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worldstarhiphopqThe man who launched has died.

While initial reports said that Lee O’Denat, a.k.a. “Q,” died in his sleep, the L.A. Times reports he was at a San Diego massage parlor when he became unresponsive. He was 43. The cause of death is listed as a heart attack, with obesity as a contributing factor.

The CEO of WorldStar was 33 when began the website in 2005 by posting mixtapes. It gradually progressed into a mixture of rap videos, celebrity interviews, sports clips and the latest viral sensation.

He told the New York Times in November 2015: “People may be offended by some of the content, but, hey, the Internet is not a censorship boat. We’re the Carnival cruise, man. You don’t have to log on.”



Via the NYT:

Mr. O’Denat, 43, is of Haitian heritage and was raised by a single mother. He started working at 14, initially at a fast-food restaurant (he lasted a week), then at Circuit City, where he fell in love with computers. He discovered the web back in the dial-up days.

“I was telling people, ‘This is the future,’ ” he said. “They were like, ‘This is going nowhere.’ They laughed at me.”

Mr. O’Denat, a high school dropout, started his first digital venture, a pornographic site, in 1999. It failed. Next he created an e-commerce site to sell mix tapes by DJ Whoo Kid, a friend from Queens who collaborated with 50 Cent. It was moderately successful but too narrowly focused.

It wasn’t until the mid-aughts, when YouTube became popular, that Mr. O’Denat said he “saw another curve, the future of everything,” and created a hip-hop-inspired site that was 100 percent videos. But while YouTube was a vast media ocean, Mr. O’Denat’s WorldStar would be a concentrated dose of off-the-chain.

PHOTO: Twitter

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