I was very sad to hear yesterday of the untimely death of Heavy D, aged just 44. I’m quite sure that the tributes from US hip hop heavyweights will be hitting the internet over the coming week so I’ll attempt to keep this short, but I couldn’t help feeling that his contribution is often overlooked. Although my personal favourites from his catalogue include the Zapp sampling underground hit of the late 80s ‘More Bounce’ and the early 90s Pete Rock produced posse cut ‘Don’t Curse’, his most important contribution was undoubtedly to the emerging cross over scene of the late 80s / early 90s. Whilst at Uptown Records he gave a young Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs his first break and paved the way for an entire movement with Hip Hop / New Jack cross over tracks including the Teddy Riley produced ‘We Got Our Own Thang’ which in 1989 was undeniably years ahead of its time. Whether or not you have time for the pop rap hits such as ‘Now That We Found Love’ that followed, the fact that he had a great talent and made an important and long lasting impact on modern music is unquestionable.
It wasn’t until I stopped to think about it that I realised quite how often his music has cropped up on my mixtapes. So, at the risk of coming off like I’m capitalising on recent events to promote my own wares, here’s a quick run down in tribute to the ‘bum-diddly-heavster’:
Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘Peaceful Journey’ appears on The Legacy – World’s Greatest Jackson Tribute Mix: Listen here
Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘Mr Big Stuff’ appears on Classic Material Edition #1 Part 2: Listen here
Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘You Ain’t Heard Nuttin’ Yet’ and ‘We Got Own Own Thang’ (Acapella) appear on Classic Material Edition #3: Listen here
Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘More Bounce’ appears on The Diary 1989 Megamix: Listen here
Heavy D & The Boyz – ‘We Got Out Own Thang’ (Chris Read Remix) appears on The Diary Volume 1.5: Listen here