Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2023

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.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

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.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

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.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

'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.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

"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.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

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.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rapper and Actor Nashawn Breedlove, Recognized for '8 Mile,' Passes On at 46

Photo Credit: Patricia Breedlove/Facebook
Nashawn Breedlove, celebrated for his role as Lotto in the 2002 film "8 Mile" and his career in rap music under the name Ox, has tragically passed away at the age of 46. His mother, Patricia Breedlove, confirmed his untimely departure through a heartfelt Facebook post.

"In memory of Nashawn, I want to share his steadfast faith in God and his unwavering dedication to his craft," Patricia Breedlove expressed in a poignant tribute. "His character and strength inspired all who crossed his path."

Breedlove etched himself into the annals of hip-hop history with his unforgettable rap battle against Eminem in "8 Mile," a film loosely inspired by the life of the rap icon.

Beyond his cinematic acclaim, Breedlove made significant contributions to the hip-hop landscape. He lent his talents to the soundtrack of the 2001 film "The Wash," collaborating with hip-hop luminaries Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on the track "Don't Talk Shit."

The New Jersey Department of Health is presently delving into the circumstances surrounding Breedlove's passing, with the exact cause yet to be revealed.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Hip-Hop Icons Unite for Transparent Healthcare: Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes Lead the Way

Hip-hop legends Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, French Montana and Chuck D have joined forces with nonprofit organization Power to the Patients to release a compelling public service announcement. Their message is unequivocal: elected officials must commit to creating a transparent, honest, affordable and equitable nationwide healthcare system.

This call to action coincides with a crucial moment, as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a pivotal healthcare price transparency bill. The artists are uniting their voices to champion robust and meaningful price transparency laws. These laws would mandate that hospitals and insurance companies reveal real, itemized prices for their medical services and procedures.

"For 50 years now, hip-hop has been a reflection of culture and society, including stories of struggle, pain, social injustice, racial inequality, and community marginalization," declare the artists in the PSA. “Today, we confront a healthcare system that has been rigged against all of us. Hospitals force patients to sign contracts for services without ever showing us actual prices."

They assert that this lack of transparency not only stifles competition but also leads to overcharges, financial hardship and widespread patient anxiety. If individuals cannot afford their medical costs, these contracts often enable the confiscation of their possessions, perpetuating a cycle of fear and preventing millions of Americans from seeking necessary medical care. The artists emphasize that this issue constitutes an “American humanitarian crisis” that demands immediate attention.

Power to the Patients, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving comprehensive price transparency in healthcare, plays a central role in these advocacy efforts. The organization supports legislative initiatives at the federal, state, and city levels, firmly holding hospitals and insurers accountable for adhering to existing federal transparency regulations. Power to the Patients aims to ensure that all Americans are informed about their fundamental right to access accurate and transparent healthcare pricing.

This united call for healthcare transparency builds upon the extensive efforts of Power to the Patients and Grammy-nominated artist and philanthropist Fat Joe. Earlier this year, Fat Joe elevated his advocacy to the highest levels, visiting the White House and meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His mission: to champion the rights of millions of patients, families, communities, employees, employers, and unions across the nation who have been adversely affected by the current healthcare system.

In June, Fat Joe and Power to the Patients collaborated with healthcare transparency initiatives led by the New York City Council and various union groups. Their collective efforts culminated in the signing of the Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act by Mayor Eric Adams in June 2023. This groundbreaking legislation established the nation's first Office of Health Care Accountability, enabling New Yorkers to compare healthcare costs charged by different hospitals for identical services.

The stark reality is that over 100 million Americans grapple with medical debt, a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. According to the most recent semi-annual report by the Patient Rights Advocate, only 36% of U.S. hospitals currently comply with the Federal Price Transparency Rule.

This PSA will broadcast on television in Washington, D.C., and be accessible online in select markets across the nation.


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Hip-Hop Icon Juicy J Releases Raw Memoir 'Chronicles of the Juice Man'

Juicy J, a pioneering member of the legendary rap ensemble Three 6 Mafia, has unveiled his life's raw and unfiltered journey in his recently published memoir, "Chronicles of the Juice Man." In exclusive interviews with Good Morning America and the Allison Interviews podcast, Juicy J offered a glimpse into the trials and triumphs that propelled him from a humble beginning to hip-hop superstardom.

