De Le Soul Trugoy the Dove: David Jolicoeur dead at 54, songs including Me, Myself and I - cause of death

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Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy the Dove, was a founding member of the group De La Soul

Rapper David Jude Jolicoeur, more commonly known by his stage name Trugoy the Dove, has died at the age of 54. He was a founding member of hip-hop group, De La Soul.

Reports of Jolicoeur’s death were confirmed by his representative Tony Ferguson on Sunday (12 February). No other information was immediately available.

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Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who was David Jude Jolicoeur?

Jolicoeur was born in Brooklyn but raised in the Amityville area of Long Island, where he met Vincent Mason (Pasemaster Mase) and Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos) and the three decided to form a rap group, with each taking on distinctive names - Trugoy, Jolicoeur said, was backwards for “yogurt”. More recently he had been going by the name Dave.

De La Soul’s debut studio album ‘3 Feet High And Rising’, produced by Prince Paul, was released in 1989 by Tommy Boy Records and praised for being a more light-hearted and positive counterpart to more charged rap offerings like NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions’ released just one year prior.

David Jude Jolicoeur performing in 2017 (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)David Jude Jolicoeur performing in 2017 (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
David Jude Jolicoeur performing in 2017 (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Sampling everyone from Johnny Cash and Steely Dan to Hall & Oates, De La Soul signalled the beginning of alternative hip-hop. In Rolling Stone, critic Michael Azerrad called it the first “psychedelic hip-hop record”. Some even called them a hippie group, though the members did not quite like that.

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The record reached the top of Billboard’s top R&B/hip-hop albums chart and is frequently mentioned among the best albums of all time - ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Me, Myself, and I’ were among its hits - and in 2010, ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for its historic significance.

The group followed up their debut record with ‘De La Soul Is Dead’ in 1991, which was a bit darker and more divisive with critics, and ‘Stakes Is High’, in 1996.

On March 3, the first six albums of De La Soul’s career will be made available on digital streaming sites for the first time. The group’s classic albums were only made streamable online last month after De La Soul’s liberal use of samples led to complicated licensing constraints.

How did he die?

The news of Jolicoeur’s death has been verified by his representative Tony Ferguson on Sunday 12 February, though no other information regarding his passing is immediately available.

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Jolicoeur had said in the past that he was suffering from congestive heart failure, and that a LifeVest machine - a type of wearable defibrillator - was permanently attached to him.

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