De La Soul co-founder Trugoy the Dove dead at 54
David Jude Jolicoeur, known widely as Trugoy the Dove and one of the founding members of the Long Island hip hop trio De La Soul, has died. He was 54.
His representative Tony Ferguson confirmed the reports Sunday. No other information was immediately available.
In recent years, Jolicoeur, had said he was battling congestive heart failure, living with a LifeVest machine affixed to his person. De La Soul was part of the hip-hop tribute at the Grammy Awards last week, but Trugoy was not onstage with his fellow bandmates.
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'd been going by 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 N.W.A's “Straight Outta Compton” and Public Enemy's “It Takes a Nation of Millions” released just one year prior.
Sampling everyone from Johnny Cash and Steely Dan to Hall & Oates, De La Soul signaled the beginning of alternative hiphop. In Rolling Stone, critic Michael Azerrad called it the first “psychedelic hiphop record.” Some even called them a hippie group, though the members didn't quite like that.
In 2010, “3 Feet High and Rising” was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for its historic significance.
They followed with “De La Soul Is Dead,” in 1991, which was a bit darker and more divisive with critics, and “Stakes is High,” in 1996.