While on the phone with my girl Kim, she told me that Heavy D passed several hours ago today! I was shocked and horrified eventhough I don’t know him personally…it’s just that anytime anyone young passes away, it’s painful mostly because it makes you feel your own mortality that much more. It may seem insanely selfish to say that, but I’m just tellin you how I feel.
I remember first hearing Heavy D in my middle school days in the late 80s, he was all over the radio all the time back then. My older brother Mezei was my major musical influence at the time and not only would he be up on all the latest songs, he also could dance his ass off (think first House Party dance-off scene). So my early memories of listening to Heavy D is folded into my memories of jealously watching my older brother head off to high school with his cool friends, wishing I could wear the tight eighties gear and be old enough to go to a Heavy D concert. I remember being devasted when during my highschool years, Trouble T Roy -one of Heavy D’s back-up dancers- died when he fell off a stage at a concert venu. Again, the untimely death of someone who must have only been in his 20s.
My favorite Heavy D songs are ‘Girls They Love Me’ and ‘Nuttin but Love’, but I also fondly remember ‘Is it Good for You?’, and ‘We Got Our Own Thang’. Speaking of ‘We Got Our Own Thang’, that song came out in 1989 (my 8th grade/9th grade year) and sometime that year I went with my older brother and some of his friends on a day-trip to DC where we walked around the Mall (around Smithsonian-not shopping mall) and where he bought me my now weathered, transparent, luxuriously soft from 23 years of washing, tshirt pictured above. At the time there was a trend toward repping colleges whether you were ever planning to go to college or not; I was heavy into Georgetown and had, with my grandmother’s help even sewed a pair of Georgetown logoed boxers which worked so well with the tee. If you really look at the picture, you’ll see my tshirt not only reps Georgetown (peep Heavy G and the Hoyas), but it clearly underscores Heavy D’s impact on pop-culture back in the 80s and early 90s. Of course we now are probably more familiar with him as an actor, most notably for me in his role in the movie Life (prison movie starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence). I dug out my tshirt and have been rocking it this week, which, due to transparency, shouldn’t be worn out of the house and which I think my b.f. would prefer I not wear in the house. In all honesty I hadn’t even thought about Heavy D in quite some time, but that does not minimize the sadness his death brings nor does it diminsh my fond memories of him…R.I.P Heavy D
Link to Billboard page in case you want to listen to his music and see some old school videos: http://www.billboard.com/news/heavy-d-the-boyz-s-top-10-billboard-hits-1005490092.story#/news/heavy-d-the-boyz-s-top-10-billboard-hits-1005490092.story?page=1