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Hip Hop History - May 24th - Heavy D is Born

Today in hip hop history- Heavy D would have celebrated his 50th birthday and The Beastie Boys classic Licensed To Ill was released.

Legendary rapper Heavy D was born in Jamaica in 1967. His family moved to New York in the 70's where D started his career making music with Heavy D & the Boyz. They would be the first hip hop group signed to Uptown Records and released their debut record Living Large in 1987. Heavy D would later become the president of Uptown Records where he helped to develop the boy band Soul For Real and would later become the vice president of Universal Music Group.

Heavy D & The Boyz - Now That We Found Love ft. Aaron Hall

Music video by Heavy D & The Boyz performing Now That We Found Love. (C) 1991 Geffen Records

Heavy D passed away in November of 2011 just a month after making his return to the stage after a 15 year absence at the 2011 BET Music Awards. D died from a pulmonary embolism that had broken off from a deep vein thrombosis in his leg.

Also on May 24th The Beastie Boys dropped their classic Licensed To Ill catapulting their careers into the mainstream and taking over MTV nearly every day with their irreverent and hilarious music videos.

Beastie Boys - Sabotage

Music video by The Beastie Boys performing Sabotage. (C) 2009 Capitol Records, LLC

Licensed To Ill released in 1986 and was the first hip hop album to top the Billboard charts. It's largely considered a hip hop classic and is revered to this day. But did you know Licensed To Ill almost had a very different - and much more controversial name? Originally the Beastie Boys wanted to title the record "Don't be a Fa**ot" but both the band and Def Jam label head Russell Simmons to change the album title. Ad-Rock has since apologized for the proposed title.