Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hiphopobit: Heavy D

Heavy D, actor and musician, has died in Beverley Hills.

Born Dwight Arrington Myers, as leader of Heavy D & The Boyz he was the 90s go-to guy at the poppier end of hip-hop for those times when you couldn't afford Will Smith. The Boyz were the anchor group for Uptown Records, finding success almost immediately with the album Living Large and the platinum follow-up Big Tyme. D landed a number of lucrative collaborations - rapping on Michael Jackson's Jam and working with BB King, but a cooler reaction to third album Blue Funk saw him turn more and more to TV and film work.

Initially, his interest was in theme tunes - Mad TV and In Living Color both used him to top and tail their antics - but he swiftly moved in front of the camera. An episode of Cosby spin-off A Different World was built around him; he landed regular roles in The Tracy Morgan Show and Boston Public.

Heavy was slowly returning to music - there was a reggae album, Vibes, in 2008, and earlier this year he performed at the BET Awards. That show was his first live show in fifteen years.

TMZ reports that D experienced breathing difficulties after arriving home yesterday afternoon. He was 44 .