The unexpected passing of rap legend Heavy D rocked the world on Tuesday as news spread that the 44-year-old collapsed to his death outside his Beverly Hills condominium residence on Maple Drive.

Heavy D weighed 344 pounds at the time of his passing, California law enforcement officials told TMZ.

The rapper had pneumonia as well, an associate of Heavy D confirmed.

On Tuesday, Heavy D had supposedly just returned home from shopping, walked up some stairs, and then started having trouble breathing. Adams Mills, a designer who lives in Heavy D's building, found the rapper in distress and leaning up against a railing.

Mills then called 911, according to TMZ.

While trying to assist him, Heavy D said to Mills, I can't breathe, I can't breathe.

On his way to the hospital, Heavy D had a pulse. At the hospital, he died.

Residents from the building have told TMZ that they believe Heavy D died of a heart attack. This information is unconfirmed until the autopsy report is released.

An autopsy is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning, although the cause of death will probably take six weeks to officially determine.

Ed Winter, a coroner spokesman, said Heavy D did not have any illegal drugs in his system, reports the L.A. Times.  But it will take some time to determine an exact cause. We need to see what's in his system. 

His weight is being used as one piece of information in the investigation of his sudden death. In 2003, Heavy D lost 135 pounds. He claimed that this dramatic weight loss was for the purpose of getting acting roles and had nothing to do with health concerns.

Authorities do not suspect foul play in this incidence.

Heavy D was one of the most influential rap artists of the 1990s. His hits ranged from Not That We Found Love to the theme song for In Living Color.

In the mid-1990s he became the president of Uptown Records and paved the way for other rappers like the Notorious B.I.G.

He is survived by his daughter, Xea.