Finding The GOAT: Heavy D vs. Trugoy…Who You Got?
As we continue the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a sequence not unlike March Madness. For the next several months, we will roll out battles, starting with artists from similar eras paired against one another, until one undisputed King or Queen of the microphone reigns supreme.
The next two MCs to square-off are true poets, who surprisingly are left out of the commonplace GOAT discussion, with no good reason whatsoever: Heavy D and Trugoy. Always making their groups, their movements, and the cause bigger than themselves, these men are iconic underdogs, with overachieving track records in music. Contemporaries who ran in different circles, listen to these artists’ music, message and read up on their impact before casting your vote.
Heavy D (and his Boyz) not only shattered the notions of what a commercially successful rapper should look like, he revolutionized sound too. Rising through the ranks of the boom-bap, the MC/producer pride of “money-earnin’ Mount Vernon” bridged the gap between Hip-Hop and R&B. At Uptown Records, “Waterbed Hev” made music that cross-promoted his peers like Mary J. Blige and Guy, with a “new jack swing”-savvy sound that used danceable, club-friendly beats, and tongue-twisting rhyme styles.
Ever the evolutionary, Heavy D’s albums took risks, from that aforementioned 1987 debut, to his dabblings with R&B, Jazz, hardcore Hip-Hop, and later, Reggae. Heavy D saw Hip-Hop’s potential where he did not see boxes, and the cousin/mentor of Pete Rock opened up opportunities for guys like Drake, J. Cole, and Big Sean since before any of them were born. Moreover, while Heavy D’s lyrics were more PG-13 than they were parent-friendly, the everlasting veteran stayed the course with an Everyman image in Rap, through the guns, sagging, lowriders, and various diversions.
With three platinum and two gold albums, Heavy D kept Hip-Hop an inclusive party through some volatile years, to all genders, races, and fat and skinny faces. When in doubt, the part-time actor created an institution in writing raps about relationships, and pursuing love. With a strong sense of fashion, props, and on-stage showmanship, the late Dwight Myers may not be with us anymore, but his music and impact are eternal.
Other Notable Tracks:
While no member of De La Soul has ever made a solo album, it could be argued that Posdnuos has been the Long Island trio’s front man. However, while Plug 1 has a seemingly endless supply of dope rhymes, so does Trugoy, also known as Plug 2, also known in recent years simply as “Dave.” Perhaps it’s the name that’s held back David Jolicoeur, the phenomenally versatile MC of more than 25 years.
Trugoy (“yogurt” spelled backwards), like Pos’, has been whimsical with his always-tight rhymes. Sometimes about a fictional land of “Ohhh,” Dave’s been skilled in opening up about race, politics, sex, and the inner-workings of a “ghetto thing.” That versatility has helped make De La so enduring, and skilled at adapting the times, no matter the production, label, or Hip-Hop landscape changes. Tru’ has been truly nothing short of amazing, and arguably (like Maseo and Pos), the cruel victim of making the sum always bigger than the parts.
Rarely working outside of the group, Dave has been incredible at establishing a brand and never compromising. Although he’s grown outspoken of what he doesn’t care for in recent years, Heads know what they’re getting with Trugoy, still planning to be surprised on just how they’ll get it. Do any MCs write more for their collective/each other than Trugoy and Posdnuos?
Other Notable Tracks:
“Eye Know” (with De La Soul) (1989)
“Stakes Is High” (with De La Soul) (1996)
“Verbal Clap” (with De La Soul) (2004)
So…who you got?
Voting For Round 1 is now closed. Stay up to date with the latest Finding The GOAT brackets