By Arturo R. García
No doubt we all thought this at one point yesterday: Heavy D is gone? But he just came back!
Hev – born Dwight Errington Myers in Mount Vernon, N.Y. – died Tuesday at the shockingly young age of 44. Unlike Joe Frazier, the rapper/actor had not been reported as suffering from any illness; in fact, he tweeted his condolences for the boxer:
At the time of his death, Heavy had seemingly only begun to step back into the public eye: last month he appeared at both a Michael Jackson tribute show in Wales and at the BET Music Awards, and moviegoers saw him in the new Eddie Murphy film Tower Heist. A video of what would turn out to be his final interview, with Tim Westwood, went online just yesterday.
That interview now stands as a summation of his career arc: growing up as an artist in New York’s hip-hop community; the origin of the classic “TROY (They Reminisce Over You);” and his “nerve-wracking” comeback, cut off way too soon.
During his career, Hev was able to gather a group of rap heavyweights and get them to do their thing without cursing; he teamed up with both Michael and Janet Jackson; he was a father and the president of a music label; he was witty and ribald without being crass; and as he told Westwood, he put in weeks’ worth of rehearsal for his BET performance because he cared. That love for the music was always evident, and that might be what fans will miss the most.