Akeem Thompson lit up the room with his smile and hyped up crowds like no other. With his goofy persona and sick beats, Thompson brought laughter, joy and rhythm to Gainesville.
Even with currently being thoroughly vaccinated, Thompson, far better recognised as DJ Terrah from 98.9 JAMZ, handed absent Aug. 19 from COVID-19 at age 39. The Sort 2 diabetic was admitted to UF Wellbeing Shands Healthcare facility July 30 following battling with kidney dialysis for 5 a long time.
The spouse and children has established up a GoFundMe web page in Thompson’s identify and held a commemoration at Bo Diddley Plaza for him Sept. 4. As of Monday, the household has raised a lot more than $3,000.
Teary eyes and longing smiles filled Bo Diddley Plaza Saturday as booths and tents aligned the plaza to raise income for the family. Four significant Gainesville DJ’s — Ardell Wright, DJ Zoo Hendrix, DJ Statuz and DJ Franco — blended up the turntables to celebrate Thompson’s legacy as a DJ.
Standing on the major stage, Gainesville Town Commissioner Harvey Ward specified Sep. 4 as DJ Terrah Working day in his honor as a COVID-19 rapid exam tent sat in the corner of the plaza to motivate folks to get analyzed.
Thompson sprouted the name DJ Terrah as a play on the word terrorize, his aunt Kim Daniels explained. He wanted to terrorize the types and twos — the names for the respective turntables.
Daniels remembered when she designed cameos on a radio segment he held identified as “Health Ideas from Nurse Kim,” in which the two discussed ways to receive a healthy lifestyle. Thompson was passionate about supporting many others continue to be happy and wholesome.
In his closing Facebook article, Thompson urged persons to get the COVID-19 vaccine and attributed it to saving his children’s life when he fell ill.
Thompson’s children are in his family’s custody. Daniels recalls when Thompson took his daughter Justice into the recording studio to make seem bites for his radio clearly show.
Daniels, a UF Health and fitness situation supervisor, was just one ground below Thompson when he was admitted to the clinic. All through the 20 times he used at Shands, she explained she raised her hand up to the ceiling and prayed for his health.
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“You could not say almost nothing undesirable about him,” Daniels mentioned. “Even the DJ’s who were being always in level of competition couldn’t say very little poor about him.”
Daniels also will skip Thompson’s humor. She recollects a memory in a New York subway where by Daniel’s daughter, Grace, talked about her wish to move to the Large Apple. Grace shrieked when she saw a big rat, and Thompson joked all around with her, producing the entire educate station to erupt in laughter.
“We gonna pass up the amusing,” Daniels explained. “That joker was a excursion.”
Desean Thompson, DJ Terrah’s 36-calendar year-previous brother, is also grieving the decline of Thompson.
The duo rose up with each other in the new music marketplace, as Thompson became the vice president of Go Legit Enjoyment, Desean’s file label.
DJ Terrah found his adore for the turntables at age 10 soon after looking at the 1992 motion picture “Juice,” Desean mentioned. Thompson attentively sat in entrance of the Tv set, watched DJ battles and learned the ins-and-outs of being a DJ.
Across his career, Thompson took most pride in his physical appearance on BET’s “Rap Metropolis Tha Basement” in 2008, a display that shown hip hop songs video clips, aired rapper interviews and held occasional DJ visitor appearances.
Outside of DJing, Thompson prioritized his children, Justice, 11, Jada, 14, and AJ, 12, Desean reported. He wished the most effective for them and sought out each individual possibility to uplift them.
“He liked them a good deal,” Desean claimed. “He just wanted to be the greatest father he could be.”
Lisa Canton, DJ Terrah’s 59-calendar year-old mom, is heartbroken at the decline of her eldest baby. However, she’s happy of what her son brought to her household and the Gainesville community.
“I would in no way see him stroll through the doorway yet again,” Canton reported. It hurts her figuring out that his young children won’t be ready to improve up with a father.
She will constantly cherish his witty humor and contagious, sweet spirit.
“He was a mild giant,” she claimed.
Canton remembers Thompson as a religious male. He regularly prayed for his kids, attended church online and beloved the Lord, she said.
He never smoked or drank, and he pushed his youngsters and loved ones to stay wholesome, Canton reported.
Canton was Thompson’s biggest supporter, as she watched her son bloom into a powerhouse DJ. Thompson went by the slogan “if you are on time, you are late” — he was a tricky worker.
“I appreciated observing my son function his passion,” she mentioned. “Akeem knew from the time he was 13 he preferred to be a DJ.”
Jessica Williams, 39, observed Thompson as a brother. The two satisfied at a Kappa Alpha Psi bash at UF in 2001, the place Thompson worked as the DJ.
Williams said his DJ expertise brought him to regional superstar standing — pretty much every student at UF recognized Thompson’s identify from 2000 to 2010.
On the other hand, she feels Thompson was not mindful of his impact on the neighborhood.
“I’m teared up mainly because if he understood a piece of what he did,” Williams explained. “He experienced no idea.”
She vividly remembers his infectious chuckle and clown persona. When she acquired the information of his passing, she was on the phone with her sister and couldn’t enable but let out a scream.
Thompson and Williams were near from the start of their relationship. The pair had just about every other’s backs and often mused about existence.
“He constantly saw the light-weight at the stop of the tunnel,” she said. “My coronary heart broke … I obtained a brother that I did not even know I experienced.”
Thompson’s followers in the spot are also emotion the pounds of his decline.
Gainesville resident Cherie Kelly went on 98.9 JAMZ in May as part of the Library Partnership of the Alachua County Library District. In the course of her interview with Thompson, Kelly explained he was heat and kind.
“He was just really hospitable,” she reported. “He was remarkable, extremely welcoming and hospitable.”
Thompson’s daughter Justice will generally recall her dad’s legacy. He will generally be shut to her heart.
“He was generally truthful about his viewpoint,” she reported. “We enjoy you, daddy.”
Speak to Religion Buckley at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley.
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Religion Buckley is a very first-yr journalism university student at UF and The Alligator’s swimming and diving beat writer. She is specializing in sports activities media to just one day ideally work as an NHL commentator.