Tributes are pouring in from across the music industry for De La Soul legend David Jolicoeur, better known as Trugoy and Plug Two. No cause of death had been confirmed at the time of writing. Rolling Stone independently confirmed the news, which was was first reported by AllHipHop.com.
As one third of De La Soul alongside Posdnuos and Maseo, Trugoy’s influence on hip-hop via classics such as 3 Feet High And Rising and De La Soul Is Dead cannot be overemphasised, contributing to a sonic, aesthetic and intellectual revolution in the genre in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Indeed, in 2011, 3 Feet High And Risng was inducted into the National Recording Registry for being deemed as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress.
News of Trugoy’s passing comes, sadly, just weeks after the group announced they had achieved their dream of seeing their catalogue finally start to appear on streaming services for the first time.
The hip-hop trio had previously been destined for DSPs in 2019 but ended up falling out with label Tommy Boy. The company has since been acquired by Reservoir, and the group’s catalogue will be distributed by Reservoir-owned Chrysalis Records. Following the Tommy Boy acquisition in 2021, the Reservoir and Chrysalis teams have worked with De La Soul, and their record label, AOI, to bring their music to digital streaming services.
De La Soul’s first six albums – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989), De La Soul Is Dead (1991), Buhloone Mindstate (1993), Stakes Is High (1996), Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump (2000) and AOI: Bionix (2001) – will be available on March 3, 2023.
A host of rappers, artists, journalists, DJs and more have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to the fallen star.
#RestInBeats my Bro #Dave #Trugoy #DeLaSoul forever ?@hiphopgods? pic.twitter.com/bS5thhyOA1— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) February 12, 2023
The saddest news.— Jasmine Dotiwala (@jasminedotiwala) February 12, 2023
Rapper, producer and one third of the legendary Hip Hop trio @WeAreDeLaSoul Dave/ Trugoy the Dove has died.
What a sweet character.
A staple part of me falling in love with the culture.
Thanks for the music, legend ?????? pic.twitter.com/aVl5ehmmun
Rest In Peace Trugoy of De La Soul.— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) February 12, 2023
This is devastating news. Plug Two forever. pic.twitter.com/Uv5zHxIBEt
shattered at the news that Trugoy passed away. as many times as I've said it there's still no way to adequately describe how much De La Soul's music and existence means to me. my heart goes out to Posdnous, Mase and all of their families. what a fucking enormous loss.— open michael eagle (@Mike_Eagle) February 12, 2023
Ahhh man Rest In Peace Trugoy the Dove ???????? one of Long Island’s greats. Innovator game changer Legend. Made beautiful music— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 12, 2023
De La Soul - Plug 2 #HipHop #King #GoldenEra pic.twitter.com/VOoll0sBcj
RIP TRUGOY of DE LA SOUL. A PIONEER!— JPEGMAFIA (@jpegmafia) February 12, 2023
You don't understand what De La Soul means to me. Their existence said to me, a black geek from Connecticut that yes, hip-hop belongs to you too, and Trugoy was the balance, McCartney to Pos Lennon, Keith to his Mick. This is a huge loss.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) February 12, 2023
Just heard the news and it’s hard to take in…RIP Trugoy. A true legend, huge loss to hip hop - the stuff him and De La Soul did can not be measured easily. Historical work, much love to his family ?????????pic.twitter.com/zRJrx92SYq— Crate 808 (@Crate808) February 12, 2023
Trugoy? That one really hurts. RIP to a legend and one third of the greatest rap group of all time.— Andrew Emery (@drewhuge) February 12, 2023
Absolutely terrible news. Rest flower power Trugoy The Dove. Thank you for giving De La Soul to the world. Go in peace. Your memory is a blessing. ????— The Blessed Madonna (@Blessed_Madonna) February 12, 2023
2023 continues to be a litany of lost heroes. RIP Trugoy The Dove https://t.co/vWx31BAYkX— John Mulvey (@JohnRMulvey) February 12, 2023
Three will always be the magic number… ????#trugoythedove #RIP #delasoul #plugtwo #forever pic.twitter.com/vNrNLxIYb1— Phil Alexander (@PhilAlexanderUK) February 12, 2023
Oh man, Plug Two aka Trugoy. One third of one of hip hop’s finest - such an influence on all who came after, gone way too soon— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) February 12, 2023
Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has gone up ?? to be with the day of the stars with the Master.— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) February 13, 2023
Sending love, light and positive vibrations to his family, The Soul and everyone whose lives have been touched by his existence.
Oodles and Oodles and Oodles of O’s ???????????????????????????????????????
So sad to hear of our icons of HIP HOP Culture Pass On...— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) February 13, 2023
We will miss you Trugoy The Dove (Plug 2) Dave Jolicoeur of DE LA SOUL...Our memories together are endless.
Condolences to your family and salute Pos, Maseo and Smiles. @WeAreDeLaSoul
We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture in my brother Trugoy aka Dave of De La Soul. 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 ???????? pic.twitter.com/5PlZWX65CF— B Real ™ (@B_Real) February 12, 2023
You had to be there. I’m glad I was. Feels like a family member has passed. The spirit never dies. And neither does this music. My deepest condolences to family & friends of Trugoy aka Plug 2 of @wearedelasoul.— DJ Soul Sister (@djsoulsister) February 13, 2023
????: “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’” - De La Soul, 1991. pic.twitter.com/NDSGmE4FWv
RIP TRUGOY THE DOVE, PLUG TWO ?????— kaytra-NADA (@KAYTRANADA) February 12, 2023
February 13, 2023
An enormous loss.— Rough Trade (@RoughTrade) February 13, 2023
RIP Trugoy the Dove.
Innovator, game changer, friend and inspiration to many.
De La Soul forever.
Photo by Film Magic/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/H5eWKXGUoo
You have no idea how much pain in this last year . Dave love you bro ?? a blessing we got a chance to unite again .Divine power . Literally no words anymore ????. De la soul forever ????????— DJ Prince Paul (@DJPrincePaul) February 12, 2023
God bless Trugoyhttps://t.co/1C2TQZD9Of— Mark Lamarr (@lamarr_mark) February 13, 2023
De La Soul forever. pic.twitter.com/AqTp8r5O7P— Phonte (@phontigallo) February 12, 2023
Photo: Matthew Eisman, Getty