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R&B Legend Henry Fambrough of The Spinners Dies at 85

Henry Fambrough (second from right) as part of The Spinners in 1954.
Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the iconic R&B group The Spinners, died
peacefully at his home in northern Virginia on Wednesday. He was 85.

Fambrough's passing was confirmed by group spokesperson Tanisha Jackson, who stated he died of natural causes.

The Spinners, known for hits like "It's a Shame," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "The Rubberband Man," were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November 2023. Fambrough, along with Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, Philippé Wynne and John Edwards, were honored as inductees.
The group announced Fambrough's death on their Instagram account, calling him a "founding member of the legendary R&B/Soul vocal group" and praising his "euphonious baritone voice" and captivating stage presence.

Fambrough, an Army veteran known for his signature handlebar mustache, was a key member of The Spinners during their classic hitmaking era, contributing to songs like "Ghetto Child," "I Don't Want To Lose You" and "Just As Long As We Have Love." He was the last surviving member of the group's original lineup, which also included Bobbie Smith, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson and Philippe Wynne.

The Spinners achieved widespread success, earning numerous accolades throughout their career, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and their recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Fambrough is survived by his wife of 52 years, Norma, daughter Heather Williams, son-in-law Ronald, sister Martha, and other extended family and friends.

Actor and NFL Veteran Carl Weathers Dies at 76

Photo Credit: Luigi Novi, via Wikimedia Commons
Carl Weathers, the renowned actor and former NFL player, died peacefully in his sleep on Monday at the age of 76. His manager, Matt Luber, confirmed the news.

Weathers carved his name in cinematic history with his iconic portrayal of Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" series, alongside Sylvester Stallone. His career, spanning decades, showcased remarkable versatility as he seamlessly transitioned between action-packed roles like "Predator" and "Action Jackson" and comedic performances in "Happy Gilmore" and "Arrested Development."

Weathers' impact extended beyond the big screen. He voiced Combat Carl in the "Toy Story" franchise and lent his comedic talent to the popular series "Arrested Development." Despite his fame, he remained grounded, expressing gratitude for his journey.

Before Hollywood, Weathers played football, excelling at San Diego State University and spending a season with the Oakland Raiders before joining the Canadian Football League. He later earned a B.A. in drama, returning to his passion for acting.

In addition to his acting prowess, Weathers harbored a lesser-known love for music. He released a single, "That's Love Calling," in 1981, showcasing his vocal abilities.

Survived by his two sons, Weathers leaves behind a legacy of captivating performances, diverse talent, and an enduring impact on film and television.

'Something Wrong is Going On': Family Members Raise Alarm in Wendy Williams Documentary

A bombshell trailer for Lifetime's "Where is Wendy Williams?" sent shockwaves through fans Friday, raising questions about the former talk show host's well-being. Executive-produced by Williams herself, the two-part documentary promises an unfiltered look at her life, career and recent struggles.

The trailer opens with Williams declaring, "From 6 years old, all I wanted was to be famous." It then charts her journey from aspiring radio personality to becoming the beloved "Queen of Daytime" talk TV, captivating audiences for 12 years with her unfiltered opinions and bold persona.

But the tone shifts abruptly as the trailer declares, "At the peak of her career, she was gone." This leaves viewers wondering about the circumstances surrounding her sudden departure from the spotlight.

Williams' deep desire to return to television is revealed. "All I know how to do is be famous," she says, "I really want to be back on television." However, her son casts doubt, stating, "I feel as though she's worked enough… she has people around who are yes people and allowing this to continue."

The trailer delves into the controversial 2022 court decision granting Wells Fargo financial guardianship over Williams amid concerns of exploitation. Williams herself vehemently opposes the arrangement, demanding, "Did you see a neurologist to find out if I'm crazy? Oh my God, no! I have no money, and I'm going to tell you something, if it happens to me, it could happen to you." This raises questions about the guardianship system and its potential consequences.

Worrying scenes depict Williams using a wheelchair and struggling to walk, fueling concerns about her physical health. The trailer also shows individuals confronting her with an empty bottle and expressing concerns about memory loss. These visuals, while lacking context, create a sense of unease and speculation.

However, the trailer also highlights Williams' enduring spirit and the support of her family. "I miss my family. I'll be here no matter how many times somebody may fall down," she states.

