Hip Hop lost a pioneer today with the news that WorldStarHipHop founder Lee “Q” O’Denat has died.
Details are scarce at this point, but TMZ reports that Q passed away in his sleep at the age of 43. Their source says he died of a heart attack, although an autopsy will happen later today.
Q, who grew up in Queens, New York, started WorldStarHipHop in 2005 as a platform for mixtapes. The site evolved to become a hub for music videos and outrageous clips. WorldStar has been criticized for the graphic nature of its content, but Q explained his vision for the company in a 2015 interview with the New York Times.
“Hip-hop is for the sex, the drugs, the violence, the beefs, the culture,” he said. “That’s the competitiveness of Hip Hop, so I felt like the site needed to be R-rated.”
Reports of Q’s death come just ahead of the February 3 premiere of Worldstar TV on MTV2. The weekly show will feature comedians and Hip Hop personalities reacting to clips from the site.
He leaves behind three children.