(Heavy D hangs out with T.I. in Atlanta, just one month before his death)

Sad news, and so sudden. TMZ reports that Heavy D was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles this afternoon and died soon afterwards. There are reports that he was conscious and speaking when paramedics arrived, but that he was suffering from complications from pneumonia. Heavy D was only 44 years old.

If you didn’t grow up during his career’s prime, you missed some of the most fun, most energetic, and lyrically acrobatic hip hop of the golden 90’s in New York City. Hailing from Mount Vernon, Heavy D (born Dwight Arrington Myers) blended elements of West Indian dancehall, soul samples and jazz elements into his music. And most of all, D had the best big man dance moves hip hop has ever seen…and I doubt anyone will ever match them.
Details of his passing are still emerging, but Heavy D had just performed at BET’s Hip Hop Awards last month. (And also had a cameo in the new movie Tower Heist too!)

We will definitely reminisce over you, Waterbed Hev.

UPDATE: TMZ has added more sad details…A friend has said Heavy D had pneumonia, and a law enforcement official said Heavy D collapsed outside of his apartment:

Heavy D had just returned from shopping and walked up some stairs when he began having trouble breathing. Adam Mills, a designer who was in the building and knew Heavy D, found him leaning against a railing and clearly in distress. Adam tells us he cradled Heavy D in his lap as others called 911. Adam says Heavy D was conscious and said to him, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” When paramedics took Heavy D to the hospital he had a pulse. People in the building are saying he died of a heart attack, but we have not been able to confirm that. Law enforcement sources tell us … no foul play was involved and so far they only know the cause of death was “medical.”

Watch Heavy D’s final performance, and some of my favorite favorite beloved Heavy D hits…
“Truthful,” “Don’t Curse,” “Now That We Found Love,” and “Dem No Worry We”
After the jump

Heavy D “Truthful”
This was always one of my favorite Heavy D songs….a more wistful departure from Hev’s party songs, but so on point. The video starred Kim Porter, the future mother of three of Diddy’s kids.
Also, props to StreetEtiquette and Atrak for reminding me that Hev also produced Beanie Sigel’s “Feel It In the Air,” another amazing and similarly introspective track.

Heavy D, along with Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, C.L. Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip: “Don’t Curse”

Heavy D and the Boyz feat. Aaron Hall “Now That We Found Love”
*Watch the dance moves. Flawless.*

Heavy D could chat with the best of them. Here he’s with Supercat on “Dem No Worry We.”