R.I.P. Heavy-D & Special One

Rest in Peace Heavy D

By Davey D (http://daveyd.com). Needless to say this has been a tough week. I don’t care what anyone says or how hard they act, death takes a toll especially when it’s unexpected. Heavy D was a big part of Hip Hop. He helped shape it.  Prior to Heavy D, overweight men both in Hip Hop and the world in general for the most part were depicted as cartoonish. Heavy D flipped the script, redefined what being big meant. He made the big man sexy.

First he put his hometown Money Earnin’ Mt Vernon, which is right outside the Bronx, on the map. He helped bring his cousin producer Pete Rock to national prominence. He did a song with which I think was the only in studio collabo with the late 2Pac and Notorious BIG called “Let’s Get It On.” Also as was pointed out by the tribute to Heavy D penned by AllHipHop.com, Heavy was the first to feature Biggie in a 1993 classic cut called “A Bunch of Niggas.” Heavy was one of the first rappers to ever spit verses with the King of Pop Michael Jackson on his song “Jam.” Heavy opened doors on the acting tip being one of the first rappers outside of Fresh Prince (Will Smith) to have recurring role on a TV show. Him and Tone Loc were featured in the series “Roc” back in the early 90s. Later Heavy would have a recurring role in the TV series headed up by Queen Latifah called “Living Single.” Of course all of Heavy D’s acting opportunities came in the wake of him doing the theme song for the hit variety show “In Living Color.” In his sudden passing, which reports are saying was due to respiratory failure, I think folks will rediscover his catalogue and have new appreciation for his body of work and him as a performer. In closing, the few times I met Heavy D he was a cool dude. Very humble, smart, and peaceful. Seeing him evolve over the years as an actor and performer has been a gift for all of us in Hip Hop. May he Rest in Power.

R.I.P. Special One (of the Conscious Daughters)

By Houston Williams (http://allhiphop.com) Special One, Karryl Smith, is an artist long affiliated with The Coup and was one of the more infamous rappers that always carried a powerful message in the music. CMG, the rap partner of Special One, wrote a note on Facebook, revealing the death of her friend. “Thank you to everyone for your prayers I need them. I am sick over the loss of my sister. The cause of death is still unknown but I will try to share info when I get it. Pray for me and Karryl’s other sisters Jessica and Tonya. We are all together trying to get through this.” Friends and family have poured their condolences over social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Activist Dave “Davey D” Cook said on Twitter, “To those of us who knew Special One and to her family and her partner CMG who found her in her apt. Hugs, prayers & support.” The Conscious Daughters debuted in 1993 with Ear To The Street and they released two subsequent LP’s, Gamers (1996) and The Nutcracker Suite (2009).

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Categories: Bay Area Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop History, National Hip-Hop

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