One-third of the legendary rap group De La Soul, David Jude Jolicoeur (stage name Trugoy the Dove), has passed away. The confirmation was given by the band’s publicist, Tony Ferguson. Jolicoeur lived to be 54 years old. In a phone conversation, Ferguson described Jolicoeur’s passing as “a great loss.” There was no mention of what killed the person.
Jolicoeur, a native of Brooklyn, New York, is widely recognized as a pivotal figure in the development of mellower, more introspective hip-hop throughout the era spanning the decades between 1980 and the early 2000s.
Vincent Manson (also known as Pasemaster Mase) and Kelvin Mercer (also known as Posdnuos) met in high school in Amityville, New York, and went on to form the rap group De La Soul with Jolicoeur in 1988.
De La Soul’s breakthrough single “Me, Myself and I,” from their debut album “3 Feet High and Rising” (1989), lasted 17 weeks in the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, and N.W.A., among others, were influenced by the album’s interlude skits, conceptual sound, and samplings of James Brown’s music.
When asked about the current state of music and hip-hop in America, Jolicoeur told Billboard last month:
“I think the element of that time of what was taking place in music, hip-hop, and our culture, I think it welcomed that and opened up minds and spirits to see and try new different things.”
De La Soul Passed away at age of 54
De La Soul had six Grammy nominations over their career, eventually winning in 2006 for best pop collaboration with vocals for their song “Feel Good Inc.”
The song “The Magic Number,” which originally appeared on their debut album “3 Feet High and Rising,” will play during the closing credits of “Spider-man: No Way Home,” which will be released in 2021.
The hippie-inspired song’s placement in “No Way Home” sparked a newfound interest in the group, but streaming services were unable to offer it because of decades of legal problems around sample clearances with the group’s former company, Tommy Boy Records.
Reservoir Media’s 2021 acquisition of De La Soul’s catalog opened the path for the famous trio’s songs to be made available for streaming on major platforms. Billboard reports that the first six albums by the band will be made available via streaming services in March of 2023.
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“And the Anonymous Nobody…” was Jolicoeur and De La Soul’s 2016 album. On April 8, 2023, De La Soul was set to begin a three-show run in the United Kingdom.
Singer Pharell Williams paid tribute to Trugoy Dave of De La Soul on Twitter, writing, “Trugoy Dave has gone up to be with the day of the stars with the Master.” Sending warm thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, The Soul, and all those whose lives he has impacted.
Erick Sermon, a rapper and record producer, paid tribute to Jolicoeur on Instagram by writing, “This one hurts. Dave, you were with Long Island’s best rap group, # Delasoul #plug2. You will be missed. RIP”
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