Back in his Uptown Records days, Heavy D played mentor to a number of future music stars and execs, one of which was Sean "Diddy" Combs, who recently shared that the Heav was responsible for giving him his start in the music industry.
Upon news of Heavy's passing, Diddy told his Twitter followers that Heav provided him with the internship at Uptown that launched his career. The rapper affectionately known to the world as the "overweight lover" was also very influential in developing Mary J. Blige's talent. In an interview with BET.com, Mary shared her own fond memories of the fallen hip hop star.
“Heavy was always a mentor for all of us," she shared. "He was all of our big brother. He always had a word of encouragement. Every time I would... back then, especially when I was about to get into something just ridiculous or stupid, I would run into Heavy and he would always, it was like he was God or something. He would show up and I'm like ‘Hey Heavy’ and he’s like ‘What are you doing? What you getting ready to do? Why you going to the club? Why you gone drink?' so you be like ‘Aight.’ He just took all the fun about what we were gonna do so we didn’t do it. He really was an angel."
As previously reported, Heavy D died at a Los Angeles hospital on Nov. 8.
According to TMZ reports, Heavy D had just returned from shopping and climbed a set of stairs up to his Beverly Hills home when he experienced difficulty breathing. Adam Mills, a designer who was in the area and knew the rapper, found Heavy D leaning against their stair railing. Mills cradled him in his lap as others called 911 around 11:25 a.m. Heavy was reportedly conscious and speaking when help arrived. He died shortly after that, around 1 p.m.
Like many in the entertainment community Mary recalls her last memories of Heav being at his Beverly Hills residence.
“I saw Heavy about five years ago," said Mary. "We were at his house out here in L.A. and he was playing music and he was about to do an album. He was saying ‘this is the kind of music you should do’ and I think I got on a song with him. I put my voice on a song with him. And he had a birthday party at a club and we went to this birthday party like we were hanging. He came to my house, we were hanging with Heavy D for a while.”
A public viewing of Heav took place yesterday [Nov. 17] in the rapper's hometown, Mount Vernon, NY. A private invite-only funeral, which will be open to close family and friends, is set for today. Diddy is expected to speak at teh funeral.
The loveable hip hop icon leaves behind a 13 year old daughter, Xea Myers. Instead of flowers the family is asking that fans make donations to the Heavy D and Xea Myers Fund.
(Photo: Jason Merritt/GettyImages)