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Mount Vernon Celebrates Heavy D’s Legacy With Stunning New Sculpture Installation



Heavy D Honored With Sculpture In Mount Vernon
Image source: Blackpast, Michael DiCarlo.

With great reverence, let us consider the profound impact that a memorial sculpture can have on remembering the achievements of a truly influential figure. By sharing their legacy through art, we inspire and motivate future generations to strive for greatness. Such is the case for the legendary Jamaican-born rapper Heavy D, also known as Dwight Arrington Myers, whose legacy will never be forgotten. As a result of a blood clot in his lung, he tragically passed away at 44 on November 8, 2011. Nonetheless, Heavy’s contributions to the music industry cannot be overlooked.

On Apr. 27, the unveiling of a magnificent sculpture paid tribute to the enduring legacy of Heavy D in Mount Vernon, New York. Designed by Brooklyn-based artist Eto Otitgbe, this artwork represents the rapper’s lasting influence on the music industry.

Brooklyn-based artist Eto Otitigbe. Image source: The Brooklyn College Vanguard.

Not only that, it is a momentous occasion for the community and the entire hip-hop genre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its inception with Heavy D’s legacy. After moving to Mount Vernon at a young age, the talented rapper found his voice and honed his craft on the streets of New York. His early discovery of rap in the city of Mt. Vernon paved the way for his incredible career as a rapper, actor, and producer.

Heavy D was an icon who pushed the boundaries of music, blending his unique style with the cultural elements of his community.

Heavy D’s Legacy Lives On Through Art

At the sculpture’s unveiling, Heavy’s family, other attendees, and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard gathered to honor 50 years of hip-hop and the rapper’s impact on the genre. His mark on the music industry was absolute, with several hits reaching the top of the charts. These hits include “Now That We Found Love,” “Is It Good to You,” and “The Overweight Lover’s in the House.”

During the unveiling of the artwork, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard chats with Clifford and Eulahlee Myers, parents of the late Dwight “Heavy D” Myers. Image source: Mark Vergari, The Journal News.

“My son loved the arts and this sculpture, and this sculpture depicts the love that he have especially for the city of Mount Vernon,” Heavy D’s mother, Euhlalee Myers, said.

Art As A Vehicle For Social Change

In a world where systemic racism and social injustice still haunt communities of color, works of art that represent marginalized voices are more important than ever. Taking inspiration from Heavy D’s song of the same name, Otitgbe titled the artwork “Peaceful Journey.”

According to the Eto, the track “offers a thoughtful and complex picture of the lives of Black and Brown people (living) in places like Mount Vernon, the Bronx or Los Angeles.” By capturing the essence of Heavy D’s message in his sculpture, Otitgbe reminds us of the need for representation. He also reminds us of the power of art to inspire positive social change.

The sculpture in Mount Vernon by Eto Otitgbe in honor of Heavy D entitled “Peaceful Journey.” Image source: ABC7 New York.

The necessity of sustainable housing is becoming increasingly apparent in today’s world, where the need for environmentally responsible development has never been more pressing. This is why the sculpture installation symbolizing Heavy D at 42 Broad Street in Mount Vernon holds particular meaning. As the latest luxury high-rise to achieve Passive Housing pre-certification, the artwork represents a step towards a greener future and enhances the community’s cultural significance.

“I wanted to pay homage to the Mount Vernon community that had such an important place in hip-hop with this work of art,” Otitigbe said.

Rise To Fame: Heavy D’s Early Life And Career Beginnings

In 1967, Dwight Myers was born in Jamaica, near the vibrant city of Montego Bay. Little did anyone know that he would go on to become a groundbreaking rapper and musician. His family, consisting of his parents, Euhlalee and Cliff, and his four siblings, moved to Mt. Vernon, NY, during the 1970s, where Dwight, who later became known as Heavy D, was introduced to American rap. With an innate talent for blending different genres, Heavy D had a natural start to the kind of cross-over that would become his forte.

Together with Eddie F (Edward Ferrell), G-Whiz (Glen Parrish), and Trouble T-Roy (Troy Dixon), Heavy D formed the mid-1980s group Heavy D and the Boyz. They worked tirelessly, making demo tapes and performing at local parties and clubs. In 1987, their efforts paid off with releasing their first single, “Mr. Big Stuff,” and their first album, “Living Large.”


Heavy D. and the Boyzs’ first album, “Living Large,” was released in 1987. Image source: Discogs.

As a testament to their talent, Heavy D & the Boyz went on to produce five top 40 albums in the US, including Big Tyme, Peaceful Journey, and Nuttin’ But Love. Their impressive string of hit singles included the international sensation “Now That We Found Love” in 1991. This solidified their place as one of hip-hop’s leading voices in the late 80s and 90s.

Versatility And Charisma In Television And Film

However, Heavy D’s success extended beyond the music industry. His versatility and undeniable charisma were also demonstrated in several television and film appearances. Among his notable credits are the theme song for “In Living Color” and appearances on popular series such as “A Different World” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” He also made his film debut in 1993 with “Who’s the Man?”

Even after a 15-year hiatus from live performances, Heavy D’s return to the stage in October 2011 received great attention. His fans eagerly awaited his comeback, and he did not disappoint. He proved that he still had the talent and energy that made him a beloved icon in the first place. Although his untimely passing later that same year was a great loss to the music world, Heavy’s legacy lives on through his contributions to the genre, influencing future generations.

Written by Nikiya Biggs | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

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Experienced, dedicated, and goal-oriented writer with a flair for producing informative and captivating content. Experience spanning 5+ years in writing includes correct grammar, fact-checking, and adaptability. Throughout my life, I've been exposed to many opportunities. I have played the piano, participated in many recitals, and won numerous awards throughout my life. I have been honing my writing skills for years in my spare time. As an example, I have completed writing exercises and created my own stories in this regard.

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