Heavy D’s Hometown Of Mount Vernon, NY, Has ‘Got Nothin’ But Love’ For Rapper, Unveils New Sculpture

A sculpture honoring the late rapper/actor Heavy D was unveiled in his hometown of Mount Vernon, New York, on Thursday.

Brooklyn-based artist Eto Otitgbe was joined by Heavy D’s family and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard to unveil his sculpture that honors Heavy D and his influence in hip-hop in celebration of the genre’s 50th anniversary, ABC 7 reported.

“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.

The piece is titled “Peaceful Journey” after one of Heavy D’s songs and “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,” Otitgbe said.

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

Heavy D was born Dwight Arrington Myers in Mandeville, Jamaica, but relocated to Mount Vernon during childhood and developed a love for rap early on. He went on to form the Boyz with high-school friends DJ Eddie F, Trouble T-Roy, and G-Wiz and recorded a demo tape that landed in the lap of Def Jam executive André Harrell, according to All Music.

Harrell was in the process of forming his own label, Uptown, and decided to make Heavy D and The Boyz the first artists he signed in 1986. Their debut album, Living Large, would reach gold status with a series of popular singles like “Mr. Big Stuff” and “The Overweight Lovers in the House.”

By the ’90s, Heavy D became a household name with features on Janet Jackson’s “Alright” and additional chart-topping singles like 1991’s “Now That We Found Love.” Heavy would go on to acting, appearing in  Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence’s 1999 comedy, Life, a supporting role in the Oscar-winning drama The Cider House Rules, and Fox’s drama Boston Public.

Heavy acted onscreen all while continuing his music career. On November 8, 2011, Heavy D collapsed outside his home in Beverly Hills and died from complications of pneumonia and a blood clot in his lung. He was 44 years old.

His wake and funeral drew thousands. Many celebrities and fans came out in numbers to pay their respect to the rap legend.