The world of hip-hop is mourning the loss of one of the most legendary MC’s, Plug Two, one-third of the iconic hip-hop group, De La Soul. Born as David “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur passed away at the age of 54.
The news was confirmed to CNN via Tony Ferguson, the music group’s publicist. Ferguson said Jolicoeur’s passing was “a huge loss” in a phone call to CNN. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
David, who was also known as Plug Two, had been open about his bout with congestive heart failure in recent years. In De La Soul’s 208 “Royalty Capes” video, Trugoy candidly spoke about how his ailing health kept him from performing.
“I’m ready just to get back to the stage,” he said. “I miss that. I love traveling. I love being around my guys and I want that back.” De La Soul was part of the Grammys’ Hip-Hop tribute performance last week, but Trugoy wasn’t onstage with his group mates.
Known as one of the most innovative acts in rap history, De La Soul made their mark particularly in the early 90s when they created a peace-loving sound that combated the harsh lyrics and nature of the gangsta rap scene that was popular during that time.
Jolicoeur, a Brooklyn, NY native is widely considered to be one of the most influential hip-hop artists of the 1980s and 1990s to produce music in the genre that reflected a gentler tone.
De La Soul other members Vincent Manson, known as Mase, and Kelvin Mercer, known as Posdnuos, along with Trugoy formed the rap trio in 1988 after attending high school together in Amityville, New York.
De La Soul released their debut album “3 Feet High and Rising” in 1989 which included the hit “Me, Myself and I.” It spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album’s interlude skits, conceptual sound and samplings of James Brown’s music influenced artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and N.W.A. to emulate the group’s unique style.
“I think the element of that time of what was taking place in music, hip-hop, and our culture, I think it welcomed that and opened up minds and spirits to see and try new different things,” Jolicoeur told Billboard last month.
Over the course of their performing career, De La Soul was nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning one for best pop collaboration with vocals for “Feel Good Inc.” in 2006.
“The Magic Number,” another song off their debut album “3 Feet High and Rising,” was featured as the end-credit song in “Spider-man: No Way Home” in 2021.
Following news of Trugoy’s death, many in the music community paid their respects to one of their own. Erick Sermon of EPMD fame called De La Soul “one of the best rap groups” in rap history in an Instagram tribute to Trugoy.
“This just shattered me. RIP Trugoy the Dove, Plug Two,” A-Trak wrote. “Hard to express how much De La means to me. The artistry, the creativity, the humor, the wisdom, and just the overall dopeness. Buhloone Mindstate shaped me. All the albums, but that one in particular. Fuck.”
Sadly, his death comes just weeks before the pioneering hip-hop group’s key catalog will finally become available on streaming services. Their 1989 album, “3 Feet High and Rising,” is universally recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time but has been held back from streaming services due to longstanding legal battles over sample clearances and other matters.
The group had been in a two-year battle with Tommy Boy Records in the late 2010s, but retrieved their masters in Aug. 2021. Next month, they’ll be re-releasing