"Where is Wendy Williams?" premieres February 24th and 25th on Lifetime, aiming to spark conversations about guardianship, support systems and the challenges faced by public figures. The documentary promises to offer a glimpse into the complexities of fame, family dynamics, and navigating personal struggles in the public eye.

Watch the trailer above.

Snoop Dogg's Daughter Cori Broadus, 24, Reveals 'Severe Stroke' on Instagram

Snoop Dogg's daughter Cori (left) suffered a 'severe stroke'. Photo Credit: Instagram/@princessbroadus
Snoop Dogg's daughter, Cori Broadus, 24, suffered a severe stroke earlier on Thursday, she revealed in a series of emotional Instagram posts. Broadus, who has battled lupus since she was 6, shared her shock and confusion after learning of the diagnosis.

"I had a severe stroke this am," she wrote, accompanied by a photo of herself in a hospital bed. "I started breaking down crying when they told me."

The young singer, known by her stage name CHOC, further expressed her disbelief in a subsequent post. "Like I'm only 24," she wrote. "What did I do in my past to deserve all of this?"

Broadus' announcement resonated with her 657,000 followers, sparking an outpouring of support. This isn't the first time she's opened up about her health struggles. In 2021, she spoke candidly about battling mental and physical health issues, including a past suicide attempt.

"Just because my dad is who he is doesn't mean I don't get sad," she shared at the time. "I've been sick, I am sick. It's a lot."

Her father, Snoop Dogg, and his wife Shante have been unwavering in their support throughout her health journey. In fact, Cori's decision to switch to a holistic approach to managing her lupus last year stemmed from a desire to reduce her reliance on medication.

"I've had medication since I was 6 years old, depending on these drugs all my life," she explained to People magazine. "So I kind of just went cold turkey."

Her Instagram posts offered no updates on the type of stroke she experienced or her current medical status. However, the outpouring of love and concern online suggests a close-knit community anxiously awaiting further details.

Memphis Police Seek Suspect in Targeted Shooting That Killed Yo Gotti's Brother

Photo Credit: bigjookcmg/Instagram
The heartbeat of Memphis' music scene fell silent on Saturday when Anthony 'Big Jook' Mims, brother of renowned rapper Yo Gotti, was ruthlessly targeted and fatally shot outside Perignons Restaurant & Event Center in the home of the blues.

The assailants struck during a repast service at 4:15 p.m., leaving Big Jook and another attendee with gunshot wounds. Despite immediate medical attention, Big Jook succumbed to his injuries at the scene, while the second victim is fighting for survival in critical condition.

Deputy Chief Paul Wright, addressing the media in a press conference, asserted, "We believe the individual shot was targeted." While investigators work to unravel the details, Wright urged witnesses to step forward, emphasizing the community's pivotal role in this ongoing investigation.

The motive and identity of the assailants remain elusive, but surveillance footage capturing a white Ford Explorer with black wheels and dark tints leaving the scene is now a focal point in the quest for justice.

The news of Big Jook's untimely demise reverberated through the music industry, casting a shadow over Collective Music Group (CMG), where he played a crucial behind-the-scenes role.

CMG artist GloRilla shared a poignant Grammy Awards photo featuring Yo Gotti and Big Jook, captioned simply, 'Get your rest' with a crying emoji."

Labelmate Est Gee penned a touching tribute, posting a photo with Big Jook and recalling their connection: "Kept it real wit me I could never forget," wrote Gee.

Big Jook's final Instagram post, dated Friday, now carries an eerie resonance. A self-portrait is accompanied by a seemingly prophetic caption: "They don't want to face you they wanna snake you. Stay alert 2 stay alive watch your back at all times."

This devastating loss compounds the grief for Yo Gotti and his family, who had already laid another relative to rest earlier that day. The Grammy-nominated rapper's silence speaks volumes about the tragedy's impact, shining a harsh light on the human cost of violence within the artist community.

The Memphis Police Department implores anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 528-CASH (2274) or online at

Hip-Hop's New Year Revolution: 50 Cent and GloRilla Embrace Celibacy

In a striking departure from the typical "dry January" resolutions, an increasing number of hip-hop heavyweights are opting for a more radical form of self-improvement: celibacy.

