Wednesday, November 9, 2011


LIVE FROM I-5 presents… Certified DOPE
With Jose S. Gutierrez Jr., M.Ed.


He was an MC, a dancer (a great one at that), an accomplished actor and most definitely an overweight lover. For 25 years we had a brilliant light-skinned Jamaican-American talent among us. But these complimentary adjectives do not do justice in describing the gift that was Dwight Errington Myers also known as Heavy D aka Mr. Big Stuff aka Big Daddy aka Hev Diggy. He ascended beyond the Earth today – November 8, 2011.

My first impression of Heavy D in 1987 at the age of 10 years old, was that he could rap. I don’t mean that he could rhyme words – I mean, Heavy D was an MC; a rapper who could compete and deliver vocal dope. My next impression seconds later, I’m sure, was that he could dance; so could his entire crew of homeboys. Trouble T-Roy, Eddie F, G-Wiz… Name someone else; anyone else – they could dance too! Straight from Money Earnin’ Mt. Vernon, via Jamaica – Heavy D was a vital character and member of The Hip-Hop Universe who not only showed that a big guy could be sexy, charismatic, romantic and hard whenever he wanted to be – but he was an activist as well. Heavy D cared about his community.

In 1989 he joined KRS-ONE, Big Daddy Kane, Stetsasonic, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, D-Nice and many more as a vital and standout member of the Stop The Violence Movement. Stop The Violence was a timely and urgent movement installed at the height of The Crack Era by the legendary Hip-Hopper, KRS-ONE as a means of combating drug abuse and violence that was not only plaguing, but consuming communities of color – especially in the 1980s and early 1990s. ‘Heavy’s on the mic, so there’ll be no bum rushin’, he rapped with such force. ‘I heard a brother killed a brother, it broke my heart’, he would continue. See Heavy D was someone who oozed confidence and a sense of self-worth and purpose. He was not afraid to showcase his emotion, care, concern and passions – although there were other heavy rappers, MCs and DJs – Heavy D stood tall and stood alone. He was not a clone, never tried to be The Fat Boys and didn’t resemble those legends at all – he created his own.

In wake of one of his dancers and friend of many in the Hip-Hop community, Trouble ‘T-Roy’, Heavy D dropped Peaceful Journey in 1991, which would yield his biggest hit in ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ – Hip-Hop-House-type joint (that I didn’t dig at the time, not appreciating the cousin-relationship between electronic music and Hip-Hop, but I grew) that in the era of Guy, Bell Biv Devoe and Johnny Gill, everyone was bouncing to. Peaceful Journey followed another classic that yielded his trademark twang-saying ‘Bdiddly, diddly, diddly, diddly, diddly – D!’ on the classic dance track, ‘We Got Our Own Thang’ from the classic, Big Tyme. Plain and simple, Hev Diggy is dope and his body of work speaks to his dopeness.

He followed the early 1990s with albums like, Blue Funk (1993), Nuttin’ But Love (1994), Waterbed Hev (1997), Vibes (2008) and he recently dropped a song-driven album in September 2011 titled, Love Opus. He would add an array of on-stage, television and film works that are very notable, but what is most notable – I believe is the following. Heavy D, like many legends of the truly American art form of Hip-Hop, was underappreciated and overall neglected as a donor and ambassador of Hip-Hop. See, Hip-Hop is not the Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll or anything else. It is first and foremost a combination of all of those genres, but its power derives from the tenacity, inspiration, motivation and perspiration of those who survived and strived to create it. Heavy D is of the Golden Era of Hip-Hop and so many of his peers from this era are overlooked not only as pioneers, but LIVING LEGENDS in our time. He was not a ‘flash in the pan’ or ‘gimmick’ artist and he did not change with the times, he changed the times subtly by being himself – such an overlooked quality this is.

Heavy D will be missed most certainly by his family and close friends, but also by those of us who consider ourselves and carry ourselves as members of The Hip-Hop Community. Not just fans, but members of The Hip-Hop Community who see Heavy D as a champion for Hip-Hop and humanity as a whole. The gentle giant (who most definitely was not a push over by any means) demonstrated what anyone who believes in themselves can be. He was supremely confident and the big brother with the tinted shades – always looking fresh, will be remembered as one of our heroes and one of the best to bless a mic and the planet. Much love, Heavy D…

Winners Train, Losers Complain ...Do Yo' Thang!

Jose S. Gutierrez Jr.

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