Born and raised in Memphis, Juicy J reflected on his upbringing as a young, underprivileged African American. "My roots instilled in me the values of hustle, resilience, and unwavering faith in the face of adversity. Today, I stand here because I never gave up," he shared.

As a pioneering member of Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J and the group boldly ventured into subjects considered taboo in the music industry at the time. "Our lyrics explored uncharted territories — from gritty narratives of drug culture to the mean streets of Memphis, covering the highs and lows. We held nothing back," he reminisced.

When discussing their audacious lyrics, Juicy J explained, "We didn't overthink it. We entered the studio, poured our hearts out, and let the music flow organically. No filters, no inhibitions. We were unapologetically ourselves."

In a poignant revelation during the Allison Interviews podcast, Juicy J candidly discussed his ongoing battle with Xanax addiction and the mental health challenges he's confronted. He underscored the power of resilience and faith, urging others never to give up. "My journey has been marked by trials, guided by a higher purpose. I stand as a testament that, even in the darkest hours, one can emerge victorious," he passionately asserted.

Juicy J also fondly recalled Three 6 Mafia's historic Oscar win for Best Original Song with "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," featured in the film "Hustle and Flow."

In an unexpected twist from the Allison Interviews podcast, Juicy J shared a chance encounter with Hollywood luminary Will Smith on that very night. According to Juicy J, Smith humorously quipped, "Man, I’m just mad ‘cause y’all got one before me." While the exchange carried a playful undertone, Juicy J found it noteworthy, given his profound respect for Smith's musical legacy.

With no signs of slowing down, Juicy J currently serves as the executive producer for Tyler Dollar Sign's upcoming album and produces records for Megan Thee Stallion. Anticipation builds for his upcoming album, "Memphis Zoo," a collaborative venture with Xavier Wolf. Additionally, a significant partnership with the record label 10K Projects, including executive producer roles, lies on the horizon.

"Chronicles of the Juice Man" is now available at major book retailers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tennis Icon Serena Williams Welcomes Daughter Adira with Partner Alexis Ohanian

Photo Credit: Serena Williams/Instagram 

The world of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian expanded today with the joyful arrival of their second child, a baby girl named Adira.

Alexis Ohanian proudly confirmed the heartwarming news through an Instagram post that showcased a poignant family portrait. He expressed his gratitude and happiness in the caption, writing, "Welcome, Adira River Ohanian. I’m grateful to report our house is brimming with love: a contented and healthy newborn girl and a happy and healthy mama. Feeling profoundly grateful. @serenawilliams, you’ve once again bestowed upon me an unparalleled gift – you’re the GMOAT. A heartfelt thank you to all the exceptional medical staff who cared for my wife and our daughter πŸ™. The moment when I introduced @olympiaohanian to her baby sister will forever remain etched in my memory."

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, both accomplished in their respective fields, already share the joy of parenthood with their five-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who was born in September 2017.

The revelation of Williams' second pregnancy took center stage at the 2023 Met Gala, where the tennis icon elegantly displayed her growing baby bump while adorned in a form-fitting black Gucci gown. Confirming the exciting news later on Instagram, Williams shared her enthusiasm about the forthcoming addition to their family.

In a poignant essay for Vogue last year, Williams shared her introspections and aspirations beyond the tennis court. Addressing her journey, she wrote, "I have never embraced the word retirement. It doesn’t resonate as a contemporary term for me. I see this phase as a transition, yet I'm conscious of the significance this term holds within a certain community. Perhaps the word that best captures my current path is 'evolution'." She continued, "I'm here to convey that my path is shifting from tennis towards other meaningful pursuits. A few years ago, I discreetly initiated Serena Ventures, a venture capital enterprise. Shortly after that, I embarked on the journey of motherhood. My intention is to nurture and expand my family."

Monday, August 21, 2023

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Reportedly Welcome Second Child: A Baby Boy

YouTube Screengrab
Global music sensation Rihanna and her partner A$AP Rocky have welcomed their second child, a baby boy, into the world.

According to TMZ, the couple's new addition was born on August 3rd in Los Angeles. While the baby's name remains undisclosed, sources with direct knowledge shared that it begins with the letter "R."

The 35-year-old singer and A$AP Rocky previously became parents in May 2022 with the birth of their first child, a boy named RZA Athelston Mayers, paying homage to music producer and Wu-Tang Clan member, RZA.