This unexpected wave of abstinence, emerging amidst a recent string of industry sex scandals involving everyone from billionaire Bad Boy Diddy to Atlanta power couple T. I. and Tiny and a spate of other examples to numerous to cite here, has sent shockwaves through the music world and sparked conversations about self-mastery, spiritual exploration, and redefining masculinity within the often hyper-sexualized genre.

Leading the charge is rap mogul 50 Cent, whose Instagram post declaring his newfound commitment went viral. "My new idea is so big, I don't have time to be distracted," he wrote, citing meditation and celibacy as tools for laser focus on his goals. "I hope this New Year helps you excel to the next level."

This pledge carries particular weight for 50 Cent, a figure whose own past is deeply intertwined with themes of hyper-masculinity and sexual exploits. Notably, his rise to fame came after surviving nine bullet wounds in a 2000 shooting, an experience that later inspired his hit album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."

His music and public persona often portrayed a toughened image, with lyrics celebrating materialism and sexual conquest. Yet, this recent embrace of celibacy suggests a potential shift in his priorities and a willingness to challenge the expectations traditionally associated with hip-hop masculinity.

Following suit is rising star GloRilla, who updated her followers with a relatable struggle: "Started my 90-day celibacy little thing for New Year's or whatever; I'm on the 9th day & my vision blurry af !!!!! Send help." In an exclusive interview with Billboard, GloRilla opened up about the challenges, stating, "It's not easy, but I'm committed to it. I think it's important to take a break from intimacy and focus on other aspects of life. It's a way to reset and refocus."

GloRilla's journey is particularly intriguing. Gearing up for her highly anticipated album release in early 2024, she's building on the success of a remarkable 2023. A Grammy nomination, a memorable Coachella performance, and a third Billboard Hot 100 entry with Moneybagg Yo's "On Wat U On" paint a picture of an artist on the rise. Now, she navigates the uncharted territory of celibacy, potentially redefining her narrative within the hip-hop landscape.

Beyond 50 Cent and GloRilla, whispers of similar commitments are spreading through the industry. Some artists cite the desire for spiritual growth, while others seek personal transformation or a refuge from the pressures of fame and tabloid scrutiny.

This trend's potential impact remains unclear. Could it be a temporary blip or a lasting shift in hip-hop culture's hypersexualized image? Will it inspire fans to follow suit or ignite debates about masculinity, relationships, and mental health within the industry? One thing is certain: hip-hop's New Year's resolutions are no longer limited to ditching the booze. As these stars trade the hustle for holiness, they raise intriguing questions about the future of sex, relationships, and self-discovery in the world of hip-hop.

Megan Thee Stallion and Planet Fitness Unleash 'Mother Fitness' Campaign for a Healthy New Year

Courtesy Photo
Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion has joined forces with Planet Fitness, one of the largest fitness centers, to launch the "Mother Fitness" initiative. This collaboration not only aims to enhance physical well-being but also seeks to empower communities, eliminate fitness barriers, and raise funds for a meaningful cause.

"Working out is such an integral part of my routine, so this partnership with Planet Fitness genuinely embodies my personal values," expressed Megan Thee Stallion in a statement announcing the collaboration. "We want to encourage everyone to prioritize their physical and mental health heading into the New Year, enabling them to reach new heights in 2024 and continue growing into the best version of themselves."

The "Mother Fitness" campaign spotlights Megan as a fervent advocate for both physical and mental well-being. It encourages individuals to embrace their "Big Fitness Energy" within a supportive and judgment-free environment — a cornerstone value of Planet Fitness.

True to Megan's commitment to philanthropy, the collaboration goes beyond slogans and workouts. An exclusive merchandise line, featuring "Real Hot Girl Fit" bucket hats and "Big Fitness Energy" crewnecks, will be available online. All proceeds will benefit the Pete & Thomas Foundation, Megan's non-profit dedicated to uplifting underserved communities in Houston, Texas, and beyond.

"Music plays a significant role in any fitness routine, so Planet Fitness is thrilled to partner with Megan Thee Stallion to break down the barriers of fitness, encourage everyone to focus on their fitness journeys the 'Judgement Free' way, and channel their Big Fitness Energy," stated Jamie Medeiros, Chief Brand Officer at Planet Fitness. "Megan Thee Stallion embodies all the values of Planet Fitness through her dedication to physical and mental wellness and her powerful message of body positivity, making her an incredible partner for our brand."

