"Heavy D was so beloved because the impact he made on music was that we could have fun: We can do hip-hop without murdering and killing everybody," a tearful MJB told MTV News on Tuesday in Beverly Hills. "And he just brought so much light."
Mary, like Heavy, hailed from the outskirts of New York City — him from Mount Vernon, her from Yonkers. It was 1987 when Heavy D & the Boyz released their first album, Living Large, on Uptown Records. Mary was signed years later, and in 1992, dropped her debut album, What's the 411? — but her earliest memories of Heavy pre-date her days in the music industry.
"I just remember being a child and him coming to King school, where they used to have all the performers come, and they came and did 'The Overweight Lover,' " Mary recalled with tears in her eyes. "We always needed something to uplift us, and he brought us so much joy because we were always in a place where we didn't have enough, we couldn't get enough money, but the King school show was free, and every song Heavy D ever put out was something to uplift us."
The exact cause of Heavy D's death November 8 is still unclear, as initial autopsy results came up inconclusive. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills after a 911 call was placed from his home. Heavy had difficulty breathing and was pronounced dead after he reached the hospital.
There will be a public viewing for the fallen rapper Thursday (November 17) at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York, and a private funeral service for family and close friends Friday. BET is planning a special tribute to Heavy D during the Soul Train Awards on November 27. Rappers Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Naughty by Nature, Whodini and Stetsasonic's Daddy-O are all expected to take part.
Share your fondest memory of Heavy D in the comments.