TMZ reported the news of the birth, stating, "Sources with direct knowledge tell us the baby arrived August 3rd in Los Angeles. We don't yet know the kiddo's name, but we do know it starts with 'R' and it's a boy."

The Grammy-winning artist, known for her creative approach to sharing personal news, had earlier announced her second pregnancy in a captivating manner. During her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, Rihanna unveiled her growing baby bump by opening her fire red jumpsuit. The announcement created waves of excitement among fans worldwide, who eagerly awaited the arrival of the new member of the family.

Throughout her pregnancy journey, Rihanna continued to captivate audiences with her dynamic presence. Attending prominent events such as the Met Gala and the Academy Awards, the artist effortlessly embraced her maternity style, demonstrating her unique fashion choices. Rihanna shared her approach to maternity fashion in an interview with People, emphasizing that feeling good is closely tied to looking good. "You put some clothes on, and it's like, when you look good, you feel good," she expressed.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Beloved 'Cha Cha Slide' Creator, DJ Casper, Passes Away at 58 After Cancer Battle

Photo Credit DJ Casper/Instagram
DJ Casper, the visionary behind the beloved dance anthem "Cha Cha Slide," has passed away at the age of 58, marking the end of a seven-year battle with cancer.

The news of Casper's demise was conveyed by his wife, Kim, through a statement shared with ABC 7 Chicago. In her heartfelt tribute, Kim described him as a "fun-loving, giving person" and expressed the deep loss felt by all who knew him.

"He was a genuine, family-oriented man," Kim shared, underscoring his strong affinity for the city of Chicago. "He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed."

Born Willie Perry Jr. in Englewood, Chicago, Casper acquired his moniker due to his penchant for wearing white attire during his performances. A pivotal moment in his career emerged in 1998 when he penned the first part of the iconic "Cha Cha Slide" for his nephew, who worked as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness.

The song's simple yet irresistible instructions, such as "Slide to the left" and "reverse," rapidly gained traction in exercise classes and school gymnasiums. This led Casper to release a follow-up version titled "Casper Slide Pt. 2" in 2000, further cementing his place in music history.
Reflecting on the enduring success of his creation, Casper mused in a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, "Well, actually, I'm not really surprised. The song got real hot around 2004. And, I mean, today, they've been playing it like it's brand-new. You can hear it in every stadium, every sporting event. They played it at the Olympics. You hear it everywhere, so I'm not really surprised. I'm just happy it's still going, but I'm not surprised."

Even in the face of adversity, Casper maintained a positive outlook. In 2016, he was diagnosed with both liver and kidney cancer. By 2018, the illness had gone into remission, a testament to his resilience. He dedicated his time to visiting hospitals, engaging with fellow cancer patients, and spreading positivity and encouragement, as revealed in a 2019 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

"I'm here. If God says he's got something else for me to do, he's going to let me continue to see what I'm doing," he said, encapsulating his enduring spirit.

In 2021, marking the 20th anniversary of the dance's creation, Casper orchestrated a global fundraising initiative known as the "Dime Drive." Participants would perform the signature "slide left/slide right/criss-cross" dance he pioneered and donate ten cents toward cancer research, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to the cause.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Megan Thee Stallion Shooting Case: Lanez Sentencing Postponed to Tuesday

Tory Lanez
Hip-hop fans, eager for closure to the legal odyssey that commenced when Canadian rapper Tory Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot after a night of revelry in 2020, found their hopes deferred as the sentencing, originally set for Monday, was rescheduled to Tuesday.

Lanez, known by his legal name Daystar Peterson, stood at the center of an emotional courtroom scene where his father, Sonstar Peterson, a Christian minister, struggled to hold back tears. He recounted the heart-wrenching tragedy of Lanez losing his mother when he was a mere 11 years old. This somber backdrop framed the proceedings for Lanez's sentencing, as he faced charges for shooting and injuring the hip-hop luminary.

Los Angeles prosecutors had initially sought a 13-year sentence for the 31-year-old Lanez. However, the day's events took an unforeseen turn, with the court adjourning without reaching a final verdict. Anticipation now hangs over the courtroom as the proceedings are set to resume tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. local time.

There remain a few unresolved matters to address, including final arguments, before Judge David Herriford pronounces Tory Lanez's fate.

