David Jude Jolicoeur, known by his stage name Trugoy the Dove and one of the founding members of the iconic hip hop trio De La Soul, has died. A representative confirmed the news to AllHipHop. A cause of death has not yet been disclosed, though Trugoy had been open about his struggles with congestive heart failure in recent years. He was 54 years old.
Trugoy, also known as Plug 2, grew up in East Massapequa on Long Island. He formed De La Soul in 1988 alongside his high school friends Vincent Mason (aka Maseo) and Kelvin Mercer (aka Posdnuos). The following year, the group released their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, beginning a fruitful collaboration with producer Prince Paul that spawned two more LPs, 1991’s De La Soul Is Dead and 1993’s Buhloone Mindstate – one of the greatest three-album runs in history.
De La Soul’s fourth album, 1996’s Stakes Is High, was mainly produced by themselves, and the group released three more albums in the early 2000s: Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump in 2000, AOI: Bionix in 2001, and The Grind Date in 2004. In 2005, they appeared on Gorillaz’s hit ‘Feel Good Inc.’, which won De La Soul their first Grammy, for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. In 2012, Trugoy collaborated with Posdnuos for the concept album Plug 1 & Plug 2 Present… First Serve, and the group reconvened for 2016’s And The Anonymous Nobody…, their ninth and most recent album.
De La Soul’s innovative use of sampling opened up new avenues for hip-hop, but sample clearances led to legal problems that prevented the group from releasing their music on streaming services. Earlier this year, however, it was announced that their first six studio albums would finally be arriving on digital platforms on March 3.
“We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture in my brother Trugoy aka Dave of De La Soul,” Cypress Hill’s B-Real wrote on Twitter. “His music will allow him to live in our hearts and minds as he is gone. But not only was he a great musician but he was a great human being. He meant a lot to us.”