The Shadow League Remembers: Happy 53rd Birthday To The Late Heavy D

Heavy D, who tragically died just ten days after performing at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, which was his first televised performance in 15 years, would have been 53 years young today and undoubtedly still cutting rug with the best of them.

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Happy Birthday to “The Overweight Lover” Heavy D!

The overweight lover from 90s hip-hop hotbed “Money Earning” Mount Vernon earned respect for big-boned dudes and changed the narrative about big men being sex symbols. Heavy D had game for the ladies, respect for the fellas, agility, talent and a flair for making hip-hop music.

The overweight lover set the tone for artists such as Biggie Smalls, Chubb Rock and Rick Ross who were not physically built like your typical rock stars but captivated the hip-hop community and utilized their talents to carve out successful careers in entertainment.

Heavy D & The Boyz – The Overweight Lovers In The House

Subscribe here: Music video by Heavy D & The Boyz performing The Overweight Lovers In The House. (C) 1987 Universal Records

Born Dwight Arrington Myers, in Mandeville, Jamaica, Hev became Leader of Heavy D & the Boyz and rose to popularity as a slick rapper through much of the 1990s.

Aside from his records and music that helped expand the growing genre of hip-hop at a time when the music could still be considered largely underground, Heavy D pushed it closer to the mainstream, and carved out a place for himself as a cultural icon when he sang the theme songs to the popular television shows In Living Color and MADtv. Hev was also an actor who appeared in films such as New Jersey Drive, Big Trouble, and The Cider House Rules.

Heavy D and the Boyz hopped on the highway and stormed New York City’s hip-hop scene with their 1987 debut album Livin Large which is considered a classic to this day.

Heavy D & The Boyz – Mr. Big Stuff

Subscribe here: Music video by Heavy D & The Boyz performing Mr. Big Stuff. (C) 1986 Universal Records Inc.

His follow up LP Big Tyme killed the charts and went platinum and reached the top 20 on the Billboard Pop charts.

The group was propelled and inspired by the funky New Jack Swing style architected by producer Teddy Riley from Virginia. Riley was assisted by his Hev’s younger cousin, a beat making prodigy named Pete Rock.

Hevs contributions to 90s hip-hop is impactful, recognizable and trendsetting. His album Peaceful Journey also went platinum but was made under tragic circumstances after the accidental death of his dancer and friend Trouble T Roy.

Heavy D & The Boyz – Now That We Found Love ft. Aaron Hall

Subscribe here: Music video by Heavy D & The Boyz performing Now That We Found Love. (C) 1991 Geffen Records

Heavy continued to make albums, push the envelope and reconnect with his audience up into the 2000s when his focus turned to expanding his scope as an actor, appearing on TV shows such as Roc and Living Single. He also worked in film, appearing most recently in the 2011 Eddie Murphy joint Tower Heist.

Heavy D – Big Daddy

Music video by Heavy D performing Big Daddy. (C) 1997 Geffen Records

Of all of Heavy Ds accomplishments, what still resonates to this day is the way he was able to fuse his Caribbean culture with his Mount Vernon street music and deliver positive messages in a hardcore and debonair way. Truly one for hip-hop’s pioneers and assets, Happy Birthday Heavy D.

May he rest in power.

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