Chris “Baby Chris” Lighty was an instrumental figure in the growth and advancement of hip-hop music, business and culture. His death comes as a shock to all who knew him because he accomplished so much his relatively shorty life. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know courtesy of The Big Payback by Dan Charnas.
10. Chris Lighty grew up in the Caste Hill section of the South Bronx with three brothers and two sisters. He attended Samuel Gompers vocational high school. His mother was a secretary and his father was an FBI agent.
9. Lighty had the nickname “Baby Chris” for his good looks and to distinguish himself from his friend Chris Ali, who was older.
8. Chris and his friend Darryl were given the nickname “The Violators” by DJ Red Alert because they would go to clubs and steal the prettiest girls from their boyfriends.
7. Lighty began his career carrying records for DJ Red Alert and became the road manager for Boogie Down Productions and tour manager for Jungle Brothers. He oversaw the signing of The Jungle Brothers to Warner Bros. Records for 1.6 Million in 1989.
6. Lighty launched Violator Management with LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Da La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest and launched Violator Records through Relativity Records. His first signings were Fat Joe, Chi-Ali and the Beatnuts.
5. Chris Lighty hired Jay-Z to ghostwrite most of Foxy Brown’s debut album.
4. Lighty brokered the lucrative Vitamin water deal between 50 Cent and Glaceau in 2004.
3. Lighty once tweeted to Soulja Boy, one of his clients, that he had a million dollar contract for him to sign and that he needed to “call the office!”
2. Chris Lighty recently secured the green light for an Untitled Diggy Simmons movie/pilot to air on BET.
1. Lighty hosted a blog at ChrisLighty.com and posted four pieces under “Thoughts From Chris.” In them he addressed everything from the passing of James Brown and Gerald Levert to rumors that he had been attacked. His last post “Chaos and Mayhem” is filled with condemnations of violence.
- Veteran Hip-Hop Manager Chris Lighty Passes Away, Hip-Hop Community Shocked (digiindie.wordpress.com)
- Pioneering Music Producer Chris Lighty Dies In Apparent Suicide (woldcnews.com)
- “Love & Hip Hop” Creator’s Former Partner Chris Lighty Commits Suicide (therussparrmorningshow.com)
- Chris Lighty Dead From Suicide (mediaanarchist.wordpress.com)
- Music Executive Chris Lighty Found Dead (moniquekmakell.wordpress.com)
- Chris Lighty, RIP (brooklynvegan.com)