Heavy D is getting a tribute in his hometown of Mount Vernon as a statue is being erected in his honor.
Called "Peaceful Journey" after the title of his song, the sculpture is being created by New York artist Eto Otitigbe.
“The sounds coming out of Mount Vernon with Heavy D, Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth were really unique,” said Otitigbe, who grew up in Albany listening to hip-hop. “I wanted to pay homage to the Mount Vernon community that had such an important place in hip-hop with this work of art.”
Otitigbe said the original call for ideas for the commission was not specific to the late singer.
"It was for any kind of public artwork and I chose to reference Heavy D’s music. It was through his music that I personally had a connection to Mount Vernon," he said. “This sculpture offers me a chance to pay tribute to his music, and hip-hop culture, all of which had an immense influence on me as I navigated my youth.”
Otitigbe chose "Peaceful Journey" because he said the song “offers a thoughtful and complex picture of the lives of Black and Brown people [living] in places like Mount Vernon, the Bronx or Los Angeles.”
When completed, the sculpture, will be located on the corner of Fleetwood Avenue and Broad Street at the site of a new residential building.
Photos by Getty Images