David Jude Jolicoeur, better known by his stage name Trugoy the Dove, one third of the iconic rap trio De La Soul, has died at the age of 54. The news of Trugoy’s death was confirmed by the group’s publicist, Tony Ferguson, who called it “a huge loss.” No cause of death was provided.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, on September 21st, 1968, Trugoy, who also went by the moniker Plug Two, formed De La Soul along with Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Manson) and Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer) in 1988 after the three attended high school together in Amityville, NY. The trio rose to prominence with its 1989 debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, which introduced a new, gentler, hippie-inspired approach to hip-hop in contrast to the aggressive gangster rap that was becoming popular at the time. The group’s unique sound and affable personalities—which came through in the album’s interlude skits as well as the music—became hugely influential, ultimately inspiring a generation of hip-hop artists including A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, N.W.A., and many more.

De La Soul was nominated for six Grammy Awards, eventually winning Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for the group’s collaboration with Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.”, in 2006. A song off the group’s debut album, “The Magic Number”, recently had a resurgence after it was featured in the movie Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021.

Related: Gorillaz Gather Thundercat, De La Soul, EARTHGANG, More For Feel-Good Brooklyn Blowout [Review/Photos/Videos]

Due to legal issues regarding the clearing of samples, the band’s music was not available on streaming services until its entire catalog was acquired by Reservoir Media in 2021. Six of the group’s albums, including 3 Feet High and Rising, are set to hit streaming platforms on March 3rd. They will also be rereleased on vinyl, cassette, and CD (pre-orders available here).

De La Soul released its most recent album, And the Anonymous Nobody…, in 2016. The group was scheduled to perform three shows in the United Kingdom starting April 8th, 2023.

In the wake of Trugoy’s passing, a number of artists have come forward to pay their respects to the hip-hop pioneer, including Pharrell Williams, who wrote, “Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has gone up to be with the day of the stars with the Master. Sending love, light, and positive vibrations to his family, The Soul, and everyone whose lives have been touched by his existence.”

Related: De La Soul’s Full Discography Coming To Streaming Services In March

Rapper and producer Erick Sermon also honored Trugoy, writing on Instagram, “This one hurts… From Long Island from one of the best rap groups in Hiphop # Delasoul #plug2 Dave has passed away. You will be missed… RIP.”

Damon Albarn, the producer behind Gorillaz, shared an instrumental piano loop for Trugoy with the caption, “A loop for Dave. I love you 🕊 ⚓️ ❤️”

The Roots drummer Questlove also took to social media to express appreciation for De La Soul’s achievements along with sadness that Trugoy “will not be able to share in the glory & witness the magic of his entire cannon (under HIS ownership——-a RARE move in hip hop that few can claim) come March 3rd when those 6 albums come out.”

Trugoy will be deeply missed, but his music and legacy will continue to inspire and influence hip-hop fans for years to come. Rest in peace, Trugoy the Dove.


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