11:08am PT by Jethro Nededog
Heavy D's Colleague and Friend, Russell Simmons, Remembers the Rapper (Video)
The shock of rapper Heavy D’s death on Tuesday sent tremors through the music community and among his fans. On Wednesday morning, his colleague and friend, Russell Simmons, appeared on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live to talk about the late artist and the contribution he made to the music industry.
“Heavy D was the author of a whole new kind of music,” the Def Jam co-founder says. “He brought in a song, ‘Mr. Big Stuff,’ and I remember [Uptown Records founder] Andre Harrell brought me that song. And we’re listening to it and we couldn’t figure out is this hip hop? Why is it so melodic?”
“He was the first R&B rapper that was really accepted,” Simmons goes on to say. “And they built a whole Uptown Records and New Jack Swing sound on his ideas. Heavy was a very special artist. He was loved by everyone.”
Simmons says that Heavy D was instrumental in discovering and building the careers of several artists, including Mary J. Blige and P. Diddy. But, he also describes the kind of person Heavy D was as only a friend could.
“He was liked by everybody,” he says. “He never had an unkind word to say about anybody… His presence was always a calming one. He’s a very inspired person and a sweet person.”
Heavy D was found dead in L.A. on Tuesday after experiencing trouble breathing. Initial investigations by police found no foul play involved and currently attribute the death to a medically related cause.
Watch Simmons’ interview below.