David Jolicoeur, De La Soul Rapper Trugoy the Dove, Dead at 54

One of hip-hop's pioneers has died. David Jolicoeur of De La Soul, also known as Trugoy the Dove, died after battling an undisclosed illness. The rap trio is credited for being prolific storytellers and a stark contrast to gangsta rap that took over the 1990s. Their lyrical content included a broad vocabulary that hadn't been used prior in the genre. Jolicoeur was 54. His death was confirmed by the group's publicist, Tony Ferguson. In recent years, he'd battled congestive heart failure. 

De La Soul burst onto the scene in 1989. Though hip-hop was still new to music, they commercialized it a bit more with their sense of humor and unique style. Hailing from Long Island, their image was clean, and their content was smart. Their upbringing so close to the birthplace of hip hop is what they attributed to their success. "The island has given us the opportunity to see more things," Jolicoeur told The New York Times in 2000. "It broadened our horizons. We had the opportunity to soak in a lot more. And that's why we are who we are today."

Their debut album was titled 3 Feet High Rising, and spawned the popular singles "Say No Go" and "Eye Know." Later albums included 1991's De La Soul Is Dead, 1993's Buhloone Mindstat, and 1996's Stakes Is High.

Legal troubles would interrupt their ability to release music. Even in the wake of the digital age, where music became available for streaming and downloads, their catalog was difficult to find. 

According to the New York Times, they had trouble clearing samples they used. But legal problems related to its samples became the bane of the group. But recently, the group cleared those samples and was prepping to release their musical digitally this spring.