Heavy D has joined the ranks of artists whose record sales spike after an untimely passing. Billboard reports that the larger-than-life rapper’s 1991 Grammy-nominated hit “Now That We Have Love” came in at No. 20 on the Rap Digital Songs chart, moving 18,000 downloads last week — exactly 20 years after “Love” made its last stand on the charts.
The track’s newfound success is yet another way fans are paying tribute to the rap forerunner, who was pronounced dead at age 44 on Nov. 8 in Los Angeles. Though an initial autopsy proved inconclusive and his cause of death is yet unknown, friends and family gathered to mourn Heavy D in his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y. today. Famous friends Diddy, Russell Simmons, Flavor Flav, Pepa of Salt N Pepa, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans were in attendance, the Daily News reports.
Simmons urged Twitter followers to “Smile for Heavy D today. last night’s wake was difficult,” referring to yesterday’s public wake.
Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Questlove of The Roots, and MC Lyte also paid their respects via Twitter. Model/actor Tyrese tweeted, ” ‘Who cares if you’re a star if nobody is looking up to you.’ – Al Sharpton On Heavy D at his funeral today-. .. Rest in Heaven #Hev.”
In an interview with BET, Mary J. Blige recalled the last time she saw Heavy D, calling him a true “mentor” and “angel.”
“We were at his house out here in L.A. and he was playing music and he was about to do an album,” she said. “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.”