For several years, Dwayne Muhammad dedicated himself not only through his love of promoting local and national artists, but also through his work as an activist to bring about progress for his community and its people as a whole. But unexpectedly, that same community has now said goodbye to a man who was known as a mentor and a friend. Muhammad, 40, passed away on Dec. 3 of a sudden heart attack.
“I did not know how much of an impact my son had on artists around the world until I looked at his Facebook page. I’m getting over 100 phone calls and texts messages a day,” said Shirley Muhammad, Dwayne’s mother. “I am doing okay and he is not going to be missed because we will keep his legacy going. It (his legacy) did not end, it’s just beginning.”
Muhammad attended Schenley High School and was the founder of the concert promotions company 360 Entertainment and the Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards, an annual awards ceremony to pay homage to those talented individuals working within the local hip-hop community.
Paradise Gray, local activist and hip-hop artist said, “Dwayne Muhammad was a very important piece in the history of Pittsburgh hip-hop and independent hip-hop across the nation.” He added that Muhammad was able to help young people of Pittsburgh take their talent and effectively learn the business side and was instrumental in paving the way for local hip-hop artists to go from the Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards to the Grammys.
“It is definitely going to take a lot of people to step up to fill the void that has been left,” Gray said.
Along with his work, Muhammad’s mother said he was one of the original local organizers of the Million Man March and active in the Nation of Islam’s Ghana Mission, but most of all he was a family man.
Muhammad leaves behind his mother Shirley Muhammad; father Terrance Fikes; four children Dwayne Jr., Darrelle, Akbar and Imani Muhammad; a granddaughter Nyla; and a host of other family and friends.
Muhammad’s service was held Dec. 6 at Sheffield Funeral Home in the North Side and he was buried at Homewood Cemetery.