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Robert Stone bridged gap between hip-hop and corporate America

July 9, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN AND MT. KISCO, NEW YORK — BROOKLYN-BORN ROBERT ALAN STONE, who co-founded the music magazine The Fader and strategized branding in a way that led the corporate world to recognize hip-hop artists, died at 55, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, June 9. The cause was lung cancer, according to Stone’s lifelong friend and business partner, Jon Cohen. Stone’s early career challenged him to find exposure for upcoming hip-hop artists and obtain airplay time for them. Working first at SBK Records and then at Arista, he became a hip-hop insider and started a brand-strategy company, Cornerstone Agency, to get corporate insiders to recognize hip-hop artists during a time of resistance to the music style. Stone and Cohen worked with new performers like Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G. and Sean Combs and built innovative advertising campaigns for brands like Sprite, Converse and Johnnie Walker.

Robert Stone would have turned 56 this coming Friday, July 12.

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