UPDATE: Heavy D’s Funeral Friday, November 18, To Be Live-Streamed; Plus Autopsy Results Prove Inconclusive and What Might Have Been
UPDATE (11:45 a.m. CST): The link to Heavy D’s funeral is here. Have Windows Media Player or Real Player installed on your computer to watch. Sorry, my WiFi went down as I was trying to find the true link, and some time passed before I could post it.
Below, Heavy D‘s last performance. The Universe was merciful to him in allowing him this last triumph in the spotlight.
First and foremost, from Electronic Urban Report, or EUR, quoting from a press release:
Because of high public interest, the funeral service on – Friday, November 18 at 11am – for rapper/actor/producer Heavy D will be streamed LIVE
via the website www.RememberHeavyD.comGrace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, NY.
Rapper/producer/actor Heavy D, best known as the “Overweight Lover”, died of complications from pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, November 8th 2011 according to Heavy D’s brother, Floyd Myers. He was 44.
Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church, will officiate and deliver the eulogy, and words of greeting will be presented by Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton I. Young and Mount Vernon Mayor Elect Ernie Davis. Words of comfort will be presented by Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. W. Darin Moore, pastor of Greater Centennial AMEZ Church; and words of tribute by Sean “Diddy” Combs.
If I am able, I will try to capture it. If not, go to that page.
Family members are still in shock. His mother is mourning the loss of her third son. During the public wake yesterday, the Wayans brothers as well as Russell Simmons were spotted in the long lines of mourners at Grace Baptist Church, where the private funeral will be held today. Fans stood in 40° weather, wind and rain, to pay their respects.
“(He) brought people happiness with his music,” said Lawrence Burgess, 45, of the Bronx, who displayed a photo on his cellphone of him shaking hands with Heavy D during a chance encounter at a movie theater in 1993. “And he put Mount Vernon on the map.”
Another mourner, Diedra Johnson, 26, also of the Bronx, said Heavy D had a big influence on the current generation of artists.
“He’s one of the godfathers of hip-hop,” she said.
After the public wake ended at 6 p.m., Heavy’s family and celebrity pals began arriving for a private wake in the evening, during which mourners were shown a slideshow of pictures of the rapper.
Shawn and Marlon Wayans showed up, as did Russell Simmons, Flavor Flav, Pepa, of rap group Salt N Pepa, and Sean (Diddy) Combs.
“My brother had amazing integrity and his commitment to the community was profound,” said Floyd Myers, who was also his brother’s business partner. “Out of all of Heav’s accomplishments, his most important triumph was becoming a father. His love for his daughter, Xea, was unparalleled.”
I was really sorry to hear that Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers only 44 years ago, had died suddenly in Southern California. Although initial autopsy results are inconclusive, I’m pretty much convinced that Heavy D was not into anything addictive or even remotely recreational. I’m thinking that he caught a bug while performing in Europe that turned into walking pneumonia. His weight–344 lbs. at the time of his death–probably impacted his lung capacity as well, and by the time he did get some kind of antibiotics or other medication to treat his illness–whether misdiagnosed or not–it was too late. I’m thinking too, that if he had suffered some kind of allergic reaction to the meds, it would have turned up by now. The toxicology reports are pending and won’t be available for some weeks. (I also hope he didn’t visit any root workers while in Britain who gave him something herbal and weird.)
A brother insisted that Heavy D was in good shape–even as he carried 344 pounds on his frame. The thing is, that weight will drag you down and kill you if you meet up with a bug that might have killed Heavy D. Even undermine the healthiest of hearts. If you are that fat, visit Weight Watchers, either on line and in person, and lose that shyt.
I am not necessarily an aficionado of rap or hip-hop, although I do try to keep track of some folks. I have felt kinda disgusted when some early rap gods either fell through the cracks or weren’t recording any more. He–and they–didn’t seem to be flashes in the pan to me, and they remain for me a kind of indicator of what was lost after this early era. Sure, a lot of it was about partying and what one journo called cheekiness and egoism–the hallmarks of the juvenile male. But a lot of it was a window on what youngsters were feeling and thinking during that time, with the emphasis on wretched excess and consumerism during the Reagan and then Bush Administrations.
For one, Heavy D had a great facility with the living, breathing word. Not every lyric was peppered with an eff bomb or a threat. In fact, much of it was rather clean. Additionally, as The Overweight Lover, Heavy kept alive the idea of fun, even while critiquing relationships. Nobody was laughing at him for being fat; on the contrary, it made him even more attractive. Furthermore, it didn’t appear to guys like Heav that women were merely whores. Especially with that infectious “Nuttin’ But Love,” Heav gently chides some women for merely focusing on the bling–the outward manifestations of attachment–while conveniently overlooking the emotionally satisfying aspects of love.
I’m not going to go into Heavy D’s accomplishments; I think that over the last few days since his death that there have been other people who have been more forthcoming, so I would be merely repeating myself. However, I am impressed with what he became: a rapper and songwriter, a record producer, a record executive, a collaborator, an actor. His musical interests also included the old soul classics as well as blues and reggae. He was always transforming himself and not lying down on his laurels. His last Twitter message was,”Be Inspired!” It has been hinted that Heavy D was considering a comeback album and tour for next year. And why not? I think a lot of people would have been ready and enthusiastic for his return. He thoroughly deserved being both Old School and New School.
BET announced Monday that the upcoming Soul Train Music Awards held in Atlanta will be dedicated to Heavy D. Other rap stars from Curtis Blow, Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, DJ Eddie F, Whodini and Daddy-O of Stetsasonic will participate in a tribute segment.
Heavy D is survived by his daughter, Xea. From LoHud.com:
The family has launched the Heavy D and Xea Myers Fund, named in honor of the rapper and his 11-year-old daughter. The family is requesting that memorial donations be made to the fund, in care of JP Morgan Chase, 726 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10085. Checks should be payable to the Heavy D and Xea Myers Fund.
Rest in peace, Heavy D.
- Heavy D’s Autopsy Comes Back Inconclusive (thenewx1023.radio.com)
- Heavy D Was An ‘Icon,’ Red Cafe Says (mtv.com)
- Heavy D to be honored by stars, family (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Heavy D autopsy inconclusive (guardian.co.uk)
- Heavy D ‘Brought So Much Light,’ Mary J. Blige Says (mtv.com)