Maseo and Posdnuos, the remaining members of De La Soul have broken their social media silence with two Instagram posts paying tribute to bandmate David “Trugoy The Dove” Jolicoeur who died on February 12 at the age of 54.
Both posts consisted of lengthy messages from each surviving member, accompanied by a carousel of images depicting the rapper throughout his career. In the first, Posdnuos pays his tributes, expressing: “You were the heart of our group. You brought so much creativity, energy, and passion to our music, and your influence will be felt for years to come.”
Referencing Trugoy’s opening verse from their 1991 ‘De La Soul Is Dead’ cut, ‘Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)’, he continued: “Thank you for helping us become a group that will remain etched in the timeline of hip hop culture as well as the fabric of music and for now on when we perform “Ring Ring Ring Ha Ha Hey” we will say ‘2-2-2-2-222 we got an angel in heaven who can talk to you’”.
Maseo followed with a heartfelt message reflecting his close relationship with the deceased emcee, stating: “Dave – thank you so much for being in my life. Although you and I would argue like hell, we would both admit when we were wrong and totally come full circle and say, “I Love You.”
Highlighting the origins of Trugoy The Dove’s name, he noted: “ I remember your mom calling you Dove, so you’ve always had wings, so go on and fly into the light, Merce and I will make sure your legacy is well preserved.”
While the cause of Jolicoeur’s death has not been confirmed, the rapper has openly discussed his struggles with a congestive heart issue for years. He first publicly disclosed his condition in De La Soul’s music video for ‘Royalty Capes’, which he highlighted as a hindrance to the group’s touring ability. “I’m ready to just get back on stage,” he noted. “I miss it.”
Jolicoeur formed De La Soul with high school friends Posdnuos and Maseo in Long Island in 1988. Their debut album, ‘3 Feet High and Rising’, featured the singles ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Me Myself and I’, and went on to become a cult jazz rap classic.
The group recently announced that on March 3, their entire catalog, including their aforementioned debut, 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’, will be made available for streaming for the first time ever.
The collective are scheduled to tour the UK in April, though it is currently unclear whether the tour will be put on hold.
Following Jolicoeur’s death, several artists have paid tribute to the late rapper. Damon Albarn, who notably collaborated with him on Gorillaz’ 2005 smash ‘Feel Good Inc.’, shared a minute-long piano instrumental in his memory, noting: “A loop for Dave. I love you.” JPEGMAFIA and Kaytranada have also honoured Jolicoeur on Twitter, the former writing, “RIP TRUGOY of DE LA SOUL. A PIONEER!”, and the latter expressing: “RIP TRUGOY THE DOVE, PLUG TWO”. Many more, including Cypress Hill’s B-Real, A-Trak and Public Enemy’s Chuck D have also paid their tributes, which can be seen here.