This isn’t a blog of biographical statistics. I’m not reporting the news. I’m here to pay homage to my town’s pride…so excuse me if this blog isn’t cohesive.
I hail from Mt. Vernon, NY. We call it 4sq. because it’s literally 4 square miles. A small city sitting on the edge of Westchester County, bringing us within tickling distance of NYC’s influence. Growing up in Mt. Vernon was kinda cool. I think my era was one of the best…maybe even the last of the surge of good offerings to the talent industry.
From my town hails Dick Clark, Stephanie Mills, sisters Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, Al B. Sure, Sean Combs aka Diddy, Doug E. Fresh (both of whom also share roots in New Rochelle), Misa Hylton our fashionista, basketball player Ray Williams, comedian Talent and our own jazz love, Michael Phillips aka Mike Philly. We’ve always had extreme talent in our town…you were beyond blessed to make a name for yourself and make it out. Hev has definitely done that. From his music to the big screen, he has made us proud to have known him first.
Heavy and “the Boyz” (Eddie F, T-Roy and G-Wiz) rapped and danced their way onto the scene in 1987. I was just 14 and could remember how proud we were that they’d made it. Not long after their single debuted, I can remember them visiting the high school and just chillin’ in the cafeteria. (I had a little crush on G-Wiz LOL). They walked and rode around like they weren’t making videos and had their faces on an album cover, lol. Hev in that Blazer…was a summer staple for a long time before his success got hold of him affording him travel and appearances far from home. No one hated…we loved it. He was “ours”. They were ours…
Heavy D, or Hev (born Dwight Myers)…boasted pride for his town and his native Jamaica. You can’t deny that his lyrical prowess was a seamlessly fused combination of New York hip hop and Jamaican smoothness. His “bon diddly diddly dee” is often imitated but NEVER duplicated by those captured by his lyricism. Hev could dance too…light like a mug. lol He damn sure could keep up with the boys.
**I remember when Trouble T-Roy…one of the boys, died. I believe it was 1990 and it couldn’t have hit my town any harder. They were just getting the success they’d worked so hard for and his life was snuffed out so suddenly. An accident on tour where he’d fallen and hit his head…was the reason one of our pride was gone. S/N: I remember not long before T-Roy passed, I saw him in the “Puerto Rican” store (even though I’m sure it was owned by Dominicans, lol) and just remembered his smile. I can’t lie…I was wondering why he was smiling and speaking to ME, but that’s just how they ALL were. Raised right, given manners and respect and just all around good dudes. For his death to be announced not long after was enough to make you flop lifelessly in your seat and ask, “Why?”.**
Still…they pressed on. They made the album “Peaceful Journey” in his memory. (Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth later made, “They Reminisce Over You” which is still one of my fave hip hop joints to date.) As they continued making that music we LOVED to bump in the car…we loved and supported them. They pulled many along for the ride. Hev in many ways encouraged and mentored Diddy. My girl Tei gave me a link to an article Hev wrote about Diddy and it’s quite inspiring. Read “Believe in Ridiculous Dreams” here.
When I was on my way out the door on November 8th to run errands…the last thing I saw was an influx of posts on my Facebook ticker. I statused that I needed confirmation because we all know how the Internet does. When I got in the car, my mother turned on 98.7 Kiss and it was confirmed. At 44, Hev had begun his own Peaceful Journey. It was devastating…IS devastating. There’s no describing how or why it hurts…it just does. I spent the entire evening in tears…and it still brings tears to my eyes. Hev will be missed.
There will be services held in Mt. Vernon. The following link has all of the information for those interested. I don’t think I’ll be going. It would be hard to get in and I honestly think that this is a time for his family and close friends. I knew him…but, not like that…and I respect this time of mourning. I will be praying for his services that everything is blessed with PEACE and order. My condolences to the Myers Family.
My condolences to his fans as well…Mt. Vernon is inconsolable right now.
My fave song…I can hear me and my bestie, Vikki singing this loudly along with the music in her car on the way to nowhere. lol