In addition to serving as the Executive Vice President of Def Jam Records and right-hand man to Island Def Jam Music Group Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid, Stewart was a friend to many through out the entertainment industry. He passed on November 1, 2008.
A native of Oakland, California, Stewart was appointed executive vice president in June 2008, which he called his dream job. A graduate of Atlanta's Morehouse College, he previously worked at Hitco Music Publishing, to which he signed Beyoncé, according to Billboard.com. He was an A&R consultant at LaFace Records from 2000 to 2004 and signed Ciara to the label.
Stewart succeeded Jay-Z, who resigned his post at Def Jam in December 2007. He told Billboard at the time that his goal was to help develop "new, young executives ... the hot executive who's 21, 22 years old and has a serious passion for music and the desire to work 27 hours a day. That's where I was at that time in my life. And that's who I'm looking to mentor. I don't see many people like that. Instead, I see a lot of kids who want to live the lifestyle but don't want to put in the work and do what it takes."
In his days at Def Jam, Stewart was the liaison between artists like Rick Ross and Young Jeezy and the board room. Explaining the streets isn't as easy as some think but "Shake," as his friends called him, handled the two worlds with grace.
So today, November 1, RapFix lights a candle in celebration of the life of Shakir Stewart. We've posted Rick Ross's "Hustlin' " which for many was the first introduction to the Miami MC, thanks to Stewart.
What are your memories of Shakir Stewart? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below.