Heavy-D was born Dwight Errington Myers, May 24th 1967 in Mandeville, Jamaica in and moved to (Money earnin') Mount Vernon in the early 70's.
Heavy-D was a charismatic and very positive character that could both rhyme and dance his ass off...Hev was first and foremost but also a song writer, producer and actor in short he was a pure entertainer and an MC that always had multitudes of personality in his rhymes and he could make smooth jams for the Ladies, catchy Pop-Rap (that had a soul and a pulse) and he could bring it hardcore too not to mention the reggae and ragga and R & B tracks he appeared on, during his lifetime he also worked with greats Quincy Jones and BB King, Levert, Janet Jackson, Frankie Paul, Buju Banton and a multitude of other artists.
Hev was also the first cousin of the legendary Pete Rock who produced many tracks for Hev including some just recently this year that are still yet to be released.
I was first introduced to Heavy-D's music via the old school Wellington, New Zealand radio show The Uncut Funk Show (Radio Active 89 FM), to be honest I cannot remember it if was the legendary DJ Tee Pee or DJ Rhys-B that played Heavy-D & The Boyz (DJ Eddie-F, Trouble T Roy and G-Whiz -"Mr Big Stuff" released on Andre Harell's Uptown Records as the first signing way back in 1986 but I fondly remember having it on tape and it receiving much run in my walk-man player (wow that seems so long ago) just like the time an old High School friend that had the Heavy D & The Boyz debut album, Livin' Large on tape.
I loved the whole album and played the late, great James Brown sampling, Marley Marl produced classic "The Overweight Lover's In The House" jam a lot...around 1988 my old Friend Kory H from Maryland invited me to his place and showed me his crazy impressive tape collection and a whole bunch of videos (not to mention some beers and fennel seeds to cover up our breath, because his Dad would have got mad as hell and was seriously like Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air...even the beard was the same lol)...ahhh where was I? oh yes...one of the vids was a few of Heavy-D and The Boyz and I was in awe at the way Hev and his crew moved, especially Hev because he was a big fella..."We Write The Songs", the classic duet with the Juice Crew's Biz Markie D and Heavy-D was released the same year and appeared on the classic Marley Marl-In Control Volume 1.
By the time 1989 came around, I remember picking up their second album Big Tyme on tape, along with some cassingles (remember those?) and playing them over in my walk-man and at home on my stereo, I am pretty sure this was the first time I saw the name Pete Rock (he produced "Mood For Love", "A Better Land","Big Tyme" and "Let It Flow" on the album and I thought his beats were dope and had a feeling that would be name that I would be seeing and hearing a lot more of.
"Grylz They Love Me", "Ez Duz It and Do It Ez", "Let It Flow""You Aint Heard Nuthin' Yet" and "More Bounce" which sampled the classic Zapp "More Bounce To The Ounce" were my faves from that album, the same year Hev was invited to join the Boogie Down Productions crew alongside the late, great Fruitkwan, MC Delight, Wise and Daddy-O (Stetsasonic), MC Lyte, Chuck D & Flava Flav (Public Enemy), Miss Melodie, Just Ice, Doug E Fresh, Kool Moe Dee on the seminal "Stop The Violence" record collectively as the Stop The Violence Movement (overseen by Scott La Rock despite what others may think).
During the years 1989 and 1990 Heavy-D & The Boyz were touring extensively and in July 1990 Trouble T Roy's life was cut short after an accidental fall at a show in Indianapolis, you could tell that this affected Hev and the rest of the Boyz as their third album released in 1991 was titled Peaceful Journey...
Peaceful Journey went platinum and gave the crew a massive chart hit with their take on The O'Jays "Now That We Found Love" produced by Teddy Riley.
Peaceful Journey also had the classic posse cut "Don't Curse" with Kool G Rap, Grand Puba and Big Daddy Kane, CL Smooth, Pete Rock and Q-Tip and was produced by Pete Rock and number of other dope tracks produced by Pete, Marley Marl, Howie Tee and others.
Hev also wrote and performed the theme for In Living Color the same year and guested on Michael Jackson's "The Jam" off his Dangerous album.
In 1992 Pete Rock and CL Smooth released the timeless track "T.R.O.Y" which was a dedication track to Trouble T Roy (and others) and is quite simply one of the most beautiful, moving and incredible tracks Hip Hop has ever produced, Hev also released one of my all time faves in 1992 and a track showed that Heavy-D could tear the frame out of the mic on a hardcore track, "You Can't See What I Can See" produced by Chad Elliot and sampled by EDO.G & Da Bulldogs for "Check It Out" (1993)
During 1992 and 1993 Hev guested on records from the likes of Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Supercat, Queen Latifah...
Hev was also a member of the Flava Unit MC's who released "Roll Wit Tha Flava" in '93...
He also appeared on records by Mary J Blige, Naughty By Nature and others and he also had a cameo role in the comedy film Whos The Man? (1993) and released a single with the same title.
In late 1992 the groups' third album, Blue Funk was released and featured stellar production from DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Skeff Anslem, Tony Dofat, Steely and Cleevie and Jesse West who produced one of my all time favourite posse cuts in Hip Hop
The same year Heavy-D landed a recurring role on the TV sitcom Roc and later Living Single and in 1994 Heavy-D & The Boyz once again became steady chart favourites with the release of their fourth and final album Nuttin But Love.
The album featured the hits "Nuttin' But Love" (Produced by Kid Capri) "Black Coffee" (Produced by Easy Mo Bee) and "Got Me Waiting" (Produced by Pete Rock) other production came from the likes of Teddy Riley, Erick Sermon, Marley Marl and K-Def and Poke (Trackmasters), also in 1994 Eddie F released the Eddie F & The Untouchables album and featured the hit "Let's Get It On" which featured the late, great Notorious B.I.G, 2-Pac, Grand Puba and Spunk Bigga and Hev had more chart success with the R & B group Soul For Real...
After that album Hev went on to act in the film New Jersey Drive and contributed this dope Easy Mo Bee produced track to the soundtrack...
Hev was the president for a brief stint at Uptown Records, signed Herb McGruff and in 1997 dropped his first solo LP, Waterbed Hev which spawned the hit "Big Daddy" and was a commercial success, he followed that album with 2 other solo albums...
Heavy (1999) (my fave of his solo album releases) that featured the track "Listen" (with Q-Tip) produced by the late, great J-Dilla.
Other tracks on Heavy were produced by Tony Dofat, Erick Sermon and The Ummah and guests on the album included Cee-Lo, Chico Debarge, the late, great Big Pun and Eightball.
Hev released Vibes a catchy Pop-Reggae album in 2008 that also had a number of tracks produced byTony Dofat.
D got serious about his acting and starred in the Oscar nominated film The Cider House Rules, Life, and the short lived but great TV show Boston Public.
Before his untimely passing, Hev had been losing a great deal of weight, released an EP titled the Love Opus and performed on The BET music awards.
We lost a great one in Heavy-D...and yes Hev you were rough in your day :)
Check these links and tributes.
Marley Marl's tribute mix (big thanks to Nes at Dirty Waters)