They always say, “curiosity kills cat!” I don’t know, anything about curiosity killing a cat. What I do know, is the last time a brother like myself had a touch of curiosity. I ended up, playing on both fields if you get my grift. Nonetheless, I’ve been sitting and thinking for the past hour or so, whether or not I should attend the Heavy D Tribute that Brooklyn Bodega was nice enough to set up for another one of hip hop’s finest emcee and entertainer. I decided to attend, I wanted to show my appreciation to the late, great Heavy D. A man, I admired my whole childhood along with others. This is how the game is played, we’re here one day and gone the next. It is only right for anyone via fan, friend, family, confidant or business associate to come out tonight and pay your homage to the “OVERWEIGHT LOVER, HEAVY D!” The show is wrapping up soon, I’am super late. I’m sorry jabb viewers its my fault. I got lost, I walk to Cobble Hill, instead of Brooklyn Heights. Can you blame me? This is all new to me, boo’gee white people, boo’gee black people living in brownstones. The closest I ever came to this neighborhood was from watching, The Cosby Show and Living Single. What the heck? You mean to tell me, I rushed down here and its almost over and they don’t even have the decency to serve refreshments or beverages. Well, there isn’t much I can say, in only ten minutes of a presentation. Wait, I almost forgot whose typing this. They don’t call me, “Your Favorite Writer’s Favorite Writer” for nothing. If anyone can make a ten minute viewing of this evening’s press conference and make it sound like I’ve been there for the whole two hours….. Well, I hate to braaaagggg!!!! but its me. As much as I would want to, it is improper and goes against my journalistic integrity to embellish an issue. Besides its not fair to my viewers. I would like to thank, hip hop icon Dj Marley Marl and journalist icon, Datwon Thomas the guests on this evening’s panel and to Wes Jackson for leading the panel. Since I can’t talk about what happened at the press conference. However, I can talk about “the man of evening…..HEAVY D” and what were my thoughts about him as an emcee, entertainer, actor from 1987 to 2011.
Let’s just say, I bloomed onto Heavy D at an late start. I never had an awareness to the “Livin’ Large” album. I always thought, “Big Tyme” was his debut album. What a great album it was, not realizing its his sophomore presentation. The “Big Tyme” album hit stores everywhere in 1989 scoring a remarkable platinum success. In them days, an artist or fan didn’t know anything about gold or platinum successes. The only thing, we cared about were the music and the artist’s lyrics. The selling status of an artist that wasn’t something we had to worry about until this person showed up and infested hip hop for several years. However, everything previously involving hip hop ran on a smooth and talented pace. I use the word, talented because emcees, back then that’s what they were. Take Heavy D, he was an extraordinary performer, dancer, you name it. Just a hell of an entertainer or entertainment multi-tasker, lol! Let’s face it, the man rapped, sang, danced and my favorite the rub o dub style. All molded into one humanbeing. No disrespect to Biggie Smalls, no matter how great he was I don’t think anyone ever seen Biggie do half of what I mentioned about Heavy D’s talent. No one can not say, they seen The Big Poppa dance on stage, sing (without using autotunes) and most definitely no one ever, seen Biggie rub o dub. The closest, Biggie came to a rub o dub was when they threw bottles at him in Kingston, Jamaica during a Stone Love Sound Clash. God still bless the dead. I didn’t come here to throw dirt onto The Notorious B.I.G. I love, Biggie Smalls just as much as anyone. I’m only making comparisons among the two.
Afterall, tonight is called “FROM THE OVERWEIGHT LOVER TO NOTORIOUS B.I.G.!” These two individuals were so uncanny from the emergence of Heavy D in 1987 to the emergence of Notorious B.I.G. in 1994. Heavy D, put in fifteen years of success, before Notorious B.I.G’s debut. It was as if a prequal to what’s about to come. It’s a shame, though that Notorious B.I.G. couldn’t put in the same amount of veteran years as The Hevster due to his untimely death. 1994, may have been the best of Heavy D with the release of “Nuthin’ But Love”. I have a feeling, Heavy D may have seen it himself. After the release of “Nuthin’ But Love” there was a three year gap period. Where Heavy D, returned to the music industry and hip hop scene in 1997 with “Waterbed Hev”. There were label trouble I expect. He was no longer carrying the Uptown/ MCA branch. By then MCA has defunct and Universal taken over all there projects and client lists. Still, Uptown though. By 1997, the game have changed dramatically and drastically. We are talking about a culture that was born in the streets and is known for its arts, lyrics, talent and respect. Later became a hip hop version of Sadam and Gomora. Where all that mattered was, how much units you think we can move? How much do you think this artist is worth? How much you sold on your first week? How much you sold this week? It gotten more about the business and less about the culture, so less that even the artist themselves were hypnotized. Artist starting getting more business orientated and forgetting about the ethics of hip hop. Despite all the corruption taken place within the hip hop culture.
“THE OVERWEIGHT LOVER REMAINED IN THE HOUSE!!!” Heavy D, remained in the house for another fourteen years, before his unfortunate death. During that time, he manage to release three albums of an acquired taste nature. The reason why I say that acquired taste because hearing Heavy D’s last three album releases. You must understand, your average Heavy D fan, the one who grew up to his music may not be acceptable to the direction in which he was going. On the otherhand, you’ll have your longtime Heavy D fan, who is so happy to hear his music once again despite his new direction. I never gotten a chance to hear all three. You have “HEAVY” his 1999 release on Universal. Then, you have “Vibes” his 2008 release and “Love Opus” his 2011 release. “Love Opus”, was released last year only two months prior to his death. Heavy D did manage to get off nine albums in his twenty four years among other things such as movie and tv deals. The last television performance I can recall seeing, Heavy D in was Law and Order:SVU and I’m not going to ever forget that line he made famous on the show. It was a scene where, Det Benson had pulled him over in his SUV and he commented by saying “Your going to give me a DWB…. Driving While Black”. Lol, that was funny. My favorite, Heavy D roll was when he played a drug dealer in New Jersey Drive. I didn’t know, he can act that hard. I found it intriguing, sort of similar to his hardcore appeal in the “Who’s The Man?” video. A rough and rugged song completely opposite of Heavy D but as I mentioned earlier the man had talent, he made it happen like that. It truly is a loss in hip hop to be losing our well established artists, our well respected artists and can’t forget our well talented artists. I do not have a problem with mourning the loss of a true blue, heartfelt emcee and writing about it. It’s the garbage emcees you’ll never hear me speak about. Heavy D is far way from garbage, nuthin’ smell bad off of him. I take pride in honoring the man known to us all as THE HEVSTER!!!!!
Article Appeared in The Black Truth News Volume 3 Issue 4 April 2012