The collaboration extends beyond the gym walls, with Megan headlining as the first performer on the Planet Fitness stage at the iconic Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Additionally, Planet Fitness is committed to making fitness accessible to everyone, offering a special $0.24 down, no-commitment membership deal from December 30th to January 12th.

Ciara and Wilson Celebrate Birth of Daughter Amora Princess

Photo Credit: Instagram/Ciara
Singer Ciara and her husband, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, announced the arrival of their third child together, a daughter named Amora Princess Wilson, on Monday.

The couple shared the news on Instagram, posting a heartwarming photo of their newborn daughter snuggled in their hands. "Amora Princess Wilson, 9lbs 1oz. We Love You so much!" the caption read.

Amora joins Ciara and Russell's growing family, which already includes two other children: daughter Sienna Princess (6 years old) and son Win Harrison (3 years old). This brings Ciara's total number of children to four, as she also has a son, Future Zahir Wilburn (9 years old), from a previous relationship with rapper Future.

Ciara's pregnancy announcement in June 2023 was met with excitement from fans and friends. Throughout her pregnancy, she shared glimpses of her journey on social media, documenting her growing baby bump and expressing her joy at becoming a mother again.

Just hours before welcoming their daughter, Ciara and her older children cheered on Russell and the Denver Broncos as they secured a 24-7 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Iconic 'Mr. Big Stuff' Singer Jean Knight Passes at 80

Jean Knight, the iconic voice behind the 1971 chart-topping hit "Mr. Big Stuff," passed away at the age of 80 in Tampa, Florida. The news was confirmed by her family in a statement shared via New Orleans broadcaster LBJ on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday.

In their heartfelt statement, the family expressed the collective sorrow of New Orleans and the music world at the loss of one of their "most treasured musical daughters." Knight, a native of New Orleans, played a vital role in the city's musical legacy.
Her musical journey began with "Doggin' Me Around" on JetStream Records and reached its zenith with the groundbreaking "Mr. Big Stuff" on Stax Records. The song not only showcased her phenomenal talent but also highlighted her dynamic connection with legendary New Orleans producer Wardell Quezerque.
"Mr. Big Stuff," famous for its infectious refrain, "Who do you think you are?," wasn't just a chart-topping anthem; it was a product of soulful, syncopated melodies echoing through the Crescent City. Knight's powerhouse performances at the Essence Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival were legendary, reflecting her sassiness and joyous spirit.
Beyond the stage, Knight's love extended to cooking delicious Creole dishes, celebrating Mardi Gras, and serving on the Louisiana Music Commission. Her resilience and determination led to the formation of her label, Comstar, granting her creative freedom while staying true to her musical traditions.

Over the years "Mr. Big Stuff" has been sampled by numerous artist, including John Legend, TLC, Heavy D & the Boyz, Everclear and Eazy E. It was also used in various advertising campaign, most notably one extolling the virtues of Oreo cookied.

In the 1990s, the resurgence of "Mr. Big Stuff" attested not only to the timeless quality of her music but also to the enduring love of her fans. Over one million additional copies were sold, solidifying the song as a staple in the hearts of fans worldwide.

Snooze Button for Snoop: A New Dawn as the Doggfather Puts Down the Blunt

Photo Credit: Instagram/snoopdogg
It's been a rough day for fans of the sticky-icky.

In a twist that would make Willie Nelson's pigtails curl, Snoop Dogg, the iconic hip-hop maestro and marijuana connoisseur, declared on Thursday that he's bidding farewell to the art of smoking.

The announcement, made via the rapper's Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) accounts, left fans and skeptics alike wondering if the Doggfather himself is truly parting ways with the herb that has been synonymous with his persona for decades.

The unexpected revelation comes on the heels of Snoop Dogg's previous statements earlier this year, where he expressed his intention to cut down on smoking after embracing the role of grandfatherhood. The 50-year-old, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, confessed to the Daily Mail in March that becoming a grandfather prompted a profound shift in his perspective.

