David ‘Trugoy the Dove’ Jolicoeur – a founding member of hip-hop trio De La Soul – has died at the age of 54.
News of Jolicoeur’s death was first reported by AllHipHop yesterday (February 12) and has since been confirmed to multiple outlets including Rolling Stone. Details about the cause of his death have not been released, however the rapper had been suffering from several health issues in recent years.
Jolicoeur – also known as ‘Plug Two’ – had been candid about his congestive heart problem over the past few years. In the 2017 music video for ‘Royalty Capes’, the rapper announced he’d been diagnosed with the condition and showed how it prevented him from touring. “I’m ready to just get back on stage,” he said in the clip. “I miss it.” In 2020, he was briefly hospitalised for the condition.
Tributes to the hip-hop great have flooded in since news of his death broke. JPEGMAFIA and Kaytranada both took to Twitter to honour the rapper, with the former writing, “RIP TRUGOY of DE LA SOUL. A PIONEER!” while the latter posted: “RIP TRUGOY THE DOVE, PLUG TWO”.
Cypress Hill‘s B-Real also paid his respects, writing: “We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture in my brother Trugoy aka Dave of De La Soul. His music will allow him to live in our hearts and minds as he is gone. But not only was he a great musician but he was a great human being. He meant a lot to us.”
See more tributes below.
RIP TRUGOY of DE LA SOUL. A PIONEER!
— JPEGMAFIA (@jpegmafia) February 12, 2023
RIP Trugoy from De La Soul. One of the absolute best to ever do it 🌼 pic.twitter.com/LV7rVtJrhm
— Cadence Weapon (@cadenceweapon) February 12, 2023
RIP TRUGOY THE DOVE, PLUG TWO 🕊️
— kaytra-NADA (@KAYTRANADA) February 12, 2023
We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture in my brother Trugoy aka Dave of De La Soul. His music will allow him to live in our hearts and minds as he is gone. But not only was he a great musician but he was a great human being. He meant a lot to us 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/5PlZWX65CF
— B Real ™ (@B_Real) February 12, 2023
This just shattered me. RIP Trugoy The Dove, Plug Two. Hard to express how much De La means to me. The artistry, the creativity, the humor, the wisdom, and just the overall dopeness. Buhloone Mindstate shaped me. All the albums, but that one in particular. Fuck.
— Nappin 4Tay (@atrak) February 12, 2023
#RestInBeats my Bro #Dave #Trugoy #DeLaSoul forever @hiphopgods pic.twitter.com/bS5thhyOA1
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) February 12, 2023
Jolicoeur and his high school friends Posdnuos and Maseo formed De La Soul in Amityville, Long Island, in 1988. The trio recorded a demo together titled ‘Plug Tunin’, which producer Prince Paul (Maseo’s neighbour) played for New York rap figures, landing the group a deal with Tommy Boy Records.
De La Soul released their debut album, ‘3 Feet High And Rising’, in 1989, featuring acclaimed singles ‘Eye Know’, ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Me Myself And I’. The record was a commercial success and has been cited as influential by a number of artists, including Tyler, The Creator, Mos Def, Jurassic 5, Pharrell, and Damon Albarn, the lattermost of whom collaborated with Trugoy for Gorillaz‘ 2005 single ‘Feel Good Inc.’.
De La Soul went on to release eight more albums, three of which are currently on streaming platforms: 2004’s ‘The Grind Date’, 2012’s ‘First Serve’ and 2016’s ‘And The Anonymous Nobody…’.
This will expand in March to include their entire catalogue, including their aforementioned debut LP as well as 1991’s ‘De La Soul Is Dead’, 1993’s ‘Buhloone Mindstate’, 1996’s ‘Stakes Is High’, 2000’s ‘Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump’ and 2001’s ‘Art Official Intelligence: Bionix’.
The expansion of their digital offering comes after years of the group’s legal battles for their masters. De La Soul’s classic albums were initially withheld from streaming platforms due to a dispute with their label, Warner Records, who allegedly claimed that the samples featured on them were only cleared for physical media distribution.
In 2017, the trio’s catalogue was purchased by Tommy Boy Records and set for digital release, however, a dispute with the label over royalties further delayed this. In 2021, after Tommy Boy was acquired by Reservoir Media, De La Soul announced they’d come to an agreement that enabled them to digitally release their music (though the original timeline was for November that same year).
The hip-hop collective were set to tour the UK in April, however it is unclear whether the shows will still go ahead. De La Soul’s Posdnuos and Maseo recently performed at the Grammy awards as part of a hip-hop tribute co-curated by Questlove, though Jolicoeur was absent.