Monday, November 03, 2008


I heard about this tragic situation over the weekend and wanted to wait to get all the details before doing a post. In really sad news, Shakir Stewart, who was Jay-Z's successor to the helm of Def Jam Records committed suicide and was confirmed dead on November 1st in his Atlanta home.
Stewart, a Morehouse graduate, is credited with helping to put the Atlanta music scene on the map through his party promotions firm and the Noontime Entertainment production company. He was a mentee to LA Reid who was a big reason that Stewart landed at Def Jam. Prior to his stint at Def Jam, Stewart worked at the Atlanta based Hitco publishing company, where he signed R&B star Beyonce, and Arista Records, where he signed R&B star Ciara.
Stewart, 34 leaves behind a fiance' as well as two children. Stewart's fiance', Michelle Rivers, released a joint statement with his family on Sunday in which she said that "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."

I really hope this tragedy puts the focus on many of the black men and women who are out here suffering from depression and who don't seek the help that could possibly save their lives. Many folks who commented about Stewart's death talked about how much he had going for himself and how successful he was. I hope that this shows folks that no matter the amount of money or success that you have, it can't magically cure you from mental illness or depression that you may have been struggling with your whole life.

Russell Simmons once made the statement that "Forget millionaires, if I know 15 billionaires, then I know 13 unhappy people. These people's lives might be filled with mansions and yachts and private jets, but their medicine cabinets are also filled with antidepressants.....They never understand that they can be surrounded by fame, luxury, and wealth, but unless they have God in their heart, at the end of the day they're still going to feel empty inside."
This is why I am a firm believer that you should find what makes you happy and not necessarily rich.