David “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur has passed away. AllHipHop broke the tragic news today (Feb. 12). The hip hop legend was 54. At this time, a cause of death has not been disclosed.
The Long Island emcee was vocal in the past about his health struggles, which included cognitive heart failure. The De La Soul co-founder spoke candidly about his diagnosis in the 2018 “Royalty Capes” video.
In it, he explained that he had to wear a life-saving vest. “It’ll shock me and hopefully bring me back from the matrix,” he said. While his health issue was critical, he kept his focus on being able to grace the stage alongside Posdnuos and Maseo. He continued, “I’m ready to just get back to the stage. I miss it. I love traveling, I love being around my guys, and I want that back.”
Trugoy has long been respected for the instrumental role his lyricism played in cementing De La Soul’s place among the most influential rap groups. Last week at the 65th annual Grammy Awards, the trio was represented by group member Posdnuos during the 50th-anniversary hip hop tribute as he performed a snippet of their 1989 smash “Buddy.”
At the top of the year, fans were surprised with the exciting news that the group’s music was destined for streaming platforms. Their presence in the digital music world comes years after they battled Tommy Boy Records — the label’s catalog was later acquired by Reservoir Media — to obtain their masters in 2021. They also overcame obstacles when it came to properly clearing samples on some of their popular tracks. Come March 3, 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix will be available across streaming services.
Last month, Posdnuos spoke about getting a call from Reservoir about rectifying the DSP issue. “They immediately reached out, and they were like, ‘Look, man, we have control of this. Let’s work it out,’” he told Rock the Bells. “It was a whole different feeling, a better energy. Let’s be honest. They didn’t have to do it. It was just great to know they did take the time to work this out with us, but it’s been a journey.”
😪 Dave Jolicoeur, a.k.a. Trugoy The Dove, from legendary trio De La Soul has died… He was 54. #RIPTrugoyTheDove #RIPDave pic.twitter.com/Zkl66OhCXg
— Hip Hop Golden Age (@HipHopGoldenAge) February 12, 2023