Petition to have Hillside Avenue between Beechwood and Grandview Avenues in Mt. Vernon, New York renamed "Heavy D and the Boyz Way"
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On Tuesday, November 8, 2011, the hip hop community lost one of its great pioneers and most memorable influencers with the passing of Dwight Arrington Myers a.k.a Heavy D. The gentle giant of a man will long be remembered for his fun-loving lyrics, infectious smile and his role in making big guys the new sexy. Ever light on his feet, his string of hits with partners Glen "G-Whiz" Parrish, Troy "Trouble T. Roy" Dixon, and Edward "Eddie F" Ferrell - better known as The Boyz - helped launch the careers of fellow hip hip icons Sean "Puffy" Combs and Pete Rock and CL Smooth. As one of the anchor artists of Uptown Records, Heavy played an influential role in providing a platform for R&B artists ranging from G.U.Y. and Al B. Sure! to Jodeci and Mary J. Blige. But probably most importantly, Heavy D. helped place Mount Vernon, New York - a city notorious for being just four square miles in area - on the proverbial map.
The early begins of this stellar career can be traced back to one place - Hillside Avenue. This street - a three-block stretch of modest single-, double-, and three-family homes in the heart of a neighborhood composed largely of hardworking Caribbean-American families - served as the veritable epicenter of one of the most influential eras in hip hop history. Heavy; his dancer, Trouble T, and D.J. Pete Rock all grew up together within a block of each other. "The Basement," acknowledge as the birthplace of the sound that set Heavy D and the Boyz apart and elevated Pete Rock to super-producer status, can be found in the middle of that block at 71 Hillside Avenue. Hip hop artists routinely made their pilgrimage to The Basement in hopes of being blessed with one of the horn-tinged tracks that would guarantee a certified hit.
In light of this street's role in the evolution of hip hop to a world-renowned art form and the foundation it provided for one of the most influential hip hop groups of our time, it is only fitting that Hillside Avenue, between Beechwood and Grandview Avenues, be renamed "Heavy D and the Boyz Way."
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