Trugoy of hip-hop band De La Soul dies at 54

Trugoy had spoken publicly in recent years about his struggles with congestive heart failure

By AFP

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De La Soul's Vincent Mason, left, and David Jude Jolicoeur perform in 2017
De La Soul's Vincent Mason, left, and David Jude Jolicoeur perform in 2017

Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 10:57 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 1:39 PM

David Jolicoeur, member of the De La Soul trio who went by "Trugoy the Dove," has died, US media reported Sunday. He was 54 years old.

Trugoy's death was first reported by music outlet AllHipHop and later confirmed by his representative Tony Ferguson to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

No cause of death was reported.

Trugoy had spoken publicly in recent years about his struggles with congestive heart failure, and said his health problems had prevented him from performing and touring with his fellow De La Soul members.

The pioneering hip-hop group -- which also includes Posdnuos and Maseo -- formed in 1988 in Amityville in New York's Long Island.

They gained a following for their eclectic sampling, lighthearted wordplay and influence in alternative hip-hop, including jazz rap.

The group exuded a positive spirit in contrast to the image of gangsta rap on the West Coast.

The New York trio recently began releasing their classic early hits on streaming platforms, following a decades-long battle over their samples.

The New York trio's first six albums, dating from 1989 to 2001, had previously not appeared on streaming platforms because their label, Tommy Boy, never tackled the huge legal task of clearing all the samples.

News of Trugoy's death prompted quick reaction from industry peers, including the influential MC Big Daddy Kane: "It was a honor to share so many stages with you."

Rapper Busta Rhymes tweeted on Sunday: "Complete Disbelief that I'm typing this right now. This one hurts Bad. Dave aka Trugoy the Dove Fly Beloved Fly.. Rest Easy King."

Pharrell Williams joined the outpouring for Trugoy, tweeting that he was "sending love, light and positive vibrations to his family, The Soul and everyone whose lives have been touched by his existence."


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