"Being a grandfather has changed me in multiple ways," he revealed. "The main way is being concerned with how I live, how I move, the kind of people I'm associated with because I want to see my grandkids grow old. The only way I can do that is to take precautionary steps as far as how I move, who I hang out with, where I go out, my intake, what am I intaking. Am I doing extra-curricular or am I just doing what I'm supposed to be doing?"

This surprising pivot from the marijuana advocate, whose name has practically become synonymous with weed, raises eyebrows and sparks curiosity about what led to this change of heart.

Snoop Dogg's relationship with marijuana has been as iconic as his music career. The rapper has unabashedly celebrated his affinity for cannabis, even famously lighting up a joint while strutting down the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards in 2021. 

His devotion to the green extends beyond recreational use; in 2015, he launched his own line of marijuana products, Leafs by Snoop. Additionally, in 2019, an Israeli start-up promoting home-grown marijuana enlisted the rapper as a brand ambassador.

As fans grapple with this unexpected twist in the Doggfather's journey, one can't help but wonder if this decision is a temporary pause or a definitive farewell to a lifestyle that has defined Snoop Dogg as much as his music has. Only time will tell if the hip-hop legend's next chapter will be written in smoke or fresh mountain air.

B-Rock and The Bizz Rapper Paul Costict Passes Away at 57

Courtesy Photo 
Paul Costict, a hip-hop pioneer and member of the '90s rap collective B-Rock and The Bizz, has passed away suddenly at the age of 57, leaving the music community in mourning.

The news of Costict's unexpected demise was confirmed by an unidentified family member who spoke to TMZ. According to reports, he died at his residence in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday. As of now, the exact cause of his death remains undisclosed.

Costict rose to prominence as a member of B-Rock and The Bizz, a group known for their 1997 hit single "My Baby Daddy." The song achieved remarkable success, securing a place in the top ten on the Billboard charts and earning gold certification. While the group is often labeled as a one-hit wonder, their musical legacy endures in the hip-hop community.

In 2022, their influence reached a new generation when global superstar Rihanna was seen wearing a t-shirt with the phrase "dat's just my baby daddy" during her pregnancy, paying tribute to B-Rock and The Bizz.

Thaddeus T-Bird Maye, a former bandmate of Costict, paid an emotional tribute to the late musician. "This one really hit home. I got tears in my eyes as I post this. PAUL COSTICT was a very funny and Kool brother. We go way back to Blount High School," said Maye. "He was so funny. Love you, brother. Rest in peace. Please keep me and his family in your PRAYERS."

B-Rock and The Bizz, consisting of Costict, Baron "B-Rock" Agee, Leevirt Agee, and Maye, emerged from Mobile, Alabama, in 1986, making history as the first rap group from the city. Their signature hit, "My Baby Daddy," propelled them into the national spotlight, earning gold certification and securing a place in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

'Shaft' Icon Richard Roundtree, Who Showcased Musical Talents, Passes at 81 After Cancer Battle

Richard Roundtree, the legendary actor celebrated for his groundbreaking portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the iconic 1971 film "Shaft," passed away Tuesday at the age of 81 following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

The confirmation of Roundtree's passing was provided by his manager, Patrick McMinn, who had been managing his career since 1987. McMinn, in a statement, reflected on Roundtree's profound impact on the film industry. He stated, "Richard's work and career served as a turning point for African American leading men in film. The impact he had on the industry cannot be overstated."

Roundtree's remarkable journey began with a modeling career, but at the age of 28, he secured the role of John Shaft in the iconic "Shaft" film. The action-packed movie, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, achieved tremendous success, grossing $12 million against a meager budget of $500,000 and helping rescue the studio from financial woes. It set the stage for an era of prolific Blaxploitation filmmaking and underlined the historical oversight of Black talent by Hollywood.

However, Roundtree's influence extended far beyond the silver screen. In 1972, he ventured into the world of music with the release of his debut album, "The Man from Shaft." This musical project marked a distinct departure from his tough-guy image as a private investigator and showcased his versatility as an artist.

"The Man from Shaft" was a unique creation, with Roundtree's singing debut produced by the accomplished musician Gene McDaniels. McDaniels, known as a singer, songwriter, and producer, played a pivotal role in shaping the album's sound. Roundtree's vocals were complemented by a talented ensemble of musicians, including jazz luminaries such as Hubert Laws, Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, Sonny Fortune and Billy Harper. This collaboration resulted in a musical fusion that combined elements of jazz and funk, creating a distinctive and memorable sound.

