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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.

Pepsi MAX's Campaign Pays Tribute to Biggie's Enduring Influence

Pepsi MAX has announced a collaboration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, paying tribute to the enduring cultural impact of The Notorious B.I.G. through an international campaign.

The campaign, developed in close coordination with Biggie's estate and family, promises an immersive experience that artfully blends his unique personality, style, and lyrical flow with contemporary music, engaging a new generation of fans while honoring the rapper's immeasurable influence on hip-hop and popular culture.

The diverse virtual and physical experiences planned for the celebration will include street art installations in major cities worldwide and exclusive limited edition Pepsi MAX cans.

Voletta Wallace, the mother of the late star, born Christopher Wallace, and Founder of the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm in a statement: "As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop and its profound cultural impact, we're thrilled to honor Christopher's legacy and continue introducing his music to a new generation of fans. His art is truly timeless, and we believe that Pepsi's collaboration will bring his talent to even more music enthusiasts."

CJ Wallace, Biggie's son, added, "My dad is synonymous with rap, and his influence is unmatched. Bringing one of his unreleased flows out of the vault and partnering directly with Pepsi, a brand he loved, is incredibly special."

Pepsi proudly asserts that The Notorious B.I.G. was a dedicated fan of its product. To celebrate his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, Pepsi released a remastered freestyle from 1997, featuring Biggie enthusiastically praising Pepsi. The track includes the lyrics: "Nothing can beat the P-E-P-S-I, yes I drink it constantly / Something 'bout the taste feels great, less filling / Tell 'em Biggie said to drink it all, don't test me / Nothing else beats a Pepsi / If it is, let's see/ I'm thirsty."

Accompanying the track is a short animated video by Antnamation, paying homage to Biggie's Brooklyn roots and his fondness for Pepsi.

Born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, New York, The Notorious B.I.G.'s artistic journey began with inspiration from a generation of hip-hop artists. Signing with Sean "Puffy" Combs' Bad Boy Records in 1993, Biggie quickly rose to prominence and became one of the most influential rappers of the 1990s era.

Stay updated on the campaign by following @PepsiGlobal's Instagram and Facebook channels.

Steph Curry Stuns Fans With Rap Prowess in 'Lil Fish, Big Pond' Music Video

Screengrab "Lil Fish, Big Pond" video via Twitter
Golden State Warriors' star Steph Curry proves he's a man of many talents as he showcases his musical prowess in a new rap song that's taking the internet by storm. Teaming up with Houston-based rapper Tobe Nwigwe, Curry's debut on "Lil Fish, Big Pond" has already racked up over 16,000 views on YouTube within just four hours of release.

In the music video, Curry and Nwigwe are seen bonding over a fishing trip, but it's the lyrics that have fans buzzing. Curry opens the song with his smooth delivery, boasting lines like "Daddy taught me how to flick my wrist, I'm my father's son" and "They should put the basket in the casket after I am done." It's clear that Curry's skills extend beyond the basketball court.

Watch the video below.

Vallejo, Calif., to Pay Tribute to Iconic Rapper E-40 With 'E-40 Way' Street

The Vallejo City Council in California unanimously approved a measure to pay homage to the local roots of 55-year-old rapper and entrepreneur E-40 by designating a mile-long stretch of Magazine Street in South Vallejo as "E-40 Way."

This decision celebrates the artist's formative years in the area and honors his substantial contributions to the community.

E-40, whose real name is Earl Stevens, achieved widespread acclaim in the entertainment industry throughout his iconic three-decade-long hip-hop career. In 2015, he released a heartfelt song titled "Magazine Street," dedicated to the neighborhood that shaped his childhood.

The dedication of "E-40 Way" between Laurel Street and Old Glen Cove Road stands as a fitting tribute to the multiplatinum rapper and entrepreneur, who has consistently expressed pride in his Vallejo upbringing and showcased his love for the community through various philanthropic endeavors.

Notably, E-40 has supported the Vallejo Salvation Army by donating turkeys for Thanksgiving andoffering food donations to the homeless. He has also generously contributed to his alma mater, James J. Hogan High School, donating over $10,000 to the school's marching band and an additional $12,000 after the school faced vandalism.

Beyond his musical accomplishments, E-40 has flourished as an entrepreneur, establishing diverse wine and alcoholic beverage lines, including E. Cuarenta Cerveza, E. Cuarenta Tequila, Tycoon Cognac, Kuiper Belt Bourbon and Kuiper Belt Gin.

This year holds special significance for E-40, as it marks the 30th anniversary of his debut album in the music industry.

The official dedication ceremony for "E-40 Way" is scheduled to take place later this year, bringing together community members, fans, and local dignitaries to celebrate the artist's enduring impact on Vallejo.

E-40 joins a distinguished roster of musicians with ties to the Bay Area who have been immortalized through street names. In May, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to rename a section of MacArthur Boulevard in honor of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The portion between Grand and Van Buren Avenues will now be known as Tupac Shakur Way, paying homage to the artist's profound love and connection to Oakland, where he spent much of his youth.

Oakland has previously honored other notable figures by naming streets after them, including rapper Too $hort and Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party.

