De La Soul’s remaining members, Maseo (Mace) and Posdnuos (Pos), honored the life of their fallen friend and bandmate, David “Trugoy The Dove” Jolicoeur on Wednesday (Feb. 22) in two heartfelt tributes on the group’s official Instagram. Both posts featured touching images of Trugoy and the trio overall as Mace and Pos both detailed their personal and professional relationship with the rapper.
For Mace—né Vincent Mason—he thanked Jolicoeur for “having the birds eye view of our collective vision to be a group.”
He continued, “You’ve always had wings, so go on and fly into the light, Merce and I will make sure your legacy is well preserved. “We Are De La Soul” for life and after life, but obviously, it will never be the same […] AMITYVILLE, ALL OF LONG ISLAND AND HIP HOP CULTURE, PLEASE STAND UP AND SALUTE THE LEGENDARY ICON TRUGOY THE DOVE, PLUG 2 AKA DAVE! YOU WILL BE EXTREMELY MISSED AND WAY TO DOPE TO EVER BE FORGOTTEN…I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH BIG BRO.”
For Pos—born Kelvin Mercer—he considered Dove to be “the heart” of De La Soul. “You brought so much creativity, energy, and passion to our music, and your influence will be felt for years to come,” he wrote.
“…Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for the wise words placed in your verses. Thank you for the music you produced that is loved by so many. Thank you for never wanting to compromise the quality of our brand. Thank you for helping us become a group that will remain etched in the timeline of hip hop culture as well as the fabric of music and for now on when we perform ‘Ring Ring Ring Ha Ha Hey’ we will say ‘2-2-2-2-222 we got an angel in heaven who can talk to you,'” Mercer concluded.
Trugoy died at the age of 54 on Feb. 12, 2023. His cause of death has not been confirmed, but he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2017. Prior to his death, the trio announced their music would be arriving on streaming services on March 3. The feat was a longtime goal for the group following their battle with former label Tommy Boy Records and its founder, Tom Silverman.
Tommy Boy Music was acquired by Reservoir for $100 million in 2021, which paved the way for De La to strike a deal with the new owners. Reservoir became vocal about their willingness to “work together” with the trio “to the bring the catalog and the music back to the fans.”