Interview: Heavy D Speaks On Music And Life

The sudden death of hip-hop superstar Heavy D left fans, friends, and family in shock. Here, Hev drops words of wisdom in this 2008 interview, proving that he was a man who always did things his way.

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Complex Original

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Three years ago, the Jamaican-born hip-hop superstar Heavy D fulfilled a long-time wish and dropped his first reggae album. When he was first introducing this new musical direction to the world, he stopped by the Manhattan offices of my former employer to drop words of wisdom about his life and his work. Listening to him now, in the wake of his sudden death, Hev’s words take on new meaning.

His final post on Twitter, just hours before his still-unexplained death, was an all-caps “BE INSPIRED!” Heavy certainly followed his own advice. He had just released a new album, Love Opus, in September—a follow-up of sorts to his Grammy-nominated reggae album Vibes, the first full-length release to feature him singing throughout.

Hev also performed a medley of his hits live on the latest BET Hip-Hop Awards, looking and sounding as sharp as ever. Since the shocking news of his passing, DJ Premier revealed that he and Heavy had been working on a new hip-hop project, Blue Funk 2. Perhaps we'll get to hear some unreleased jewels one day.

Many of Heavy’s fans and friends have been in a bit of a blue funk since we heard about his untimely death. But hearing him speak about following one’s passion and honoring one’s creative spirit, it’s clear that Dwight Myers lived his life doing exactly that. How many of us can same the same? BE INSPIRED. Nuff said.

As told to Rob Kenner (@boomshots)

On His Early Rap Career....

"I started young. My first record came out when I was—what? 18? So I was in the studio when I was 15, 16. My whole life from a certain point was guided and geared to...You do this, you don’t do this. If he gets the big rope chain, your shit better be bigger. If he get the car, your shit better be better. You got to have the loudest system. 

On Falling Off...

"You know, it’s easy to write a rhyme—it’s easy to write 16 bars, 32 bars—but to do it where it really means something, and that it’s gonna transcend towards what people really respect and honor in the craft—it’s over. I’m happy to admit it. I had a great run. The baton has been passed. But that shouldn’t stop me from being an artist and delivering a message.

On His Reggae Album...

"This whole album is reggae. It’s a departure from what you’re probably normally used to hearing from Heavy D. And why I haven’t made a rap album is simply because I feel like I’ve done the best that I could do. I had a great run. There’s a lot of years. Actually this month—today maybe—is like my 22nd year.


Life as a CEO & An Actor...

"I’m much happier when I’m creating than when I was the CEO of Uptown Records, delegating all these responsibilities, overseeing 30 employees. That was one of the first steps.

Hev Dropping Knowledge...

"I’m gonna give you two great quotes. Miles Davis said, 'Sometimes it takes a long time to play like yourself.' The other great quote is: 'The truth is magnetic.' What I’m expecting from this album is nothing more than people will feel it. As long as they give it a chance. And that’s the problem sometimes that we run into because you would put someone in a box because they did that or did this.

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