The Overweight Lover Heavy D was quite prolific in the early ’90s. He released three albums before the decade had even reached its midpoint: 1991’s Peaceful Journey, 1993’s Blue Funk and 1994’s Nuttin’ But Love. After mourning the loss of childhood friend and Heavy D & The Boyz member Trouble T. Roy on Peaceful Journey and switching his sound up to something more gritty on Blue Funk, the Hevster was ready to stir the pot once again on Nuttin’ But Love. But would his previously adoring public be ready for another change from Heavy amidst gangsta rap, the rise of the West Coast and Southern fried hip-hop on the come up?
If Heavy D had any worries, then they were unwarranted as the reception for Nuttin’ But Love was mad positive when it dropped in May 1994. Just in time for the summer, Hev and his Boyz — Eddie F. and G-Whiz –took it back to the dance floor on this album like he did in 1989 on his sophomore set, Big Tyme, which not only showed how light on his feet the big fella was but how smooth of an operator he was with the ladies. This was an album whose purpose was to get women to move, groove and love Heavy.
Nuttin’ But Love kicked off with “Friends & Respect,” which featured fellow rappers and other celebrities of the day leaving voicemail props on an album well done. The first single was the title track, which found Hev clapping back at the gold diggers of the world, of which he probably ran into his fair share as a rapper. Although he may have been the Overweight Lover, he wasn’t a sucker when he proclaimed, “I got nuttin’ but love for ya, baby,” on a bumpin’ track co-produced by Kid Capri and Heavy himself. The song was already a winner, but the colorful music video took it to another level and became an MTV and BET staple at the time with guest appearances from comedians Chris Tucker and Talent and a bevy of models, including Cynthia Bailey, Beverly Peele and the “Noxema Girl” Rebecca Gayheart.
“Nuttin’ But Love” did fairly well, hitting No. 9 on Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs and No. 13 on the Hot R&B Singles charts, but it was the next single, “Got Me Waiting,” that charted the highest from the album. The “Don’t You Know That” Luther Vandross-sampling song found Heavy in the position of pining over a honey dip and trying to figure her intentions out. Produced by his cousin Pete Rock and co-produced by Hev, “Got Me Waiting” hit No. 1 on Hot Rap Songs, No. 3 on Hot R&B Singles and crossed over to the Hot 100 where it peaked at No. 20. Also included on Nuttin’ But Love was the “Got Me Waiting – Remix” that turned the uptempo dance floor groove into a body rolling slow jam featuring Lil G and his group Silk with a heavy dose of R&B background vocals and ad-libs that were slicker than baby oil.
More upbeat singles and visuals followed from Nuttin’ But Love with Heavy’s ode to the sistas, “Black Coffee,” and his flirty come-on, “Sex Wit You,” both getting that treatment. The singles may have ended there, but good music could be found throughout Nuttin’ But Love. Quite honestly, there wasn’t one bad song to be had here; the album cuts were that good and they fleshed out Heavy’s lover man persona and showcased production from heavy hitters like Marley Marl, Teddy Riley, Erick Sermon and Easy Mo’ Bee.
On “Something Goin’ On” Heavy lamented about the good girl that he lost. “This Is Your Night” was a smooth party record that incorporated two samples — Kool & The Gang‘s “Ladies Night” and George Benson‘s “Give Me the Night” — to great effect. “Take Your Time” saw Heavy spitting hot fire over a Patrice Rushen “You Remind Me” sample. “Spend A Little Time On Top” found Hev flexing about his sexing and his favorite around-the-way destination: going downtown. This was Heavy not just bragging on the “D,” which he made sure to do, but making sure his lady knew that her pleasure was his main objective. Heavy D didn’t miss a beat whether it was on the dance floor or in the bedroom, and he did it tastefully and with nary a cuss word uttered.
Nuttin’ But Love marked the end of an era for Heavy D & The Boyz, with it being the last album that the crew released as a group. Heavy D’s subsequent albums would have solo billing for the rapper, but unfortunately none of these later releases would have the same success as this project. Hev could still rap circles around most, but he never again found that sweet spot that he did on Nuttin’ But Love, which climbed to No. 11 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart and skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Top R&B Albums chart. Although this album isn’t considered a hip-hop classic — an egregious omission if you ask me — it had awesome production, tight wordplay and fantastic tracks that you can still bump to this day. Sadly, Heavy D passed away in 2011, and he isn’t here to see the indelible legacy of that he left behind with Nuttin’ But Love (and his other releases) but his music continues to live on and we’re still crazy about the Overweight Lover Heavy D.