Heavy D & the Boyz' debut album, Living Large, finds the group still in a formative stage, but they're already engaging enough to make the record entertaining, if nothing earth-shattering. This being 1987, the production is spare and heavy on the beatbox, with some samples of James Brown and other well-known vintage soul records. As an MC, Heavy D strongly favors swingbeat rhythms at this stage (even saying so at the start of "Here We Go"), and he hasn't yet developed the smooth, resonant delivery that would make his most complex rhymes sound deceptively easy. There isn't as much variety in his subject matter, either -- "The Overweight Lover's in the House," "Chunky but Funky," "Overweighter," and "Mr. Big Stuff" represent a major concentration on the most obvious part of his image, charmingly confident though they are. There are some other cuts geared for the dancefloor, and some freestyle-type lyrics that are well-executed but rather generic. The excitement of landing a recording contract spills over into "Moneyearnin' Mount Vernon" and "I'm Getting Paid," and there's some pleasant filler elsewhere. But overall, Heavy D hadn't yet hit his stride; that would happen the next time out.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey