I don't know why this most recent passing hit me so hard. It's not like I knew Dwight Arrington Ayers personally. But I did grow up with him in a sense. His music was a huge part of my high school, college and even years after that. So it was no wonder I was very stunned as well as disheartened when I received the latest horrible news.
Famed rapper and entertainer Heavy D passed away in his home in Los Angeles Tuesday evening. Cause of death has not been made official but it was medically related and believed to be a heart attack. He was 44-years-old.
Heavy D got his start in an era when everything hip-hop that came out was dope. Or at least 95% of it. You could go into the music store (remember those?) to the rap section and be guaranteed that anything you picked up would be slammin'. His smooth style fit right into a hip-hop genre that was still fighting for credibility in the mainstream.
I was already a Heavy D fan early on but he really cinched it for me when he made a guest appearance in New Edition's remix "NE Heartbreak". Dude teamed up with my favorite group of all time to make a hot song even hotter. From that point on he could really do no wrong. Fortunately he didn't. It seemed that video appearance gave him an acting bug that really paid off.
It wasn't enough that Heavy was putting out good music. He had to also pop up in various acting gigs in the 90s in shows that were staples among all my friends. A guest apperance on "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"...a recurring role on "Living Single" and an integral recurring role on "Roc" (how many of you can remember what crucial storyline he was a part of?). He would then go on to have a regular spot (although not nearly frequent enough) on one of my favorite unfairly short-lived shows "Boston Public". Dude was just able to do it all.
But don't get it twisted. Heavy had some of the tightest hip-hop songs to ever grace a track. From the time he came out with "The Overweight Lover's in the House" he was making non-stop hits. He really got his stride when he hooked up with Teddy Riley to give us classics like "Now That We Found Love". My personal favorite though was "Got Me Waiting". Both the original AND the remix. He gave us some of the best hip-hop ever and yet there are still kids today that have no concept at all of his greatness.
Easily the biggest reason why his passing hits so hard is because Heavy D is from my generation. He's not even that much older than me. He was supposed to be around much longer. I was JUST listening to one of his joints the other day thinking that he needs to make a comeback. Both in music AND acting. His presence was already missed before and now even more.
Rest in peace, Hev.