From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of site
OwnerMediaLab AI Inc. [1]
Founder(s)Lee O'Denat
LaunchedAugust 9, 2005; 18 years ago (2005-08-09) [2]
Current statusActive

WorldStarHipHop is a content-aggregating video blog. [3] Founded in 2005, the site averaged 1.2 million unique visitors a day in 2011. [4] The site, operated by Worldstar, LLC, [5] was founded by Lee "Q" O'Denat. [6] Described by Vibe as a "remnant of the Geocities generation", the site regularly features shocking events caught on video, music videos and assorted content targeted to young audiences. O'Denat who referred to himself as a " Haitian ghetto nerd", [7] described WorldStarHipHop as the " CNN of the ghetto". [8]

The website first became infamous for posting shock videos. [8] Many of the early videos of shocking events had gone viral. [3] According to Gothamist's John Del Signore, "The site's popularity has created a sort of voyeuristic feedback loop, in which disassociated bystanders immediately videotape shocking incidents and act as if they're already watching a video on the Internet". [9] Jeff Himmelman of The New York Times stated in 2013 that the website "does many things but mostly hosts videos of fights." [10]

By 2012, BET had voted WorldStarHipHop as the "top hip hop and urban culture website" for three years in a row. [5]


Initial launch

Lee "Q" O'Denat was a Hollis, Queens–based hip-hop fan [4] who attended Grover Cleveland High School before graduating. [11] He started the website in August 2005 with Ari Armani as a distributor of mixtapes. [8] [12] Shortly after the website's launch, hackers destroyed the website. O'Denat later restarted it as a content aggregator. [8] Thereafter, WorldStar focused on hip hop beefs which were previously popular through "street DVDs" such as Smack, The Come Up and others. O'Denat used the setup of, a website which had already been distributing similar material. O'Denat said that this led to tension between the two websites. He added "Once we went 100 percent video, showing that original hood stuff, we prevailed." [11]

By 2012 companies and artists were using the platform as an advertising tool, including P. Diddy with a promotional video of Cîroc vodka having premiered on WorldStar. [11]

Death of O'Denat

On January 23, 2017, founder and CEO Lee "Q" O'Denat died of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the age of 43, with morbid obesity as a contributing factor. [13] [14]

Worldstar as a word

In some videos of violent fights, people chant "World Star" in recognition that the video may be posted on the website. [15]

One 2012 video, showing an Elyria, Ohio ( Greater Cleveland) woman, Tashay D. Edwards, beating another woman, went viral. Edwards became so well known that it trended on Twitter along with the name "WorldStarHipHop". [16] The video received about one million views in a single day. [17]


Bill O'Reilly attacked WorldStarHipHop and its president after watching a video of a kid talking about his plans to kill then-president George W. Bush. O'Reilly said, "I believe the Secret Service should arrest the parents of this kid and the purveyor of the website (Q)", calling it a "crime" that this was allowed up after the video was banned on other sites. [18]

WorldStarHipHop has been in cases involving lawsuits for copyright infringement. In one case, Scott v. WorldStarHipHop, [19] a video surfaced of a fight between a man (Scott) and his current and former girlfriend. The video was recorded by a Mr. Seymour and posted to the site. WSHH names the video "Disgraceful: College Fight In NYC Breaks Out Between A Guy, His Girl & Another Girl In Class! (Man Strong Arm's [sic] The Student. Hitting Her With Body Shots)." Shortly after the video was posted Scott was given copyright to the video by Mr. Seymour. He filed for a takedown notice so that WSHH would take down the video. He explained that WS did not have his permission to put up the video of the fight.

Rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) also sued WorldStarHipHop in 2009 for using his image on their site without his permission. Jackson claimed that WorldStar and O'Denat used his images on the website which led people to believe that he was one of the owners of the site. He explained that O'Denat tarnished his image by having his image up on the site without his permission. After a five-year battle, Jackson finally won the case against WorldStar. [20]


David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said in 2012 that "Now in its sixth year, WorldStar is seen by many critics as yet another example of the coarsening of U.S. culture and life—another low on a downward continuum that extends from the Jerry Springer-style trash-talk shows of the 1980s and 1990s through to the and RadarOnline websites of today." [3] Some media observers argued that, in the words of Zurawik, "because of its African-American identity, it has the potential to be used by some viewers to create or fuel stereotypes of urban America as an out-of-control, chaotic space dominated by young, violent, African-American men." [3] Nsenga Burton, the editor at large of The Root and an associate professor at Goucher College, described the site as "basically shock video. They comb the pop cultural landscape for videos that are shocking on multiple levels and feed into peoples' voyeuristic tendencies." [3] In 2013, rapper Childish Gambino released a song called "Worldstar" about its popularity as a website and the sensationalism that it encourages, particularly in how many violent acts that are filmed and showcased on the site go viral.


  1. ^ "Brands | MediaLab". Retrieved 2023-06-07.
  2. ^ "WorldStarHipHop WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info – DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e Zurawik, David. " makes a name for itself with shocking viral videos Archived 2013-04-13 at the Wayback Machine". The Baltimore Sun. March 23, 2012. Retrieved on April 22, 2012. Alternate Archived 2013-09-26 at the Wayback Machine link to the same article from the Orlando Sentinel. "World Star is just basically shock video," said Nsenga Burton, an associate professor at Goucher College and editor-at-large for the African-American-focused website The Root. "They comb the pop cultural landscape for videos that are shocking on multiple levels and feed into peoples' voyeuristic tendencies."
  4. ^ a b "WorldStarHipHop EXPOSED: The Truth Behind The Controversial Site". VIBE. 2011-03-28. Archived from the original on 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  5. ^ a b Granick, Jennifer. " New Year, New Job Archived 2013-01-07 at the Wayback Machine". The Center for Internet and Society. Stanford Law School. January 9, 2012. Retrieved on November 30, 2012.
  6. ^ Kurutz, Steven (2015-11-02). "The Creator of WorldStarHipHop Plots His Second Act". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  7. ^ Jacobson, Mark. "WorldStar, Baby!" New York Magazine. February 5, 2012. 1. Retrieved on April 24, 2012. Also available at General OneFile.
  8. ^ a b c d Milo, Peter V. " 'CNN Of The Ghetto': WorldStarHipHop Becoming YouTube for Urban Violence Archived 2012-05-02 at the Wayback Machine". CBS News. March 29, 2012. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Police Seek 3 Men For Beating L Train Rider Who Scolded Them For Spitting". Gothamist. 16 November 2011. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  10. ^ Himmelman, Jeff. " Frank Ocean Can Fly Archived 2017-02-07 at the Wayback Machine." The New York Times. February 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 23, 2013. Also in The New York Times Magazine p. 27-31,38,45,48. ISSN  0028-7822. Available on ProQuest.
  11. ^ a b c Jacobson, Mark. "World Star, Baby!" New York. February 5, 2012. 2 Archived 2012-05-03 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on November 2, 2012. Also available at General OneFile.
  12. ^ " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info". DomainTools.
  13. ^ France, Lisa (January 24, 2017). "Lee 'Q' O'Denat, WorldStarHipHop founder, dies at 43". CNN. Archived from the original on 2017-01-25. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Hamilton, Matt (January 24, 2017). "Founder of WorldStarHipHop dies at San Diego massage parlor". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2017-06-17. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Curry, Colleen. " World Star Hip Hop Provides Home for Fights, Sex and Violence Archived 2012-04-22 at the Wayback Machine." ABC News/ 20/20. February 8, 2012. Retrieved on May 6, 2012.
  16. ^ " Tashay WSHH Fight Video: Teen Arrested After Brutal Beatdown Over Twitter Beef Archived 2013-08-02 at the Wayback Machine." International Business Times. April 18, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2012.
  17. ^ " Twitter argument turns into brutal real-life beat-down Archived 2013-06-10 at the Wayback Machine." MSN. April 19, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2012.
  18. ^ "Bill O'Reilly Attacks Worldstarhiphop". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Scott v. WorldStarHipHop, Inc". Digital Media Project. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  20. ^ "50 Cent Gets Victory in Lawsuit Against WorldStarHipHop". March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-04-08. Retrieved 13 April 2015.

Further reading

External links