WorldStarHipHop Founder Lee “Q” O’Denat Has Passed Away At Age 43

The Hip-Hop community has learned that one of its digital moguls has died. Lee O’Denat, better known as Q is reported dead by TMZ. The 43 year-old passed away in his sleep, and was discovered this morning (January 24). The Haitian-American O’Denat was raised in the same Hollis, Queens community that produced Run-D.M.C. and Ja Rule. In 2005, he launched WorldStarHipHop.

The Hip-Hop news and video destination quickly expanded beyond the culture of music. Controversial, the site featured street fights, motorcycle stunts, and sexual content. However, despite its booming success outside the lines, the site proved deeply instrumental to the success of Rick Ross, Drake, French Montana, Chief Keef, and other artists associated that have become stars since its inception.

T.I. is one artist who publicly mourned O’Denat today:

In a 2013 interview with Market Place, Q said that advertisers reluctantly decided to reach one of the largest online audiences, despite the controversies. “Advertisers were afraid of us,” he said. “We were kind of risque. We had girls in thongs, fights. Not until later on they decided, well, the site is too big. We’re just gonna have to work with them.”

In recent years, WorldStar launched a film division, beginning with The Field series. According to AllHipHop, the site was approaching the premiere of WorldStar TV on MTV2 beginning this year. Q also managed several models and other personalities during the last 12 years.

In 2014, he appeared on Sway In The Morning to respond to critics and tell his personal music industry journey:

Per TMZ, an autopsy will be performed today, while an unnamed source said that a heart attack killed the webmaster.

This is the second high profile Hip-Hop death of 2017. Veteran mixmaster and producer DJ Crazy Toones of WC & The Maad Circle died of a heart attack earlier this month (January 9).

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family of O’Denat and the WorldStarHipHop staff.

Update: On January 25, the Los Angeles Times reported that O’Denat passed away in San Diego, California at massage spa. According to the report, “The cause of death is heart disease, with obesity considered a contributing factor.”