TANTANIA DIXON: “Heavy D & the Boyz treat me like their own.”
I was actually 9-months-old when my father passed away. I really don’t have any mutual memories of my father, but I’ve learned so much about him through the people in my family and watching videos of him and the actual recordings they have of him when he was in [Heavy D & the Boyz], so that taught my a lot about him.
[Heavy D, G-Whiz and Eddie F.] still ’til this day treat me like their own. Like, I’m their niece and my uncle Glen [G-Whiz] actually, is like my father from time to time, and steps in when he needs to step in [Laughs]. My uncles told me that my father was a goofball, and like he just brought so much life to the set… Whenever I’m with them they always tell me about memories and how my father was just so full of energy and they see a lot of that in me and how I make people feel sometimes. They said that’s how my father was and I think that’s why my uncle Hev and uncle Glen get teary eyed and sad sometimes ’cause they see some of his traits in me.
When I see the videos and the plaques about the music, it makes me feel good that my father actually did something with his life, you know? ’Cause he didn’t go to college and he didn’t do the things that I’m doing with my life right now [by going to college and study criminal justice], but in his own way, he made a difference. And my uncles made a difference and the music impacted other people’s lives… I still meet people that say, “Oh, that’s your father? I used to watch him all the time, man, [and] his dances.” It really makes me feel good to know that [my father and my uncles] did something with their lives back then.
I know my father and my uncles and everybody were icons, back in the day and everybody gives them respect, but to me it’s just normal because they’re just normal to me. So, when people actually ask me about them it makes me feel good to know that he’s my father and that he had an impact on the hip-hop industry…
When [Pete Rock & CL Smooth] made [“They Reminisce Over You”] and I was old enough to actually listen to it, it really made me feel like, [my father] was really a big part of something, like, a lot of people really loved him… I know Kanye mentioned [“T.R.O.Y.”] in one of his songs and I just be like, Some people [still] remember hip-hop back then, and it makes me feel very proud of them.
I wouldn’t wanna wish death on my father, but by him passing away and by CL doing a song that became one of those hip-hop classics, it’s like, it’s a good feeling. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but if it wasn’t for him passing away, the feeling would have never came about and with him passing away [“T.R.O.Y.”] became a classic and it was for him, so it’ll always be a memory of my father and I feel good about it.
[The anniversary of my father’s passing] is always the week after our family reunion. We just had our family reunion [last] weekend in D.C. and we have a talent show every year in memory of him, so we always acknowledge that. I’m going to go to the gravesite [today] and everything with my grandfather… I have a fear about gravesites, but it’s becoming something that’s on my list to do every year.
I would just like, want everybody to know that what my father and uncle Hev and everybody did is an impact on my life as well because it set history in stone and I wanna go forth and be able to do something and make them proud of me as well, so it doesn’t stop here. I just have that memory in my mind all the time of my father.
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