10 Things Heavy D Did Before Your Favorite Rapper


On Tuesday (Nov. 8), the hip-hop world suffered an immense loss. Rap legend, Heavy D—the smooth talking MC known for such 1980s and 1990’s hits as “Gyrlz, They Love Me,” “Nuthin But Love” and “Now That We Found Love”—passed away at the young age of 44 in Los Angeles.

One of hip-hop’s first stars, the multi-platinum-selling Jamiacan-born MC, (real name Dwight Myers) helped pave the way for many of today’s biggest rap names. In fact, his influence and legacy is quite staggering. In celebration of Heavy’s life, XXL looks back at 10 of the rapper’s biggest accomplishments.


First rapper to put Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon on the map, leading the way for Diddy, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.


Only rapper to have recorded songs with both Michael Jackson ( "Jam" [see above]) and Janet Jackson (“Alright”).

"The Overweight Lover's In the House"

Before The Notorious B.I.G. and Rick Ross, Heavy was the very first overweight rap sex symbol.

"In Living Color"

First rapper to score a theme song for a TV show: 1990’s In Living Color. Will Smith followed several months later with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.

"Let's Get It On"

Along with Grand Puba, Heavy was the only rapper to appear on the sole song that featured both The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac: Eddie F's "Let's Get It On."

"Now That We Found Love"

One of the first rappers to achieve mainstream success by utilizing R&B hooks.


First act that Andre Harrell signed to Uptown records, a label that eventually included Mary J. Blige and Jodeci.


First credible rapper to become a record executive: Heavy was the president of Uptown Records in the mid-1990s.


First rapper to star in an Off-Broadway play: Laurence Fishburne’s Riff Raff from 1995.


Bonus: Only rapper to date Halle Berry or to have recorded a song with B.B. King.