Five Overlooked But Epic Facts About Heavy D

Heavy D has always been lauded as a pioneer among “big men” in the rap industry, but his impact and influence went far beyond his own career pursuits over the past 25 years. He was a triple threat – an artist, producer, and actor – who rubbed elbows with some of the best, and sometimes unlikely, names in the business.

As the Hip-Hop world pauses to mourn the loss of one of its heroes, takes a moment to examine five, little known facts about the late, great Heavy D:

1) BIGGIE’S LAUNCH PAD – Another “big man,” Brooklyn’s late Notorious B.I.G., made his first introduction to the rap world way back in 1993 on a Heavy D track entitled “Buncha N*ggas” from the album Blue Funk. The track also included verses from Busta Rhymes, Guru, Rob-O, and Third Eye.

Ironically, three of the six MCs on the track are now deceased.

2) DIDDY’S IMAGE-MAKER INSPIRATION – Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, is said to have modeled Biggie’s image largely off of Heavy D’s fashionable influence from his Uptown Records days. Way before Biggie, the Mount Vernon native was the first of the big-statured MCs to embrace the luxurious, brand name life of Versace, Gucci, and others.

Recall how clean he and The Boyz always were every time they hit the stage? Check them on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in 1989:

3) BEANIE’S “EMO” MOMENT – Heavy D was responsible for launching the careers of several rap and R&B artists, including Soul 4 Real, Monifah, and legendary DJ/producer/cousin Pete Rock.

Even so-called gully MCs called on Heavy D for help – few realized back in 2004 that he was the producer for one of Philly rapper Beanie Sigel’s most prolific and respected tracks, “Feel It In The Air.”

4) JAMMING WITH THE KING – Michael Jackson, who only invited a handful of rappers to drop verses on his songs over the years, shared the booth with Heavy D on the hugely popular “Jam” in 1991. One of the first rap/R&B collaborators, just a year earlier, Heavy D collaborated with Jackson’s little sister Janet on “Alright.”

In another ironic death twist, Heavy D’s untimely death came just one day after a jury found Dr. Conrad Murray liable for the untimely death of Michael.

5) RAP’S MR. CLEAN – While other rappers such as Uncle Luke were pushing for freedom of speech in their lyrics, Heavy D – always the gentleman – was busy taking his own stand on the 1991 track “Don’t Curse.”

Proof positive that he was “the man” among other mega-rappers of the time, he even recruited Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, C.L. Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip to help promote his clean-mouthed lyricism on the song.

As Pete Rock underscored in his bars, “I can’t curse/’cause Heavy D said so…”

There are countless examples of how Heavy D left his good-natured, talented mark on Hip-Hop culture and the entertainment world. Truly, he was larger than life, and will be greatly missed. Share your own memories and little known facts below!

R.I.P. to the Overweight Lover!

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37 Responses to “Five Overlooked But Epic Facts About Heavy D”

  1. BibatheDiva

    Thanks Seandra… Great reminders of what an incredible presence we lost today… My daughter said, “Not the guy from B.A.P.S.?!” Her favorite movie… he was an actor, producer… A gifted individual and my childhood crush. I will lalways appreciate him for crafting the soundtrack to my formative years. Rest in Peace, Hev.

  2. Kelly

    wow the writer of this site needs to correct their facts. Janet worked with Heavy D  first with Alright in 1990 and then two years later with Michael on Jam in 1992

      • Ronnell Brown

        Oh, maybe it was wrong when you read it (AHH likes to go back and fix the errors, then that makes all of us look crazy because then the story is fixed and your comment seems wrong… not the first time this site fixed the mistakes and left the posters with seemingly wrong comments.  Anyway… R.I.P. to The Overweight Lover.

  3. Ruffian71

    Heavy D, a class act through & through…

    Respectability + Relevance + Excellence = CLASSIC.

    R.I.P. Waterbed Hev…


    WE LOVE YOU HEAVY ??????????


                          █ ——— R ——— ██ ——— E ——— ██ ——— A ——— ██ ——— L ——— █
                         █ ——— R ——— █ █ ——— E ——— █ █ ——— A ——— █ █ ——— L——— █
                         █ ——— T ——— █ █ ——— A——— █ █ ——— L ——— █ █ ——— K ——— █

  5. breed500

    Heavy D,Eddie F,T Roy and Wiz…memories…we used to practice our dance routines before stepping out in the weekends..they made some of the greatest party jams ever!..”we got our own thing” played up to 4 times in a row back in the will be sorely missed my dude..another one of the great ones beloved Hip Hop is losing it’s first born sons way too early…

  6. Romia Blue

    Listening to Blue Funk now and teared up when I heard Guru. The thing that’s trippy is this could have been avoided. Preliminary results is respitory failure from pneumonia. Damn Heavy!! 🙁 Loved you in Boston Public, I know Queen Latifah, Pete Rock, like your fam is hurting but your true fans are too.

    Rest in Respect Heav…

  7. Damien

    He was born in Jamaica, grew up in Mount Vernon NY, and one of his dancers Trouble T Roy died. T Roy was the inspiration for the CL Smooth / Pete Rock “we reminisce”. 

    He also had a role in the move New Jersey Drive.

    • Romia Blue

      T.R.O.Y. (they reminisce over you)…and didn’t CL revist this song with someone else recently? wasn’t it on a Mr. Cheeks album?

  8. EDOGZ818

    Good Look Seandra , especially the DON”T CURSE video , that has Diddy holding the DON’T CURSE sign LOL.
    Buncha Ni99az?
    Didn’t know that! Good look for that drop!
    RIP to the Heavster! 
    ( Still , let’s not forget Chubb Rock , another big man in Hip Hop…..he just couldn’t dance like Heavy D!
    RIP Heavy D
    Much Respect!

  9. Quadeer Shakur

    On behalf of the Universal Zulu Nation and our Founder, Afrika Bambaata, we offer our condolences to the family and friends of our brother, Heavy D. HipHop Culture has been blessed with the contributions of this inspirational, positive emcee who understood and was dedicated to our four founding principles: Peace, Love, Unity and Havin’ Fun. Rest in Peace, Heavy D.

    Quadeer “M.C. Spice” Shakur
    Minister of Information
    Universal Zulu Nation

    • Sawdog20

      That song dont curse had mad lyrics. Kane and Kool G murdered the track……. These so called rappers today could never make a song like that. it requires too much intellect and thought….. LOL!!!

      • EDOGZ818

        Plus , think about this , Kool G Rap , Big Daddy Kane , Grand Puba , Pete Rock & Cl Smooth , Q Tip , Heavy D , etc…were on different labels ,  so in retrospect , the legalities of making something like that pop off is even more impossible now , even if today’s rappers could muster up such quality lyrics.
        ( Which I Doubt anyway )
        RIP Heavy D
        Much Respect!

  10. Hypestyles

    By the time of his death, Heavy had a journeyman’s career of sorts in acting.  In 1989 he had a memorable guest-appearance/performance as himself on the sitcom A Different World.  From there, he had a recurring presence on television shows like Roc and Boston Public, and had a featured role in the short-lived Tracy Morgan Show.  In film, Heavy enjoyed supporting roles in films like Life, The Cider House Rules, and, ironically, a role in the just-released Tower Heist.  He even did a stint on the off-Broadway play Riff Raff with Laurence Fishburne.

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