A gray cloud hovers over the Hip Hop world as veterans, musicians and anyone who has been influenced in any way by Chris Lighty, mourn his death. Lighty, 44, was allegedly found in the backyard of his apartment with a semi-automatic firearm and single gunshot wound to the head. His death, while still under investigation, is speculated as suicide.
Friends and colleagues of the Violator founder are shocked by the news. “He was vibrant and smart,” says a sorrowful Oretha Winston. She worked with Lighty, and says he treated her with respect, even in a misogynist industry “where women’s opinions and relegated to whims.”
Moments before his untimely passing, it is rumored that Lighty and his ex-wife Veronica got into an argument. They were divorced last year and associates of the mogul suggest that he wasn’t the same since.
Lighty worked closely with many women in the industry, from Mariah Carey to Missy Elliott. He managed Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, P. Diddy and ventured into a new business deal with Larry Mestel’s Primary Wave Talent Management to form Primary Violator Management.
“He never demeaned anyone, ever! That is going to be missed,” Winston continued. “I remember we were working on Missy Elliott’s album and he would welcome every suggestion, no suggestion was off the table.”
Lighty’s last tweets were a tell-tale sign that something was wrong. He revealed that he was stressed and paired it with alcoholic beverages. Though he was seemingly disturbed, his last social media message was inspirational: “Life is about perspective. It’s not what you see, but how you see it. What you see is what you get.”
He is remembered as a “respectful and caring” man. “No words. Such a loss,” said Kream, Founder of Kream Managment. “Chris Lighty was everything to me in my Flipmode years. So busy rescuing others sorry we couldn’t rescue you. You will be missed brother,” shared Rah Digga.
“He never made you feel small for any idea, and completely understood that this was all for the better of the team…You will be missed my brother. You will be missed”- Oretha Winston.
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