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More Details, Of Shakir Stewart’s Suicide, Revealed November 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryann Hayman @ 11:19 am
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Friend describes executive’s troubled behavior day of tragedy. R&B star Ne-Yo sings at memorial. 

Smith told police that soon as he stepped out the door he called 911. Seconds later, he heard a gunshot.

A day after Def Jam’s Shakir Stewart committed suicide, the family of the executive released a statement: “Over the past several weeks, Shakir’s behavior was inconsistent with the man we all know and love. As much as we all tried to help him, Shakir was in deep pain and largely suffering in silence.” 

Now newer details are emerging regarding the “inconsistent behavior.” According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stewart’s friend Herb Smith, who was present at Stewart’s home the day of the tragedy, told police that Stewart was “wigging out” before his death. 

On October 31, Stewart’s finance Michelle Rivers, first noticed things were strange with Stewart when they went out for Halloween. At a loss, Rivers called Smith to talk to him. 

Smith says that he went over to Stewart’s Marietta home, to find his friend visibly shaken. Stewart never confided in Smith, nor Rivers, what was wrong and he eventually told Smith to leave the house and go “back home to his wife and children.” 

Smith told police that soon as he stepped out the door he called 911. Seconds later, he heard a gunshot. Rivers, who was in the couple’s kitchen at the time, found Stewart on the master bedroom floor with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head— not the bathroom, as previously reported. 

A private funeral for the executive was held Thursday. On Friday, a public memorial at Stewart’s alma mater Morehouse, was held at the King’s Chapel in Atlanta, where Def Jam artist Ne-Yo sung “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.” Guests included many of Stewart’s Def Jam family: LL Cool J, Chrisette Michele, Steve Bartels and Karen Kwak. Other mourners included DJ Don Cannon, Big Oomp, Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar Mitchell, and DJ Toomp.  A biographical video tribute (to the tunes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Maxwell, Ginuwine, Rick Ross and Young Jeezy) was played. 

Autopsy reports will be available in 12 weeks. 

 

Private Funeral Will Be Held For Def Jam’s Shakir Stewart November 6, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 12:20 pm
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Autopsy will take up to 12 weeks

A private funeral is being arranged for Def Jam Record’s Executive Vice-President of A&R, Shakir Stewart, who shot himself with a handgun at his Marietta home on Saturday. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police have declined to release additional details regarding Stewart’s death. Funeral arrangements are still pending, said a spokesman at Murray Bros. Cascade Chapel in Atlanta. According to the Cobb medical examiner’s office, the autopsy report will take up to 12 weeks. 

On Sunday, Stewart’s finance Michelle Rivers said that Stewart was in “deep pain and largely suffering in silence.” 

“It is difficult to express or explain in words what led to the tragic occurrence on Saturday. Over the past several weeks, Shakir’s behavior was inconsistent with the man we all know and love,” a statement from Stewart’s family read. 

Stewart is best known for signing rappers Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records. On June 3, Stewart was promoted to VP of Def Jam, where he reported directly to his mentor, Island Def Jam’s chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid. 

 

UPDATE: Details of Shakir Stewart’s Suicide Emerge November 3, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 11:50 am
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Stewart’s family releases statement. Long-time friends Kenny Burns and Ian Burke baffled over executive’s demise.

Me and Shake, we’re men’s men. We had kids, we’re responsible fathers. And the man that I know wouldn’t take his life. That man was strong, it ain’t no street pressure, music business, L.A. Reid, these fake ass artists…that ain’t gon’ tear nobody like Shake down. It’s just something that I can’t see, nor accept. We wouldn’t do that.

More details into the recent tragic death of Def Jam Record’s Vice-President, Shakir Stewart, have emerged. On Sunday, Stewart’s family released a statement about the executive’s death.

 “We would like to thank Shakir’s friends for the tremendous outpouring of love and support we have received during this difficult time,” the statement from Stewart’s fiancée, Michelle Rivers, and family read.

“It has helped us to cope with our overwhelming grief and sadness. It is difficult to express or explain in words what led to the tragic occurrence on Saturday. Over the past several weeks, Shakir’s behavior was inconsistent with the man we all know and love. As much as we all tried to help him, Shakir was in deep pain and largely suffering in silence. Please remember Shakir for who he was … a wonderful father, partner, son and friend.” 

