RIP Dave: De La Soul’s Trugoy the Dove helped define an era within THE era

Feb 13, 2023

By now most of us have heard the tragic news – Trugoy the Dove, aka Plug 2, aka Dave – has died. Preliminary reports did not include a cause of death, but Dave did have conjestive heart failure and discussed his health issues with fans and the media.

For some of us, when we heard the news the first thing we thought of was how important De La Soul is to the overall picture of hip hop history.

First, they imagined being a hip hop group that didn’t have to adhere to the stereotypical image of being rappers in the late 80s/early 90s – gold chains, fat rides, and gun play. They didn’t do any of that shit, and that is what made them so attractive to those of us who loved the gold chain/fat ride/gun play hip hop.

The point of De La Soul was that they were all just being themselves, and reminding us that it was ok for us to be ourselves as well.

A weird revelation happened to some fans of De La, including me, when I watched De La Soul Is Not Dead, the Robert Kenner documentary from 2016. In it, the group describes the unintentional branding of the group as a hippie hip hop band, due to the artwork associated with the debut masterpiece 3 Feet High and Rising.

Most fans just loved the juxtaposition of a group not trying to be tough during an era where every group was trying to be tough.

Dave was the member many of us pictured when listening to their music, as his image seemed to capture the apex between the hardness of the hip hop artist with the softness of the art. His death, similar to the passing of Beatie Boys’ Adam Yauch, leaves the group without an original member too vital to the overall catalogue to even think of replacing.

From how they sampled to how they dressed, from the artwork to the era in which they thrived, there will never be another group like De La Soul, or another rapper like Plug 2.


Rest in peace, Dave.

Contributing Writers

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