Heavy D‘s passing shook the hip hop community to its core yesterday as fans and friends tweeted their condolences and reactions to the 44-year-old’s untimely death. Today on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live, mogul Russell Simmons discussed Heavy D’s influence on music. Some of hip-hop’s most respected MCs took to Twitter last night offering 140 characters of their sorrows, reactions and memories of the self-proclaimed “overweight lover.”
Here’s what the hip-hop community had to say about Heavy D’s death:
Heavy D, pictured at right (alongside Sandy "Pepa" Denton and Flavor Flav), passed away today at the age of 44.
Sad news to pass along. TMZ is reporting that rapper/actor Dwight “Heavy D” Arrington died earlier this afternoon after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home. He was 44 years old.
“The Overweight Lover Heavy D” rose to prominence as the frontman of Heavy D & The Boyz in the late 80s after being signed to Uptown Records, which was perhaps the preeminent practitioner of the New Jack Swing sound that dominated that era. The group released Livin Large to some fanfare in 1987, but the group really saw their exposure grow when they were tapped to write the theme song to the hit show In Living Color in 1990. Shortly thereafter, Heavy D experienced his greatest commercial success with his 1991 cover of “Now That We Found Love,” which ended up spending 15 weeks in the Billboard Top 40 in the summer of 1991, peaking at #11.
The cause of Heavy D’s death has yet to be revealed. We’d like to extend our condolences to Heavy D’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.