Heavy D died today.
That's a weird thing to say. He's one of those acts that no one missed or until he was dead. I mean, if you mentioned him, a certain group of people would be screaming "Ohhh, shit, that was my jam back in the day." He had his fans, not like Joe Frazier, who died yesterday, and I counted myself among the number. In the early 90's hip-hop was a different beast on the East Coast. Instead of violent, crime laden stories, it was a much peppier, lighter fare. This is the time of my life where "inside-out was wiggedy-wiggedy-wiggedy wack."
Heavy D was a direct connection to my youth, a micro-phenomenon that was contained entirely withing my pre teen years. Not like Biggie, who will still get airplay to this day, who is still broad-based relevant. Heavy D's influence is and was felt by a very specific demographic at a very specific time. No disrespect intended, but a lot of the white kids who know who Biggie or Tupac is, have no idea who Heavy D is, and that's shameful in its own right.
Heavy D was one of the few examples of hip-hop that didn't necessarily glorify denigration or destruction. It's evident in how he was found. As of this blog post, the cause of death is still unknown, but there's a very good chance it wasn't violent. In Old West parlance, he probably didn't die with his boots on.
I remember junior high school very vividly. I remember we had a teacher, Mr. Gordon, who was a dead ringer for big Heav. I wonder if he's still teaching. Or teaching there.