Wong Fu’s,Â Step Up,Â New Jersey Drive and most recently had aÂ Â cameo as a security guard in theÂ Tower Heist starringÂ Ben Stiller andÂ Eddie Murphy.
In between stints as a television and movie actor (he did one Off-Broadway play, Lawrence Fishburne’s Riff Raff), Heavy returned to the charts to bring us Nuthin But Love and Waterbed Hev, hitting us with a few more classic records. He most recently had released a reggae fusion album called Vibes, which you can check out on iTunes, but below you will find my top picks of his past work. He had also recently guest appeared on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
So there’s a brief History Lesson for you youngsters. Now do your Homework! Here are some of my favorite Heavy D classics, some not mentioned on other sites, for you to reminisce over. I’ll be playing these records tonight as I toast to the man the myth the legend, Mr. Big Stuff, MC Heavy D. R.I.P.
DJ GMS Top Ten Heavy D classics:
1. Mr. Big Stuff Â -Â The one that started it all off! 1986!
Fader magazine honors BK’s Finest Notorious B.I.G. in their 2011 Icon issue on sale May 3rd.
â€œWeâ€™ve always tried to parse their influence by speaking with friends, family and fans to create a portrait of their lives both in and outside of music. However, with an artist like Notorious BIG, the subject of this yearâ€™s issue, much of that work has already been done because Big was so beloved. Weâ€™re not trying to compete with Notorious, but we set about painting a portrait of Big both as a rapper and as a regular dude. In our issue youâ€™ll read accounts from the intern who witnessed Big and Tupacâ€™s first encounter, youâ€™ll hear what Puff thinks about when he listens to Biggieâ€™s music today. Youâ€™ll see new photos of prominent places in Bigâ€™s life, from the tunnel he drives through backwards in the â€œHypnotizeâ€ video, to the block where he performed his infamous teenage freestyle.â€