June 12, 1989 marks the release date of Big Tyme, the second studio album from Heavy D. & The Boyz and in my opinion, one of their most enjoyable. Featuring tracks from in-house producer DJ Eddie F as well as Teddy Riley & Marley Marl and with co-production efforts from Pete Rock (Heavy D’s younger cousin) the album definitely had an R&B/Mainstream appeal to it. Radio friendly singles “We Got Our Own Thang” (one of my two favorite Heavy D tracks, the other being “Nuttin’ But Love”) and “Somebody For Me” were received well by audiences as they offered fans a light-hearted, dance friendly balance to the political and hardcore edge that Public Enemy and Ice T were incorporating in their music at the time. That said, Heavy does get a chance to showcase his all too often underrated lyrical prowess on more upbeat tracks such as “More Bounce” and “Flexin”. Big Tyme peaked at #1 on the Hip Hop/R&B charts and number #19 on the Billboard 200.
When Heavy D. passed in November of 2011, I felt like a part of Hip Hop’s early innocence passed along with him. Though hugely underappreciated for much his post early-90s career, Heavy D. was a champion for clean Hip Hop music that made you move your feet. Seminal tracks like “Mr. Big Stuff”, “Now That We Found Love”, “Got Me Waiting”, and “Gyrlz, They Love Me” are about relationships and playful bragging. While he could rap with the best emcees from around the way and occasionally made street-hop tracks (very well I might add, see 1992’s “You Can’t See What I Can See”), his best work came in the form of tracks like ‘Black Coffee’ and ‘The Overweight Lover’s In The House’ – tracks that made you dance, smile, and usually both. Heavy represented a time before gangstas, strip clubs, bling, and recreational drugs began to heavily permeate Rap’s conscious and content. Big Tyme embodies that very notion and for that Heavy D. and The Boyz, we at JP Lime Productions salute you! Rest In Power, Heavy D.
“Original, individual, smooth criminal / dance a lot, dance a little, shuffle to the middle.’