(AllHipHop News) A who’s-who in hip-hop has reacted to the shocking news about the death of rapper Heavy D.
While an official cause of death has yet to be revealed, early reports suggested that the rapper, born Dwight Arrington Myers, caught a respiratory infection during a trip in London.
A new posting by TMZ.com reports that the 6’4 rapper/actor’s weight could have played a part in his death.
Heavy D. weighed almost 344 pounds at the time of his death.
Artists and executives of all ages paid their final respects to Heavy D., who passed away yesterday (November 8).
“Heavy D. was…no…is one of Hip-Hop’s finest,” Chicago rapper Common tweeted. “Your art and contribution will live 4ever brother!”
As one would expect, the news brought sorrow to West Coast rapper Game.
“Rest In Paradise to a GOOD FRIEND & legendary hip-hop icon Dwight Arrington ‘Heavy D.’ Myers,” Game tweeted. “Damn life sometimes!!!”
The outpouring of condolences underscores Heavy D.’s influence in hip-hop music, since the mid-1980s.
Heavy launched his career in 1987 as the leader of Heavy D. and The Boyz, which featured members DJ Eddie F, G-Wiz and the late Troy “Trouble T-Roy” Dixon.
In 1986, the group was the first act signed to the influential, groundbreaking record label Uptown Records which was headed by Andre Harrell.
Heavy helped power the label’s early success with hit albums like Living Large which contained the hit singles “Mr. Big Stuff,” and “The Overweight Lover’s in the House.”
He followed that album with 1989 album Big Tyme, which featured hit singles like “Gyrlz, They Love Me,” “Somebody For Me” and “We Got Our Own Thing”
Tragedy struck the group in July of 1990, when group member T-Roy died from a fall during a concert.
T-Roy’s death inspired the hip-hop classic “T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You),” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth.
In 1991, Heavy D. crossed over to the mainstream by recording the theme music for “In Living Color,” in addition to landing songs like on the charts.
The news hit Marlon Wayans hard.
“Heavy D. took me to my first big ‘Hollywood’ bbq in NYC. He picked me up in a BMW that cost more than my house and schooled my lil ass,” Marlon Wayans said, reminiscing.
Around this time, Heavy D. also helped introduce the “New Jack Swing” style of production made famous by artists like Full Force and Teddy Riley, with the hit single Now That We Found Love.”
“Dwight ‘Heavy D.’ Myers was not only a great talent but a good friend & good person,” Bow Legged Lou of Full Force told AllHipHop.com. “My condolences goes out to his great parents. I texted Dwight on Friday to tell him that I spotted the ‘Overweight Lover’ in the house right on the movie screen in Eddie Murphy’s movie ‘Tower Heist.’ Rest in Peace Hev. You’ll never be forgotten.”
In the summer of 1988, Heavy was instrumental in helping a young executive named Sean “Puffy” Combs, secure an internship at Uptown Records.
“My heart is broken,” Diddy tweeted. “Pls pray for my man Heavy D. and his family. Heavy D. is the person who gave me my 1st chance in the music industry. He got me my internship at Uptown. He believed when no one else did.”
Heavy D. was also a successful actor who had major roles on television and film.
His work in Hollywood helped pave the way for rappers like LL Cool J, Eve and others.
Heavy landed recurring roles on “Roc” and “Living Single,” and had cameos in movies like “Life,” and “New Jersey Drive,” which is a cult classic amongst hip-hop aficionados.
“May GOD embrace the soul of Heavy D and Bless his family,” LL Cool J tweeted. “I respected you Heavy and I always will.”
Later in his career, heavy maintained a presence on television with roles in “the Tracy Morgan Show,” “Boston Public,” and “Law & Order.”
The rapper/actor’s most recent role was a feature in the new comedy/drama “Tower Heist,” which was directed by Brett Ratner, who also directed Heavy D.’s 1994 video “Nuttin But Love.”
Heavy D. never stopped recording throughout his career, although he did take a hiatus from recording after the release of his 1999’s album Heavy.
In 2004, Heavy returned to the mic when he inked a unique deal with Diddy, who allowed him to record and recoup 100% of the proceeds.
“Puff and I been friends forever, were family,” Heavy D. told AllHipHop.com. “He gave me the most incredible deal. We had talks about it over the years. Honestly, I have never heard of a deal like this.”
In 2008 he released the reggae tinged album Vibes, on an indie label and in September of 2011’s Heavy dropped his final album, Love Opus.
The album produced the successful single “I Can’t,” which featured crooner Anthony Hamilton.
Check out some of the tweets that rappers sent to Heavy D. after hearing about his death.
Also below is clip of Heavy D. working with a producer on his album via the Internet.
Nas: @Nas: RIP TO A REAL HIP HOP LEGEND HEAVY D!
Russell Simmons: @UncleRUSH: I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Heavy D. A long time friend and a beautiful person.
Raekwon: @Raekwon: NO, don’t tell me thats true bout heavy d! We was just bout to link up! My condolences goes to him and his family! R.I.P HEV!