Thousands pay their respects to the rap icon at public viewing.
Droves of Heavy D fans ignored the cold rainy conditions in Mount Vernon, NY on Thursday (November 17) to pay respect to the late rapper.
A public viewing for the beloved MC was held in his hometown at the prestigious Grace Baptist Church. Grieving fans from the neighbor Heavy made so popular, came out to say goodbye to the legendary figure.
“Heavy D means everything to Mount Vernon and New York,” said Bronx native DJ Whatever, who was among those in attendance for the viewing. “He’s the definition of New York. He made great music; he influenced a lot of young black kids coming up in these rough streets.”
“I’m going to celebrate his life and what he represented, said Tyrone Kelsie. “He meant a lot to me and everybody that is a part of this whole hip hop game. We all family, so something happen to one of us, I’m there to support.
Pioneering turntablist DJ Red Alert, radio host Ed Lover, and hip hop great Flavor Flav were among the grieving at somber event.
“He [Heavy D] meant the world to me as a friend,” Flav told BET.com. “Not only that, but he meant the world to me as a rapper and he’s one of the first rap artist that I had seen that did a whole show dancing, lyrics, and everything. I don’t know how he did it. The only ones in this music industry that really had that stamina that could do a whole show with everything is Heavy D and Will Smith.”
Heavy D will be laid to rest on Friday November 18 at a private invite only ceremony held at Grace Baptist Church. Longtime friend Sean “Diddy” Combs is expected to give a speech at the service.
Tune into the 2011 Soul Train Awards on November 27 at 9pm ET on BET to watch a moving tribute for the much-loved star.