Wednesday, 03 May 2023 10:40

Rapper Heavy D honoured with statue in Mount Vernon

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Heavy D, who is credited with being one of the architects of hip hop music, was honoured recently with the unveiling of a sculpture in his memory in Mount Vernon, his adopted home.

The sculpture unveiling, hosted by Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, took place at a luxury high-rise on42 Broad Street.

Known as ‘Peaceful Journey’, the name of his 1991 album, it was crafted by esteemed Brooklyn-based artist, Eto Otitgbe

Selected through a competitive process overseen by ArtsWestchester, a prominent advocate for public art, Otitgbe was commissioned to craft the sculpture.

The artwork is located at the bustling intersection of Broad Street and Fleetwood Avenue, paying homage to Heavy D’s influence.

Otitgbe explained that the sculpture aimed to pay tribute to the profound impact of Mount Vernon, the Bronx, and Los Angeles on the lives of black and brown individuals, a theme poignantly depicted in Heavy D’s music.

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

Born as Dwight Myers in Jamaica, Heavy D relocated to Mount Vernon with his family during his youth, where he discovered his passion for rap music.

He swiftly became an integral part of the local hip hop scene, eventually being recognised worldwide

He released a number of successful albums throughout his career, including his debut Living Large (1987), Big Tyme (1989) and Peaceful Journey (1991), the latter serving as the inspiration for the sculpture commemorating his enduring legacy.

During the unveiling event, Heavy D’s family, including his mother, Euhlalee Myers, expressed appreciation for the artwork. His mother shares her son’s deep affection for the arts and his love for Mount Vernon.

“My son loved the arts, and this sculpture depicts the love that he had, especially for the city of Mount Vernon,” she said.

“Heavy D holds a special place in the history of Mount Vernon and the hip hop genre. This sculpture serves as a fitting tribute to his legacy and the 50th anniversary of hip hop,” said Patterson-Howard.

Heavy D died in 2011 at the age of 44 after collapsing on the walkway outside his Beverly Hills home.