According to Georgia’s Cobb County police, 34-year-old Stewart— who died Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, reportedly shot himself with a handgun in the bathroom of his house on Lindsey Drive in Marietta, Georgia. Stewart was pronounced dead at Kennestone Hospital later that day. 

“Whatever happened over the past 24 hours is not a testament to who we all know,” Christopher Hicks, a music executive and longtime friend of Stewart, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday. 

Police have not confirmed who found Stewart’s body, or any motives leading up to the suicide. 

Stewart is best known for signing rappers Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records. On June 3, Stewart was promoted to VP of Def Jam, where he reported directly to his mentor, Island Def Jam’s chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid.

On Sunday night, Blog Talk Radio hosted a special online show called, “Celebrate Shakir ‘Shake’ Stewart.” Former college roommates, hometown buddies, and industry friends called in to share memories of Stewart. Many were left confused over Stewart’s exit. 

“It had to be something very very bad for him to even think about doing something of this nature,” Atlanta record executive Ian Burke, said. “And whatever it was, I guess it was something that… I guess he felt, at the time, he couldn’t turn back from.” 

Industry mogul Kenny Burns, Stewart’s friend of 17-years, recalled how he and Stewart dreamed of making it big in the industry.

“From that time and period, all of us were looking for something. The business was starting to bubble and we were all blessed to be there early. Looking back, we were like,  ‘Aww shit, we need to get in that, the women, the girls’… But it just became more important to make a mark and build a legacy.” 

Burns, clearly shaken, says he doesn’t believe Stewart killed himself. 

“Me and Shake, we’re men’s men. We had kids, we’re responsible fathers. And the man that I know wouldn’t take his life. That man was strong, it ain’t no street pressure, music business, L.A. Reid, these fake ass artists…that ain’t gon’ tear nobody like Shake down. It’s just something that I can’t see, nor accept. We wouldn’t do that.

“Like, [Stewart] wouldn’t leave his kids without insurance like that. We tried to rush to the hospital before they rushed him to the morgue yesterday…” Burns says, before breaking down in tears on the phone.

“I want to say something about this fake ass business that these young’ns are enthralled with: this business is not that. Educate these people. Money does not make you happy. I don’t believe he took his life. But it’s because of this fake ass business, and these niggas and bitches,” Burns said. “I’m personally setting up a college fund for his kids.”

For more on Shakir Stewart, go here. Stay tuned to ontherecordmagazine.com for further details regarding this tragedy. 

 

Def Jam Records Vice-President, Shakir Stewart, Commits Suicide November 2, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 1:14 pm
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Def Jam Record’s Vice-President, Shakir Stewart, died today from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 

According to Def Jam, Stewart’s body was found in Atlanta. Some sources say Stewart shot himself in his home. No further details of the suicide, have emerged. 

“LA Reid and all of us at Island Def Jam Music Group are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague Shakir Stewart,” Def Jam said in a statement released to VIBE today. “Shakir was an amazing man, in every sense of the word.  A truly incredible friend and father who was an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people who had the privilege of counting him as a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time.” 

On June 3, Stewart was promoted to VP of Def Jam, where he reported directly to his mentor, Island Def Jam’s chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid. Shakir, who was mainly seen dressed sharp as a tac, was based in New York and Los Angeles. Prior to his newest position, Stewart served as the Senior Vice President of A&R at Def Jam, where he signed acts ranging from Rick Ross, to Young Jeezy. 

Stewart was always a hustler. An Oakland, California native, Stewart graduated from Morehouse College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. He later began to work the promotions scene in Atlanta, while trying to figure out how to meet his idol, L.A. Reid.

In a twist of fate, he soon found himself working under Reid, as a young, hotshot, 20-something exec. In 1999, Stewart was hired as the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Reid’s publishing company, Hitco. 

In outtakes from a candid interview with me from VIBE’s August issue, Stewart said the Hitco position was great, but, “To be honest with you Linda, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.” Yet, his track record proved otherwise. In 2000, Reid hired Stewart as an A&R consultant at LaFace Records, where he signed R&B starlet Ciara. 