In the midst of the poignant atmosphere, Lanez's father, Sonstar Peterson, offered a glimpse into the artist's psyche, emphasizing that Lanez's mother's passing had left an indelible mark on their youngest child. "But his music became his outlet," he shared, encapsulating the healing power of Lanez's artistic expression.

A chorus of voices, including the mother of Lanez's young son and rapper Iggy Azalea, came forward to vouch for Lanez's character and philanthropic endeavors. In a letter to Judge Herriford, Azalea's plea encouraged a sentence that transforms rather than destroys.

Additionally, it was revealed that Lanez's 6-year-old son had penned a heartfelt letter to the judge, its contents kept confidential. Testifying about Lanez's impact within the correctional facility, a chaplain from Los Angeles County jail attested to the positive influence of Lanez's daily prayer groups in easing tensions within the protective custody unit where he had been held since his conviction in December.

Prosecutors had disclosed the possibility of Megan Thee Stallion providing a statement in court or a statement being read on her behalf. The judge had previously deemed Megan Thee Stallion a particularly vulnerable victim during the shooting incident, though he found no evidence of Lanez's exceptional cruelty or callousness, which could influence the eventual sentence.

Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott highlighted the enduring physical and emotional scars Megan endured due to the incident, emphasizing the gravity of the crime.

In a notable twist, Megan Thee Stallion's voice was heard indirectly. Though absent from the courtroom, her statement was conveyed by DA Kathy Ta. Megan revealed the internal struggle she faced over attending in person, asserting that her absence should be interpreted as a measure to safeguard her mental well-being. Candidly, she expressed the ongoing turmoil she grapples with since the shooting, revealing, "I've not experienced a single day of peace" since Tory's actions. Furthermore, she accused Lanez of misleading others, stating, "He lied to anyone that would listen."

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Jamie Foxx Reemerges With Act of Kindness, Announces Involvement in Luther Vandross Documentary

Screengrab Instagram (@barber_homie_quan)
Jamie Foxx, the multi-talented actor and Grammy-winning musician, has made a remarkable return to the public eye after a period of medical complications.

Foxx, who had not been seen in public for some time, recently caught media attention with a heartwarming act of kindness. He tracked down Terri "Queeni" Glen to return her missing purse.

Glen, who is in Chicago to support her sister in her battle against breast cancer, was riding a pedicab with her sisters on Sunday when they unexpectedly encountered Foxx. Overwhelmed with excitement, Glen eagerly approached the Oscar winner, requesting a hug and expressing her concern for his well-being. Foxx responded with a quote that touched Glen's heart: "I feel good." His smile and genuine appreciation for her inquiry, instead of requesting a picture, left a lasting impression on Glen.

She also noted that Foxx exhibited no speech issues and appeared strong and well. Glen described how Foxx effortlessly got out of his car and approached the pedicab with enthusiasm, confirming his positive state of health in her mind. Foxx's team has dismissed various narratives circulating in the media, including false claims that he was hospitalized after receiving a COVID booster shot or that his family was preparing for the worst.

Following the public appearance, news broke that Foxx is embarking on a new project. He is set to co-produce a feature-length documentary that will delve into the life and career of legendary singer Luther Vandross. This documentary, a collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment's Premium Content Division, Sony Music Publishing, Foxxhole Productions, and Raindog Films, promises an intimate and captivating exploration of his journey as one of the greatest voices in music history.

Foxx's involvement in this project follows a period of medical complications during which he maintained a relatively low profile. Although details regarding his health challenges have been kept private, his act of kindness and return to the spotlight serve as positive indicators of his recovery. Foxx expressed his admiration for Vandross. 

"I think Luther is one of our GOATs," Foxx said in a statement announcing the project. "He's one of the greatest singers in the history of music. It is truly an honor to be a part of the team to help bring this incredible story to the masses."

The documentary, with the full support and participation of the Vandross estate, along with access to his never-before-seen personal archive, aims to capture the essence of his intensely private life, his unwavering passion for music, his global rise and his personal struggles.

Vandross, renowned for his soulful voice and heartfelt ballads, achieved prominence with his debut album, "Never Too Much," released in 1981. Over the course of his career, he earned an impressive 33 Grammy nominations and won eight, solidifying his place as a musical icon.

Sony Music Entertainment's Premium Content Division will distribute the documentary, which is being produced by Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Colin Firth for Raindog Films, and Foxx and Datari Turner for Foxxhole Productions.