Editor’s Note: This wonderful tribute to the legacy of Heavy by Natosha Morris comes to us via GFM Team Member Kimberly Kennedy Charles affectionately known around these parts as DJ KKC. Natosha reminds us of how fortunate we were to have someone like Heavy represent that alternative voice in the far too often uber misogynistic lyrical content in Hip Hop.

by Natosha Morris on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 2:37pm

Years before Rick Ross gave us Maybach music, and Biggie had us singing’ “One More Chance”, Heavy D had already paved the way for these heavy hitters with a style nothing short of classic, iconic Hip Hop. He was one of my favorite rap stars and I want to pay homage with this little note. Although there have been many deaths in Hip Hop, I still take for granted that the old school stars will always be around. The first time I saw Heavy D was in the Big Stuff video back in the day. I had never seen anybody in Hip Hop dance that way before. After I watched the video like 100 times, I remember trying to learn the moves myself just to be cool. I don’t think rap stars had choreographers back then, just talented backup dancers who knew how to do all the latest dances and keep the crowd hype. The Hip Hop dance classes they teach now mostly all came from the dances of that era. I wonder how many people today know that or even care for that matter.

Aside from the dancing and party jams Heavy made, there’s something else that really hit me with the news of his death: He was one of the FEW if any, mainstream male rappers who sincerely shared his love for women in his songs. Nah, it wasn’t that “I’m a pimp and all the girls love me” lines the other rappers were talking. He was grown man with it. Nothing sounded corny or fake when he poured his heart out in “Don’t You Know” or when you bobbed your head to the funky remake of “Now that We Found Love.”

In short, Heavy had a style and appeal that made you believe he was the type of rapper you could take home to meet your family. Of course that was back in the day before hating on women was the norm in rap music. We’ll probably never get another debonair don like him on the mic again. Someone who not only made you dance but actually feel good when you listened to his songs. He made Janet Jackson and Michael relevant to the Hip Hop fans. I’m happy I was born in this generation to witness his work. If it wasn’t for Heavy D back in the day, I probably wouldn’t even be able to tolerate that ‘smash-and-dash’ garbage these dudes kick on commercial urban radio today. Thank goodness the rap world was blessed with Heavy D. He was rap royalty for REAL.

It’s definitely true how you never miss a good thing until it’s gone. And Heavy D will certainly be missed. I still have a mix somewhere with songs by him, Red Head Kingpin, Three Times Dope and some other old school songs in my crates. “We Got Our Own Thang” will always be my Hip Hop anthem and no song but that one could describe Heavy’s style and mark as an icon so well. He truly had his own thing. Heavy D was an original and in a class by himself.

Rest in Peace Heavy D!