As Heavy D, Myers was among the most recognizable rap music acts of the 1980′s and 1990′s. His style was a mixture of reggae and swing, and his lyrics were free from profanity. Myers was the lead artist in the group Heavy D and The Boyz and first charted with their debut album, Living Large. The group recorded a total of five albums between 1987 and 1994, only the first two of which included Troy Dixon (Trouble T-Roy), who died following an accident in 1990. Eddie Ferrell (Eddie F) is the co-founder of Uptown Records, the label on which Heavy D and The Boyz released their albums.
After the fifth group album, Heavy D went on to a solo rap career, releasing four more albums, the last of which, Love Opus, debuted in 2011. Heavy D also performed live for the first time in 15 years at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards in October. Myers demonstrated that rap music artists could succeed with unique styles and approaches to lyrics. While many of today’s rap music artists rely on the shock of foul language, Heavy D’s lyrics were always clean, yet engaging.
Myers also worked as the president and CEO of Uptown Records, and was instrumental in the development of Mary J. Blige. Myers also hired Diddy Combs early in his musical career. Uptown Records, renamed Uptown Entertainment folded after Myers left the organization to pursue acting opportunities.
In addition to his work as a music producer and recording artist, Myers also made guest appearances on several television series, an off-Broadway play, had a recurring role on Boston Public, and occasionally acted in motion pictures. His last appearance on the big screen was in “Tower Heist,” released in the US just four days before Myers’ death. Myers also provided the theme music for several television shows, including In Living Color and MADtv. He also made guest appearances for Michael and Janet Jackson, BB King, and appeared in the video for One More Chance by Notorious B.I.G.
Myers was nominated for Grammy awards in 1992, 1995, 1997, and most recently in 2009, and also received four nominations for Soul Train awards, winning Best Rap Album in both 1988 and 1990.
Photo Credit: Charkrem, via Flickr
Rap music has an almost universal appeal, and it doesn’t seem to flinch, even in some pretty out-of-the-way places. Earlier this week, AP ran a story about Adil Omar, a Pakistani rapper who was discovered online by Cypress Hill as a 16-year-old creating self-produced music in his bedroom. Four years down the road, the enterprising rap artist’s music will be featured in a Pakistani movie, and his fan following is growing.
That’s hard to do in Pakistan, where Islamic fundamentalists have gone as far as to bomb stores in which Omar’s music is sold. You’ll also find rap music at the heart of the Arab Spring protests, largely because the music has the ability to reach a young audience.
The idea of self-publishing music was far-fetched even as little as 10 years ago. Today, you can find some excellent software tools to help you put together your own rap beats, make your own songs and get your own music published. What’s the interest in self-publishing music? For many musicians, the ability to get their music out is important.
Under the old scheme, a musician had to catch the attention of a music publisher in order to make music available to the people. The music publisher took the lion’s share of whatever was sold. In the process, they created a very unpopular system that not only screens new artists and prevents them from being heard, but they also took the artist’s ability to be compensated for his or her work.
Today, you can self-publish music using a computer and a great software package like Sonic Producer. With Sonic Producer, you’ll get a professional sounding mix and a full library of royalty-free samples you can use for anything you like. You can make your own music, experiment, develop your own sound or just goof around. You can also publish your own music, distribute your songs and get your message out to the world.
Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and start making your own music!
Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB, via Flickr