Trugoy the Dove, co-founder of De La Soul, died at age 54 – Orange County Register

BY LINDSEY BAHR | AP film writer

David Jude Jolicoeur, widely known as Trugoy the Dove and one of the founding members of Long Island hip-hop trio De La Soul, has died. He was 54.

His representative, Tony Ferguson, confirmed the reports on Sunday. Further information was not immediately available.

In recent years, Jolicoeur had said he battles congestive heart failure and wears a LifeVest defibrillator device. De La Soul was part of the hip-hop tribute at the Grammy Awards last week, but Trugoy didn’t share the stage with his bandmates.

Tributes poured out on social media shortly after the news broke on Sunday.

“Dave! It was an honor to share so many stages with you guys,” wrote rapper Big Daddy Kane on Instagram.

Rapper Erick Sermon posted on Instagram: “This hurts. From Long Island from one of the best rap groups in hip hop #Delasoul #plug2 Dave has passed away you will be missed…RIP.”

The young guru added: “Rest in peace my brother. you were loved @plugwondelasoul I love you brother we are here for you. Smile I love you brother. This is crazy,” and DJ Semtex wrote that it was “heartbreaking news.”

Luke Cage showrunner and hip-hop journalist Cheo Hodari Coker wrote on Twitter: “You don’t understand what De La Soul means to me. Their existence told me, a black Connecticut geek, that hip-hop was yours too, and Trugoy was the balance, McCartney to Pos Lennon, Keith to his Mick. This is a great loss.”

Born in Brooklyn but raised in the Amityville area of ​​Long Island, Jolicoeur met Vincent Mason (Pasemaster Mase) and Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos) and the three decided to start a rap group, each taking their own names . Trugoy, Jolicoeur said, was wrong for “yogurt.” He had been with Dave lately.

De La Soul’s debut studio album, 3 Feet High and Rising, produced by Prince Paul, was released by Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and was praised for being a more light-hearted and positive counterpart to more charged rap offerings like NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” and Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions,” which was released just a year earlier.

From Johnny Cash and Steely Dan to Hall & Oates, De La Soul sampled the dawn of alternative hip-hop. In Rolling Stone, critic Michael Azerrad called it the first “psychedelic hip-hop record”. Some even called them a hippie group, although members didn’t entirely like it.

In 2010, “3 Feet High and Rising” was listed in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for its historical significance.

“It’s a hip-hop masterpiece for the era it was released in,” Jolicoeur told Billboard earlier this year. “I think the element of that time of what was happening in music, hip-hop and our culture was welcoming of that and opening the mind and soul to see and try new, different things. … I think the innocence that we had back then was brave, but we were in a time when innocence was so cool. Don’t try James Brown, try Liberace; I think it was shocking (when) we came out (that) we sampled Liberace. I don’t know if it would (now) impact in the same way.”

They followed with 1991’s De La Soul Is Dead, which was a bit darker and more critically divisive, and 1996’s Stakes is High.

De La Soul released eight albums and was set to make her streaming service debut on Spotify, Apple Music and more in March after a long battle with Tommy Boy Records over legal and publishing matters. Reservoir’s acquisition of Tommy Boy Records in 2021, featuring the likes of De La Soul, Queen Latifah and Naughty By Nature, helped move things forward and the full catalog was due out on March 3rd.

“You think your things are yours and that they are now in cruise control waiting for the checks to come. But it’s not like that at all. There’s a lot to do,” Jolicoeur told Billboard. “You need people, you need help, you need to get back into the system, and you don’t necessarily need to be the sole client of this project. You need allies, you need companies to work with, you need people to hire, and we learned a great lesson from that. It definitely wasn’t just “We have our masters back!” It’s not that.”

Over the years, the group has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning one for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration for the Gorillaz song “Feel Good Inc.”

During the pandemic, he said, there have been talks of solo albums and branching out — which wasn’t new.

“We support each other with these ideas, but at the same time I think the magic really happens when there are three of us,” he said. “I’m not trying to crack that formula, and I don’t think anyone else is either.”

When asked what advice he would give groups on how to stay together, he said you have to fight, but remember you’re fighting for the team.

“Sometimes it’s about money, but then there’s an element of: we don’t get along because we weren’t honest with each other. Get over that honesty, move on, and move on—because it feels good. Fight it out, go all out and come back knowing you’re fighting for the team,” he said. Trugoy the Dove, co-founder of De La Soul, died at age 54 – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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