Music News Roundup: Iconic Tours and Spectacular Festivals Take Center Stage With Bow Wow's Scream Tour '23, Janet Jackson at ONE Musicfest, and Usher's Harmonious 'Life is a Melody' Campaign

In a symphony of music news, the industry reverberates with excitement as electrifying collaborations and remarkable events take center stage. This week unveils a resounding revival, a highly anticipated festival lineup and a campaign that fuses music and spirits.

Bow Wow Returns with Black Promoters Collective for Scream Tour '23

The original face of the Scream Tour, Bow Wow, triumphantly makes a comeback, partnering with the Black Promoters Collective for the Scream Tour '23. The tour was announced on Thursday and is set to commence on August 18 in Charlotte, NC. It features a lineup of rising stars, including That Girl Lay Lay and Young Dylan as headliners.

For more information visit

ONE Musicfest Unveils Impressive Fall Festival Lineup

ONE Musicfest, in collaboration with Live Nation Urban, unveiled its impressive lineup for the upcoming fall festival on Tuesday. The festival will take place on October 28th and 29th at Atlanta's historic Piedmont Park and promises to showcase a stellar array of talent. Headliners include music icons Janet Jackson, soulful sensation Brent Faiyaz, the incomparable Kendrick Lamar, unapologetic superstar Megan Thee Stallion and chart-topping artist Kodak Black. In commemoration of Hip Hop's 50th anniversary, a specially curated Hip Hop 50 stage will feature legendary acts such as Nelly, DJ Drama, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik and Trina.

For more information visit

Usher and Rémy Martin Fuse Music and Spirits in 'Life is a Melody' Campaign

Grammy award-winning global superstar Usher collaborates with Rémy Martin, Cognac Fine Champagne, to unveil the captivating "Life is a Melody" campaign. Striving to bridge the worlds of music and spirits, the campaign invites enthusiasts on a journey where the essence of Rémy Martin intertwines with the melodies of life. In a teaser for the campaign, Usher, seated at the piano, surrounded by Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal and XO bottles, offers a preview of his upcoming album with the track "Comin' Home." As part of the effort, Usher and Rémy Martin will embark on a nationwide tour, presenting "4 on the Floor" pop-up skate experiences infused with the spirit of skate culture, accompanied by Rémy Après Skate speakeasies for a unique cocktail experience.

For more information click here.

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.

Chart Coup: Lil Uzi Vert's 'Pink Tape' Conquers Billboard 200, Dethrones Morgan Wallen

Getting caught on camera using the N-word in 2021, barely bruised the career of current Country King Morgan Wallen. However, after 15 weeks reigning atop the Billboard 200, rapper Lil Uzi Vert finally found a way to dethrone him.

In a triumphant coup, Lil Uzi Vert's latest album "Pink Tape" moved 167,000 equivalent album units in the United States for the week ending July 6, seizing the top spot from Wallen's "One Thing at a Time."

This remarkable achievement makes "Pink Tape" the first rap album to claim the No. 1 position since Metro Boomin's "Heroes & Villains" accomplished the feat in December 2022. The 29-week gap between chart-topping rap albums now stands as the longest since the early 1990s when Ice Cube's "The Predator" and Cypress Hill's "Black Sunday" were separated by a span of 34 weeks from 1992 to 1993.

Lil Uzi Vert's chart dominance is no fluke. With "Pink Tape" topping the charts, he now boasts an impressive repertoire of three No. 1 studio albums. Preceding this latest triumph, his previous chart-toppers include "Luv Is Rage 2" in 2017 and "Eternal Atake" in 2020.

However, Lil Uzi Vert's reign at the top will likely be short-lived. Taylor Swift's highly anticipated release, "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," is expected to make a massive impact, with projections of moving over half-a-million units.

Watch: 'One Love' Film Trailer Offers a Glimpse into the Life of Reggae Icon Bob Marley

Photo Courtesy Paramount
A Bob Marley biopic is set to hit the big screen over 40 years after his passing, offering a captivating portrayal of the reggae icon's life and musical legacy. The highly-anticipated film, titled "Bob Marley: One Love," released its first trailer Thursday, providing a glimpse into the Jamaican singer-songwriter's extraordinary journey.

In the movie, Kingsley Ben-Adir takes on the role of the reggae legend himself, while Lashana Lynch portrays his wife, Rita. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the feature film delves into Marley's rise to fame alongside his band, The Wailers, as they captivated audiences with their powerful music.

The trailer also offers a glimpse into the aftermath of a 1976 assassination attempt on Marley, believed to be politically motivated. Despite the ordeal, Marley's unwavering spirit led him to return to the spotlight, headlining the iconic "One Love" peace concert in Kingston, Jamaica.

Marley, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer at the age of 36 in 1981, left an indelible mark on the music world with his soulful melodies and powerful messages of love and unity.

The biopic is a collaborative effort, with involvement from Marley's family. Ziggy Marley, the late singer's son, daughter Cedella and Rita serve as producers, alongside industry veterans Brad Pitt, Robert Teitel, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner.

The film aims to celebrate Marley's extraordinary life and his enduring musical legacy, inspiring generations with his powerful message. It provides audiences with an opportunity to discover the transformative journey behind his revolutionary music and his triumph over adversity.

During CinemaCon, Ziggy Marley, representing the film as a producer, expressed his excitement, stating, "People will deepen their connection to Bob and honor Bob in the right way."

"Bob Marley: One Love" is scheduled for release on January 12, 2024. Fans can catch a glimpse of the film's essence by watching the recently released trailer below.