hearing about death is the worst. especially when it’s someone you actually (kinda) know. in case you don’t know, hip hop and record mogul, Chris Lighty, as found dead today in his bronx apartment….apparently he decided to take his own life. now…hmm…i don’t KNOW mr. lighty personally…i know OF him. and this one is a bit different because if you think about it Chris Lighty is responsible for a LOT of the music i liked growing up.
when i heard about his death, i was just in the middle of telling some younger people what it was like to be around in the 90s when tupac and biggie were going at it. one of them, actually, broke the news when, after looking at their phone, blurted out, “Who’s Chris Lighty?…he died.”
i was kinda shocked.
chris lighty?? really?
Chris Lighty is respsonbile for VIOLATOR…the company, record label, hip hop dealie. here’s a list of people/groups he managed…you may have heard of em: Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, Nas, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest………….
the first time i HEARD of chris lighty was from “WHAT?” on The Low End Theory, the second to last track. Q-Tip rhymes, “What is Chris Lighty if he wasn’t such a baby?”
“baby” being Chris’ nickname. Baby Chris.
at the time i had no idea who he was, but after researching it and reading liner notes and listening more, it turns out that Chris Lighty was responsible for A LOT of my favorite rap artists at the time. he managed them, made sure they got their ish in order…brought them to the public. i mean……man….he virtually was the Russell Simmons that nobody knew!
in the 2011 documentary about A Tribe Called Quest (“Beats, Rhymes, and Life”) he’s interviewed and there’s a funny moment when he talks about trying to get Q-Tip and company to FINISH THE DANG ALBUM (1991′s “The Low End Theory”) and while he’s telling the story, he ends up knocking over a prop. hilarious stuff, and just a GLIMPSE into what seemed like a fun-loving guy to work for.
sigh..man..life is weird sometimes.
who’da thought that, yes…even though you can be successful….deep down there may still be some demons you have to grapple with. sigh…
hmm….so….instead of focusing on the tragedy, i’ma focus on his career…so i’ll be bumping this ULTRA RARE version of “Scenario” that has Chris Lighty giving a guest verse. rest in peace baby chris.