The lead track of the album, "Gets Hard Sometimes," exemplified the fusion of genres, incorporating a funky groove that bore the hallmark of McDaniels's musical style. While "The Man from Shaft" did not achieve widespread commercial success, it represented a significant and memorable project in Roundtree's artistic journey, highlighting his willingness to explore different creative avenues beyond acting.

Roundtree's groundbreaking role in "Shaft" led to two rapid sequels, "Shaft's Big Score" and "Shaft in Africa," as well as a short-lived 1973 "Shaft" television series on CBS, which he viewed as a less favorable chapter in his illustrious career.

As the years went by, Roundtree's career continued to flourish, extending beyond his initial stardom. He featured in films such as "Earthquake," "Man Friday" alongside Peter O'Toole and Larry Cohen's monster comedy "Q — The Winged Serpent." In addition to his film work, he made notable guest appearances on television, including roles in "Roots," "Magnum P.I." and "The Love Boat."

In 2000, Roundtree revisited the world of "Shaft" in John Singleton's revival of the franchise, co-starring with Samuel L. Jackson, who played a character related to Roundtree's original private eye. This collaboration continued in 2019 with Tim Story's comedic take on the series.

Born on July 9, 1942, in Rochester, New York, Roundtree briefly attended Southern Illinois University before embarking on his modeling career. In the late '60s, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company, which initiated his involvement in New York stage productions.

Roundtree's remarkable career spanned over five decades, and his portrayal of Shaft, his contributions to genre filmmaking, and his captivating screen presence added vibrancy to films like "Se7en," "Brick" and "Speed Racer." His recent work included a role in "Moving On," a comedy featuring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was later released in theaters.

He was married twice, first to Mary Jane Grant from 1963 to 1973, and later to Karen M. Cierna from 1980 to 1998. He is survived by his four daughters, Nicole, Tayler, Morgan and Kelli Roundtree, as well as his son, James.

"Legendary DJ and Producer DJ Mark The 45 King Passes at 62

45 King Boiler Room DJ set (Screengrab: YouTube)
DJ Mark The 45 King, an icon in the world of hip-hop renowned for his groundbreaking work as a producer and DJ, has passed away at the age of 62. His death was confirmed by DJ Premier, who described him as an "ICON."

While the specific cause of his passing remains undisclosed, the news comes shortly after DJ Mark The 45 King celebrated his 62nd birthday on October 16, marking a somber moment in the realm of music.

Known as Mark Howard James in private life, DJ Mark The 45 King hailed from the Bronx, New York, and commenced his illustrious DJ career in the mid-1980s. He adopted the moniker "45 King" due to his unique ability to craft beats from old 45 RPM records, setting the stage for his distinctive approach to music production.

His career trajectory saw a meteoric rise with the release of the breakbeat track "The 900 Number" in 1987, a composition that has inspired countless artists through its samples. Inextricably tied to the Flavor Unit, a renowned collective of artists, DJ Mark The 45 King lent his production talents to a lineup that included luminaries like Queen Latifah, Chill Rob G, Lakim Shabazz and Apache.

One of his most significant career milestones came in 1989 when he made pivotal contributions to Queen Latifah's album "All Hail the Queen." His production on this record is lauded by critics as some of his most exceptional work.

In 1996, DJ Kool, a go-go artist from Washington, D.C., catapulted to success with the hit song "Let Me Clear My Throat," which was set to the backdrop of DJ Mark The 45 King's "900 Number" beat. DJ Kool graciously acknowledged the 45 King as the originator of the song's iconic sound.

The pinnacle of his career arrived in 1998 when he produced "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" for Jay-Z, featuring the memorable chorus from the original cast album of the Broadway musical "Annie." Jay-Z himself hailed DJ Mark The 45 King as a trailblazer in hip-hop during an interview, recognizing his pivotal contributions to the genre.

DJ Premier, a close collaborator and friend of DJ Mark The 45 King, shared his thoughts on the iconic producer's passing, stating, "R.I.P. DJ Mark The 45 King who passed this morning. An ICON. His 62nd Birthday was Monday. I never heard of Gang Starr until I heard DJ Red Alert play their 2nd single Produced by Mark on 98.7 Kiss in NYC while shopping my demos looking to get a record deal."

