Heavy D & the Boyz were the popular rap group led by Heavy D, a Jamaican-born MC not afraid to poke fun at his weight. Heavy D has been called “the genre’s equivalent of Luther Vandross,” according to AllMusic.com, and indeed, he was a lovable, nonthreatening, radio-friendly rhymer able to cross over to MTV and the pop charts.
Last night’s season premiere of the TV One hit “Unsung” told the story of Heavy D & the Boyz.
Watch the full episode below, and tune in to “Unsung” on TV One Wednesday nights at 8pm ET!
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They were the group behind the hit singles “Now That We Found Love,” “Is It Good to You” and “Got Me Waiting,” among others, and when Heavy D died on Nov. 8, 2011, at the age of 44, numerous artists lined up to pay tribute.
Who are Heavy D & the Boyz? Featuring DJ Eddie J, G. Whiz, and Trouble T-Roy, the group was led by Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers on May 24, 1967, in Mandeville, Jamaica. Heavy D moved with his parents to the Mount Vernon, New York, in the early ‘70s, and by the ‘80s, he’d begun rapping. In 1987, Heavy D & the Boyz dropped their debut, “Living Large,” and while it sold well, their sophomore effort, 1989’s “Big Tyme,” proved their commercial breakthrough, landing at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.
In 1991, the crew returned with “Peaceful Journey,” and that disc spawned Heavy D & the Boyz’ biggest hit, “Now That We Found Love.” The single hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went Top 10 in countries around the world. “Blue Funk” (1993), “Nuttin’ But Love” (1994), and “Waterbed Hev” (1997) all sold respectably, and along the way Heavy D added to his notoriety by singing the theme songs to the TV shows “A Different World” and “Mad TV” and rapping on Michael Jackson’s smash “Jam.”
Who was Heavy D? If you ask film buffs, they’ll tell you he was also an actor, and his filmography includes “Who’s the Man” (1993), “B*A*P*S” (1997), “Cider House Rules” (1999) and “Tower Heist” (2011). Heavy D released his ninth and final studio album, “Love Opus,” in September 2011, some two months before his death. At the time of his death—the result of a pulmonary embolism brought on by a blood clot—youngsters asking, “Who are Heavy D and the Boyz?” didn’t have to look far for an answer, as countless MCs honored the late rapper. “We had a lot of great times touring together,” fellow ‘90s superstar MC Hammer tweeted. “He had a heart of gold. He was a part of what’s good about the world.”
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Diddy also tweeted his love for Heavy D & the Boyz’ late frontman, big-upping the big man for getting him into the business. “Heavy D is the person who gave me my 1st chance in the music industry,” Diddy wrote. “He got me my internship at Uptown. He Believed when no one else did. My Heart is Broken. Pls pray for my man Heavy D and his Family. PLS #RipHeavyD love you Boy. 4ever.”