Happy Birthday Heavy D, He Would Have Been 51 Today!
Heavy D was best known as a rapper, but he had a multi-faceted career that was broader than the scope of the average hip-hop artist.
1.) Hip-Hop Exec: Heavy D was the first rapper to become president of established record label, Uptown Records. Jay-Z made headlines when he was named president of Def Jam in 2005, but Heavy D took on the same role at Uptown in 1996.
2.) Uptown Upstart: The first act signed to Uptown Records was Heavy D & The Boyz, and their success paved the way for Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and Soul 4 Real on the record label. Heavy D’s talent helped transform owner Andre Harrell into a mogul.
3.) Rapper/Actor: In 1990, Heavy D made his move into the acting world and landed roles in both film and television. He was even seen in high profile movies like Be Cool (2005) and Tower Heist (2011).
4.) Commercial Checks: Before it was commonplace to see rappers as pitchmen in mainstream commercials, Heavy landed a very good look by doing a Sprite commercial. He undoubtedly paved the way for rappers to market themselves on a higher level.
5.) Ahead Of The Curve: Heavy D was one of first, if not the first, rappers to mention “cellular phone” in his lyrics.