The life of the late Heavy D will be chronicled in a documentary, "Be Inspired: The Life of Heavy D," set to be shown on the BET-owned network Centric on Sunday.
The film will include interviews with family and friends of the pioneering rapper, according to the network. Mary J. Blige, Will Smith, Cee Lo Green, Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, as well as the rapper's family, were tapped for the documentary, which will explore the rapper's rise as frontman for the New Jack Swing outfit Heavy D and the Boyz, to his thriving solo career that included acting in films, television and stage and a stint as president and chief executive of the very label that launched his career, Uptown Records.
Beloved singer and rapper Heavy D, who passed away away last month at 44 after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home, died of a pulmonary embolism, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said in a report released Tuesday.
The embolism -- a blood clot in his lung -- was "most likely formed during an extended airplane ride," said coroner's chief of operations Craig Harvey, according to the Times' L.A. Now blog.
The rapper had recently returned from a trip to London. He'd been suffering from pneumonia and, said Harvey, "he was treating himself with cough syrup, but it was not contributory [to his death]."
Born Dwight Arrington Myers, Heavy D rose in the 1990s with a string of swinging R&B songs that merged the vibrancy of hip-hop with the rhythms of the budding new jack swing subgenre.
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: Heavy D. Credit: Associated Press
Hip-hop legend Heavy D died Tuesday afternoon after collapsing on the walkway outside his Beverly Hills home, according to authorities. He was pronounced dead Tuesday in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It was reported by The Times' Andrew Blankstein that Heavy D may have died of complications related to pneumonia, authorities said.
Heavy D was 44 years old.
Authorities were called to the 400 block of North Maple Drive about 11:25 a.m. after a report that a man in his 40s had been found unconscious on a walkway near a building, Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen told L.A. Now. Myers was then transported to a nearby hospital, where he died a short time later.
Los Angeles County coroner’s officials told L.A. Now that they would be handling the investigation into the cause and manner of the death.
Rosen did not identify Heavy D as the victim. However, another law enforcement source confirmed to L.A. Now that it was the rapper born Dwight Arrington Myers.
Heavy D had a string of hip-hop and dance hits, starting in 1987, as the then-leader of the hip-hop group Heavy D and the Boyz.
Myers eventually went on to release a number of hits including "Now That We Found Love" in 1991. He also wrote and performed the theme songs for the comedy sketch shows "In Living Color" and "MADtv."
Myers had a handful of film credits, including "The Cider House Rules," "Life" and the recently released "Tower Heist." He can also be seen on recent episodes of "Law & Order SVU" and "Tyler Perry's House of Payne."
Myers had just performed at a Michael Jackson tribute concert in Wales on Oct. 8, singing "Jam" with La Toya Jackson. He also recently performed at the BET Hip Hop Awards; you can watch his performance below:
“I’ve been to a lot of charity events, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Old-school rapper Heavy D surveyed the sold-out Hollywood Palladium crowd gathered for the second annual “Common & Friends,” a star-studded affair that featured appearances from a seemingly endless cavalcade of A-list hip-hop stars to benefit Common's Common Ground charity.The audience had already seen a series of highlights. De La Soul opened the show with a quick, high-energy set, punctuated by a surprise appearance from masked rapper MF Doom, who ferociously ripped through his verse from “Rock Co.Kane Flow.”
Black Thought and Amir “Questlove” Thompson represented for the Roots, and Ludacris ignited concertgoers with a crowd-pleasing set that culminated with “I Do It for Hip-Hop.” The latter allowed him to introduce Nas, who appears on the recorded version (video here).
After a simmering take on “One Mic,” Nas looked on in appreciation as the night’s host, Common, proceeded to spit most of Nas’ “N.Y. State of Mind” verbatim.
The crowd was also treated to an impromptu Black Star reunion, with Mos Def and Talib Kweli hitting the stage together. The two galvanized the audience with solo hits “Umi Says” and “Get By,” respectively.
But it was Heavy D who offered up one of the most surprising highlights of the show. Among the many unbilled performers of the evening, even those too young to remember Heavy D's late '80s/early '90s hits such as “We Got Our Own Thang” and “Now That We Found Love,” responded to his showmanship and the enduring qualities of the songs.
Word had been circulating throughout the day that one Kanye West would also be among the surprise performers, a fact that Common teased the audience with briefly.
“He’s still going through some things, trying to deal with everything that’s happened because of a choice he made, so he couldn't make it tonight” Common said, obviously referencing West’s meme-generating mike grab from Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs. “But he still wanted me to send his love to everyone.”