Trugoy the Dove, one-third influential hip-hop group Of soul, is dead. A rep for the trio confirmed the news to Pitchfork today (February 12). Trugoy was 54 years old. The cause of death has yet to be released, but the rapper had discussed his diagnosis with congestive heart failure during the last years.
Born David Jude Jolicoeur, Trugoy formed De La Soul in 1988 alongside his high school friends, rappers Posdnuos and Maseo. The three artists grew up in the Amityville neighborhood of Long Island, New York. After catching the attention of local producer Prince Paul, De La Soul released his debut album 3 feet tall and rising in 1989.
This record would go on to be their biggest commercial success as a group and would make waves within the rap and pop communities. Countless artists have cited the trio as a major influence, including Mos Def, Jurassic 5, Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell, and Damon Albarn, who enlisted Trugoy for Gorillaz’s debut hit.”Feel Good Inc.”
The trio’s influence continues to this day, but they were also influential in their day. It was a particularly fruitful period in East Coast hip-hop, which spawned the Native Tongues Posse, an artist collective that included De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah and others. .
De La Soul’s music was intricately woven from jazz and funk samples – a technique that contributed to their signature sound, but also what would tie their songs together in legal battles for years. Some have speculated that sample permission issues were partly to blame for the band’s absence from streaming services, but it was recently announced that their catalog would be available the 3 of March.
The streaming will feature six of De La Soul’s albums, widely regarded as their classics: 3 feet tall and rising, De La Soul is dead, Buhloone’s state of mind, The stakes are high, Official Art Info: Mosaic ThumpAnd Area of interest: Bionix. “We’ve been late for over 20 years, but finally we’re here,” Maseo said in press materials that accompanied the announcement.
After hearing about De La Soul’s catalog on digital streaming platforms, longtime fan Pharrell reflected on their influence. “The De La tribe were the ancestors and founders of our way of seeing things,” he said earlier this year. “I was almost 16 when 3 feet tall and rising came out of. It was a total game changer. It changed my life, period. Would I like to work with them? I would do anything for them, they know that. If they don’t, they should.