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BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Rapper Heavy D., one of hip-hop’s most popular and charismatic figures of the late 1980s and early 1990s, died after collapsing at his home in California on Tuesday. He was 44.
Beverly Hills Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Mark Rosen said officers were dispatched to the home of Heavy D., whose real name is Dwight Arrington Meyers, at around 11.25 a.m. local time regarding a report of an unconscious person laying on the walkway of a building.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered a male, 44 years old, conscious, communicative, but having difficulty breathing,” Rosen said. He was then transported to the nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by the Beverly Hills Fire Department. He later died at the hospital.
“Investigation by Beverly Hills detectives revealed that Mr. Meyers was returning home from shopping,” Rosen explained. “He experienced difficulty breathing while walking into his condominium building. He was being assisted up to his apartment by building personnel when he collapsed in an exterior hallway.”
Police said the death is believed to be medically related as there were no obvious signs of foul play. “The actual cause of death will be determined by the LA Co. Coroner’s Office,” Rosen said. “Next of kin have already been notified.”
Heavy D. began his hip-hop recording career in 1987 with the debut album “Living Large,” which featured thirteen tracks including “The Overweight Lover’s in the House,” “Don’t You Know” and “Mr. Big Stuff.” In January 1998, “Living Large” was chosen by The Source magazine as one of the 100 Best Rap Albums.
Several hours before his death, Heavy D. posted a final message on his Twitter account. “BE INSPIRED!,” it read.