Smooth with mean grace; this is a Must Read for ALL Industry Affiliates. RIP to one of the greatest Hip Hop moguls ever, Chris Lighty you will be missed.
He was a big man, Chris Lighty.
Wide, and tall. Shoulders that stretched from Hollywood to New York City. But his normal speaking voice ranked just above a whisper. As a teenager he carried records for DJs. As a professional, he carried water for an industry and for a culture.
He has managed (among others) the careers of 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes and Foxy Brown. Those who dislike the commercialization of hip-hop may see only money signs in Lighty’s move to brand the game: Long before he negotiated what would become 50 Cent’s $100 million deal with Glacéau’s Vitamin Water, Violator worked out LL’s commercial with the Gap in the late 1990s, as well as Busta and A Tribe Called Quest’s early deals with soda companies.
For those of us who remember when it was near, or actually, impossible to get hip-hop booked into nightclubs and arenas, who remember when pop radio stations would not play rap…