Joey shares his memories about Heavy D in his most recent blog:
11/09/2011 - Heavy Indeed
We lost a wonderful man yesterday. Heavy D was, is and always will be a part of who I am. That's where I got my hip-pop- from Heavy and groups like De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest. They talked about where they came from, the realities of their environment, they "kept it real" but they somehow did something that rappers and hip-pop artists don't seem to do very often these days: they were positive. They looked to a higher calling. All while making great music. Funky music, soulful music. Its the norm today to quickly canonize the famous that have past. We use the term hero loosely at times, but I don't think its a stretch to call Heavy D a hero, when you shine the light on the kind of man he was. I didn't know him very well. I was lucky enough to spend a quick moment with him from time to time over the years. The first time being in the basement/green room of the great Apollo Theatre in Harlem. I was walking through a maze of hip-hop giants- Chuck D, Flava FLav, Kool Moe Dee, and I was stopped by a big guy in a beautifully tailored suit- probably his favorite yellow or maybe purple. He pointed down at me (I was probably 5'4" and he seemed bigger than 6'2") and he said, 'now, this dude right hear can sing." And I think he even sang a few bars of Please Don't Go Girl. My face lit up. He was one of my idols. Just a year earlier I had changed the words to his song "Mr. Big Stuff (Oh, yeah)" to "Eight Grade"- a song for our 8th grade graduation. And here he was singing our song. To say "it was different back then" makes one sound like an old fogie. But it was true. The sense of community in the music scene back then was special. And it was leaders like Heavy D that set the tone. So if we glorify fallen hip-hop heroes like Tupac and Biggie, lets hold up Heavy in his own special light. Yes, Tupac and Biggie were special. They changed the game in their own way. They spoke their truth and it touched millions and continues to, but they made their choices. Lets glorify the simple, yet challenging, but still positive choices that Heavy made. He proved that you can be a really good guy and still make bad ass music. In the last year I had bumped into him a few times. He always gave me that big beautiful smile and when I saw him for the first time in years last year he gave me the best hug. He was sporting a big scruffy beard and I felt it on my cheek. It felt like getting a hug from Santa Claus. I felt so rosy after that I had to fight myself not to tweet about it- I was afraid it would hurt my chances of getting another. After he hugged me and I was walking away he said, "God bless you." And he meant it. Just like everything else he did. He meant it. God bless you, Heav'. God bless you.