"We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture": music world pays tribute to De La Soul's Trugoy

Trugoy on stage
(Image credit: Getty)

Yesterday it was announced that Dave 'Trugoy' Jolicoeur, one third of legendary hip hop trio De La Soul, has died aged 54. The news has prompted a wave of tributes from the music industry, with fellow hip hop royalty amongst those honouring the Brooklyn-born icon, who was introduced to a whole new generation via his appearance and co-writing credit on Gorillaz' smash hit 2005 single, Feel Good Inc.

"We lost another legend of hip hop music and culture in my brother Trugoy aka Dave of De La Soul," Tweeted Cypress Hill's B Real. "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."

"Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has gone up to be with the day of the stars with the Master," said Pharrell Williams. "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

"Oh man, Plug Two aka Trugoy," said The Charlatans' Tim Burgess. "One third of one of hip hop’s finest - such an influence on all who came after, gone way too soon."

"Rest In Beats my bro," tweeted Public Enemy legend Chuck D, sharing a video of the two beloved MCs together. 

"So sad to hear of our icons of HIP HOP Culture Pass On," noted legendary hip hop producer and one half of Gang Starr, DJ Premier. "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."

"Dave’s voice has been living in my head for decades, lifting my mood whenever I was down and taking me higher whenever I was up," Tweeted Czarface. "RIP Dave aka Trugoy the Dove, one of the best to ever do it…. His innovative, insightful and iconic ways of putting words to wax will live forever."

"Shattered at the news that Trugoy passed away," commented Open Mike Eagle. "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."

Jolicoeur formed De La Soul with school friends Kelvin Mercer (AKA Posdnuos) and Vincent Mason (AKA Maseo) in the late 80s, releasing their critically acclaimed debut album, 3 Feet High And Rising, in 1989. They'd go on to release seven more studio albums as a three-piece, the most recent of which, And The Anonymous Nobody..., was released in 2016.

The news confirming Jolicoeur's death comes soon after it was revealed that De La Soul's first six albums, including 3 Feet High And Rising, are finally coming to streaming services in March, with a series of physical reissues and upcoming tour dates also recently confirmed. Posdnuos and Maseo made a brief appearance at the star-stacked Grammys hip hop tribute earlier this month.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.