Ask Rick Ross about [article id="1674003"]Heavy D's contribution[/article] to hip-hop, and he's likely to break out into song.
"Heav's at the door, so there'll be no bum-rushing," Rozay sang when MTV News asked about his thoughts on the passing of the Overweight Lover. Heavy's verse from the 1989 anti-violence jam "Self Destruction" was clearly memorable for the Maybach Music boss, but it goes deeper than just his rhymes, according to Ross.
"Man, you know, that was the Overweight Lover, and it was just cool to see a big dude that could still dance, get fly, put on the slick joints, rock the dope shades, the females screaming for him," Rozay said on Wednesday's "RapFix Live."
Although Heavy D's accomplishments in rap music are sometimes overlooked, Ross said the rapper/actor's impact is something to be noted. "Me being cool with Puff, I know the kind of impact he had on Puff at Uptown Records and we just gotta give Heavy his credit," Rozay said. "He really impacted the game on another level, being one of the early dudes."
In October, [article id="1671846"]Heavy closed out the BET Hip Hop Awards[/article] with a medley of hits, including "The Overweight Lover," "Mr. Big Stuff," "Is It Good to You" and "I Want Somebody." Ross, who also performed that night, watched Mr. Big Stuff's performance in amazement.
"Just to be at the BET Awards just this past year and watch the homey close the awards out and still doin' his thing and it's like years later, you just really reflect on all the great memories just with hip-hop, period, especially from that era," he said. "Heav, he was just that dude."
1990s rap star Chubb Rock, who also appeared on "RapFix Live" this week, told host Sway that it was "hard to be happy" since his friend's death at 44. Both Rock and Heavy D were born in Jamaica and the two men became friends before they started their respective rap careers. Heavy got his start first and paved the way for Chubb, who was also one of rap's big men. "It was great because between him, Markie Dee of the Fat Boys — that was our lane, that big boy thing," he said.
When it comes to Heavy D and the hip-hop heavyweights he inspired, Chubb doesn't see it as an old school versus new school thing. Instead, he sees rappers like Rick Ross and Fat Joe, as well as late MCs Big Pun and the Notorious B.I.G., as members of a fraternity.
"When I heard things happened to Rick, it bothered me, too, because I was like, 'Wait a minute, that's one of our young brothers doin' his thing and keeping that legacy going," Rock said of Ross suffering two seizures in October. "But the health thing is serious, that's why I had to drop, like, 80 lbs."
The exact cause of Heavy D's death is still unclear as initial [article id="1674389"]autopsy results[/article] came up inconclusive. He was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills after a 911 call was placed from the rapper's home. Heavy had difficulty breathing and was pronounced dead after he reached the hospital.
There will be a public viewing for the fallen rapper on Thursday (November 17) at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York, followed by a private funeral service for family and close friends on Friday. BET is planning a special tribute to Heavy D during Sunday's "Soul Train Awards." Veteran rappers Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, Curtis Blow, Naughty by Nature, Whodini and Stetsasonic's Daddy-O are all said to be taking part.
Share your fondest Heavy D memory with us in the comments.