David Jolicoeur, a founding member of the hip hop group De La Soul, has died at the age of 54. The rapper went by the stage name Trugoy the Dove alongside Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer) and Maseo (Vincent Lamont Mason Jr).
The trio brought pioneered the collage-like advancement of sampling when they emerged in the late 1980s. This new approach brought a more eclectic mix of sounds to the genre and reinvigorated its social edge with an aura of positivity. Their development has been likened to punk’s transition into new wave.
As Cypress Hill’s B Real said of Jolicoeur: “His music will allow him to live in our hearts and minds. But not only was he a great musician but he was a great human being. He meant a lot to us.” Continuing to crown him a “legend of hip hop music and culture.”
The pivotal record in achieving this status was their 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising. The iconic hour-long album included the hits ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Me, Myself and I’ helping to secure a vital number one spot in the R&B/Hip hop chart.
Sampling disparate tracks from the likes of Steely Dan, Johnny Cash, The Turtles and Hall & Oates, the album coupled pioneering technology with radical positivity to bring a bright new wave exhibition to rap. This changed the game offering up more diversity to the genre at a time when the likes of Public Enemy were dominating.
As of yet, no cause of death has been announced for the 54 year old, however, in recent years he has spoken openly about suffering from congestive heart failure.
Jolicoeur has been remembered fondly by the rap and wider music community for both his artistry and his positive influence in the wider world.