By 2004, both Reid and Stewart moved on to Def Jam, where Stewart admitted both men felt like the odd men out, and as some coined them, the “R&B guys,” Stewart said. But what strengthened Stewart to stay was his fascination with the iconic brand that took hip hop from the streets to the boardroom. 

“I remember the first time I heard, ‘Rock The Bells’, ‘Paul Revere,’” Stewart reminisced. “Growing up, the first time I heard of the brand [Def Jam] was definitely LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys. So coming in and getting an opportunity to work with that label, like LL Cool J? That’s an honor. I’m working on his project right now. It’s not even like a job for me.” 

Stay tuned to ontherecordmagazin.com for further details regarding this tragedy. 

 

Def Jam releases statement

Shakir was an amazing man, in every sense of the word. A truly incredible friend and father who was an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people who had the privilege of counting him as a friend.

 

Rick Ross admits corrections officer past; Brazilian duo taps Kanye, Ghostface; Bill Bellamy’s ‘Jokes’ returns to TV One October 10, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 1:24 pm
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For what it’s worth, Rick Ross has finally come clean about working as a corrections officer in Florida for 18 months before pursuing his musical career. “Yes, it’s me. I never tried to hide my past,” he told Don Diva magazine. “I put my name inside my C-Ds. My company has my [social security number]. I could’ve put a company name … I never ratted on a [ni**a]. I never prosecuted a [ni**a]. I never locked up a [ni**a] … When I’m making my music and I’m talking about blow, it’s because I did it. When I say that I’m rich off cocaine, it’s because I did it.”

      *Kanye West, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Chuck D and George Clinton are among the guests appearing on the debut album of Brazilian-influenced duo N.A.S.A. (which stands for “North America / South America”). Due Feb. 17, “The Spirit of Apollo” also boasts appearances from M.I.A., Santogold, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard and dancehall star Sizzla. N.A.S.A. is planning to tour in the near future with “dancers, visual effects, art installations and special guests,” a spokesperson told Billboard.

 

       *”Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?” returns to TV One for its third season on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10-11 p.m. This spring, TV One, Bellamy and producer FarCor Studios hit the road in search of the hottest rising comics in the U.S., who are competing to be crowned “Jokes” champion later this year. The show went overseas for the first time for the semi-finals. Working in conjunction with the USO, the cast headed to Germany to tape the show in front of soldiers and their families stationed at the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, home of the largest military community outside the U.S.  

 

JAY-Z PULLED OUT OF MIAMI OBAMA GIG October 8, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 4:08 pm
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Jay-Z had to cancel the second of his two free concerts in support of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign due to a rumored problem with his throat.

 

      According to Allhiphop.com, the mogul pulled out of his scheduled concert at the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre after fans had already arrived to the venue.

 

       “The whole concert has had to be cancelled because it was Jay-Z who pulled out. We haven’t been told why, but I’m sure all the fans want an explanation,” an anonymous Bayfront Park official speculated, according to the Web site.

 

       Event organizers initially tried to stall for time, telling the audience that the main attraction was just running late. But, eventually the bad news was delivered to concert-goers.       

       The free concert/voter registration drive was set to include supporting performances from Wyclef Jean and Rick Ross. However, the entire event was scrapped due to the backlash from fans after Jay’s cancellation.

 

 

Flo Rida Celebrates Birthday Bash With Rick Ross, Others October 7, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 8:37 pm
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Flo Rida celebrated his birthday over the weekend with a bash that featured guests Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Pepa of Salt-n-Pepa.

The 1800 Tequila-bash was held at Cameo Theater Nightclub in South Beach. Flo performed while Khaled took to the wheels of steel to appropriately shout out the rapper on his born day.

Flo was presented with his own custom bottle of 1800 Tequila featuring his his imaged embossed on the glass.

Rick Ross was scheduled to perform in Miami last night as a Pro-Obama voter registration drive with Jay-Z and Wyclef. An illness to Hov, however, forced organizers to cancel the event. Ross recently release a slew of freestyles and is set to drop his next album, Deeper than Rap, is set to drop in 2009.