DJ Premier added, "Mark is responsible for so many classics and was a member of the Iconic Crew FLAVOR UNIT, including Queen Latifah, Latee, Chill Rob G., Lakim Shabazz, Double J, Lord Alibaski, DJ Cee Justice, Apache, Naughty By Nature, Freddie Foxxx, Markey Fresh, Rowdy Rahz, Storm P, Shakim, and many more members. His sound was unlike any other, from his heavy drums to his distinct horns on every production."

Further acknowledging DJ Mark The 45 King's impact, DJ Premier noted, "He got a huge Warner Bros. deal and remixed the Classic Madonna single 'Keep It Together' and the raw remix of Eric B. & Rakim 'I Know You Got Soul.' The '900 Number' is a Super Classic, Queen Latifah's 'Wrath Of My Madness,' 'Ladies First' with Monie Love, Chill Rob G's 'Court Is In Session,' Latee's 'Cuts Got Flavor,' the Historical Jay-Z hit 'Hard Knock Life,' and Eminem's 'Stan,' to name a few of his catalog that will forever ring bells."

Throughout his distinguished career, DJ Mark The 45 King provided beats for a multitude of celebrated artists, including Eric B. & Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Madonna and Eminem.

Latto Breathes New Life Into Halls Cough Drop Packaging

Photo Credit: Nate Hurtsellers, Director of Photography
Grammy-nominated rapper Latto is teaming up with Halls to breathe fresh air into their cough drop wrappers. These limited-edition wrappers, set to debut on October 4th, feature 16 distinct pep talks inspired by Latto's chart-topping hits.

"The Halls brand is excited to see this partnership come to life and for people to check out the new limited-edition packaging," said Alex Derrig, Halls Brand Manager, in a statement announcing the partnership. "As someone who knows the importance of having reliable sore throat relief, and who offered a modern voice to the brand's iconic pep talks, there was no better partner for this campaign than Latto."

This marks the first time Halls has revamped their pep talks in over a decade.While this partnership may seem unusual, it reflects the growing trend of artists dipping their toes into diverse industries. For Latto, this venture is an opportunity to connect with her fans in a unique and unexpected way.

"Working with Halls has been an incredible experience," said Latto. "Halls has always been my go-to when my throat is irritated, and the pep talks on the wrappers provide lighthearted emotional relief when I'm not feeling my best. Fans are always on the lookout for what lyrics I'm working on and what's coming next for me - which is why I can't wait for people to check out my new lines on the limited-edition wrappers, and I hope they can help make someone's day a little brighter."

Starting at $14.99, the Latto x Halls Honey Lemon Share Jar (250 ct) will be available on while supplies last.

Grammy-Winning Rapper Krayzie Bone Fights Offstage Battle in ICU

Photo Credit: Instagram/krayzie_bone
Krayzie Bone, a prominent member of the legendary rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, has shared a recent health update following his week-long battle in the intensive care unit of a Los Angeles-area hospital. Krayzie, whose real name is Anthony Henderson, has faced serious health challenges in recent weeks.

The 50-year-old rapper was hospitalized last month after experiencing severe health issues, including coughing up blood. He has since undergone surgeries for internal bleeding and required the assistance of a ventilator.

On Tuesday, he took to social media, posting a photo of himself from his hospital bed, where he revealed that he had been fighting for his life for nine consecutive days. He attributed his recovery to his faith, stating, "I only won the battle this time because I know Jehovah God was with me every step of the way fighting for me."

Krayzie Bone expressed his gratitude to fans for their support and prayers during his challenging ordeal.

The Cleveland native, is renowned as a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a pioneering group in the melodic rap genre that emerged in the early 1990s. The group's unique style and harmonies propelled them to the mainstream, and they achieved considerable success, including winning a Grammy for "Tha Crossroads."

He has faced health issues related to sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs. He has previously postponed tour dates due to his health condition.

While his hospitalization has brought concern, his recent update provides a glimmer of hope for his fans and supporters as he continues his journey to recovery.

The cause of his hospitalization remains undisclosed, and medical professionals are closely monitoring his condition.