Trugoy The Dove, one third of De La Soul, has died at the age of 54, the group’s publicist has confirmed to HipHopDX.
While details surrounding his death have yet to be disclosed, the Haitian-American rapper (real name David Jolicoeur) had seen his health impacted by congestive heart failure in recent years. He first revealed the news to fans in a clip at the beginning of the 2017 video for “Royalty Capes.”
In 2020, Trugoy, who ran the official De La Soul account on IG, was much more open about his illness, appearing on IG live with groupmates Posdnuos and Maseo during a brief hospitalization, and posting a thank you message to fans once he was released.
All of the recent posts to the groups social media account had been dedicated to the pending return of their early music to streaming platforms.
The year kicked off on a celebratory note for De La Soul and their fans, as the group began counting down to the re-release of their first six albums — 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix — in digital formats.
On January 3, the legendary Hip Hop group confirmed a March 3 release date with an announcement on their social media pages and official website. On Instagram and Twitter, the group shared a video of a giant billboard in Times Square — in partnership with Amazon Music — labeled with: “Alexa, what’s the magic number?”
De La Soul had a tough time getting its catalog up on DSPs due to sample clearance issues and a contractual dispute with their former label, Tommy Boy. Things looked up, however, after Reservoir Media acquired their discography as part of its $100million acquisition of Tommy Boy in 2021. Reservoir Media will distribute De La Soul’s catalog via Chrysalis Records.
“The Reservoir and Chrysalis teams have worked with De La Soul, and their record label, AOI, to bring their music to digital streaming services,” the statement read. “Reservoir is pleased to share that De La Soul’s first six albums…will be available to fans everywhere March 3rd, 2023, on the 34th anniversary of the release of their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising.”
Ahead of the re-release, the group’s legendary track “The Magic Number” landed on streaming platforms and YouTube on January 13.
As part of the rollout for the streaming move, the group recently sat down for an interview with Ebro Darden on Apple Music to reflect back on their iconic catalog, more specifically their debut 3 Feet High & Rising, where the track first appeared.
“3 Feet High and Rising was inspired, maybe just the state that we were in as kids, just not afraid to say, ‘This is me.’ At the same time, it also gave birth to an era, a sound, a style in Hip Hop,” Trugory said.
Fans were also anticipating the arrival of new music, as Prince Paul recently reunited with the group in the studio for the first time in 30 years. However, that now remains in limbo.
De La Soul became a household name thanks to their groundbreaking debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, which many consider to be one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time. Songs like “Me Myself and I,” “The Magic Number” and “Plug Tunin’” helped propel the album to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, as well as platinum status.
The accolades didn’t stop there as 3 Feet High and Rising was also inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Extensive issues with Tommy Boy from uncleared samples to the group’s contract with the label had prevented their music from being made available on streaming platforms. In 2019, the group stated that per their contract, they would receive just 10% of streaming revenue and declined to sign off.
De La Soul has released a total of eight albums and has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, including Best Rap Performance in 1990 for “Me Myself and I” and Best Rap Album in 2017 for And the Anonymous Nobody…
In 2006, the group won their first and only Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for their collaboration with Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc,” which was also up for Record of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video.
HipHopDX extends its condolences to De La Soul, the Native Tongues camp and Trugoy’s friends and family.