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De La Soul's David Jolicoeur Has Died, aged 54
Christian Eede , February 13th, 2023 14:15

A founding member of the hip hop trio, he commonly performed under the stage name Trugoy The Dove, and later as Dave

David Jolicoeur, founding member of the legendary hip hop trio De La Soul, has died, aged 54.

His passing was confirmed by his representatives, though no cause of death was disclosed at the time. The rapper – who commonly performed under the name Trugoy The Dove – had been open in recent years about various health issues, including issues with congestive heart failure.

Born in Brooklyn in 1968, Jolicoeur was raised by his Haitian-American parents in East Massapequa, Long Island. He met Kelvin Mercer and Vincent Mason – his two-cofounders of De La Soul, who performed as Posdnuos and Maseo respectively – at high school, and they formed the group in 1988.

After linking up with producer Prince Paul, the trio released their 1989 debut album, 3 Feet High And Rising, which has gone on to be considered one of the greatest hip hop records of all-time. Built heavily around samples of jazz and funk music, the album has been cited as a key influence on numerous artists in the decades since, including Mos Def, Pharrell Williams and Tyler, The Creator. The group also emerged as part of a collective of East Coast hip hop acts known as the Native Tongues Posse, which also included A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah and others.

Following the success of 3 Feet High And Rising, the group released records such as 1991's De La Soul Is Dead, 1993's Buhloone Mindstate and 1996's Stakes Is High. In all, the group released eight studio albums, with the last of those, And The Anonymous Nobody..., arriving in 2016. The group also famously appeared on Gorillaz's 2005 hit single 'Feel Good Inc.'.

It was recently announced that the trio's back catalogue would be coming to streaming services for the first time, on March 3. It was widely thought that this hadn't happened sooner due to issues surrounding the clearance of samples on some of the group's earlier releases. The records being made available next month are 3 Feet High And Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix.