The mourning process is putting all of his substantial career accomplishments in context. There’s a lot to celebrate there. But there’s more to it than that, which is why this loss is hitting me harder than I would have anticipated.
It’s not just that he was an icon for me in my youth, although nostalgia does play a major role. What really stands out is how he was universally loved and respected. And how he always extended himself to others, whether professionally or personally. And how in a cutthroat business full of ugliness and people trying to exploit others, he was always a class act who thrived on positivity and optimism. And how he was able to diversify his work to sustain a successful post hip-hop career, always setting and reaching new goals as an artist. Hev was doing everything right, yet he was cut down so prematurely. At least he made the most of his time. That’s the lesson.
I’ve said a lot this week, and others have said even more. Here are a few that deserve attention.
Heavy D (1967-2011) – by yours truly, over at D-Mac’s spot
Heavy D tribute on Decipher hip-hop radio, WPFW 89.3 FM – via my crew, The Soul Controllers.
“Heavy D danced the way big men work the back line in tennis. Not a lot of sweat or hustle, just a few clutch moves that make it look elegant.” – NPR’s Michelle Norris
RIP Heavy D – Cosmo Baker
Grap Luva on the Death of Heavy D – Washington City Paper