Photo: Sven Volkens

De La Soul’s Trugoy The Dove: Dead At 54

Professionally known as Trugoy the Dove, one third of iconic rap trio De La Soul has died at the age of 54.

Born David Jude Jolicoeur, the news of the musician’s passing was confirmed to CNN via Tony Ferguson, the group’s publicist. who said that the death of Trugoy was “a huge loss.”

A Brooklyn, NY native, Jolicoeur is considered to be one of the most influential hip-hop artists of the 1980s and 1990s whose music reflected a gentler tone of the genre’s more aggressive style.

After attending high school together in Amityville, New York, Jolicoeur and fellow De La Soul members Vincent Manson (aka Pasemaster Mase,) and Kelvin Mercer, (aka Posdnuos,) formed the rap trio in 1988.

In 1989 De La Soul released “3 Feet High and Rising,” their debut album that included the hit “Me, Myself and I,” that enjoyed 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The LP’s interlude skits, conceptual sound and samplings of James Brown’s music influenced artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and N.W.A. to emulate the group’s unique style.

In a January interview with Billboard, Trugoy said “I think the element of that time of what was taking place in music, hip-hop, and our culture, I think it welcomed that and opened up minds and spirits to see and try new different things.”

Throughout their career, De La Soul was nominated for six Grammy Awards, taking home a trophy in 2006 for best pop collaboration with vocals for “Feel Good Inc,” and in 2021 “The Magic Number,” from their very first LP was featured as the end-credit song in “Spider-man: No Way Home.”

Despite gaining renewed interest from the movie soundtrack, the song wasn’t available to stream due to decades of legal issues related to sample clearances with group’s former label Tommy Boy Records. Yet after Reservoir Media acquired De La Soul’s catalog in 2021, the legendary trio was finally able to stream their music on popular sites and the group’s first six albums will be available on line come March 2023.

“Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has gone up to be with the day of the stars with the Master,” wrote Pharell Williams in a tribute on Twitter. “Sending love, light and positive vibrations to his family, The Soul and everyone whose lives have been touched by his existence.”

Rapper and producer Erick Sermon also honored Jolicoeur via Instagram with “This one hurts. From Long Island from one of the best rap groups in Hiphop # Delasoul #plug2 Dave has passed away you will be missed… RIP”

The most recent album that Jolicoeur and De La Soul released was “And the Anonymous Nobody…” in 2016 and De La Soul was scheduled to perform three shows in the United Kingdom starting April 8, 2023. 

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Sven Volkens