R.I.P. Chris Lighty

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Hip-hop industry mogul Chris Lighty died today from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lighty, or Baby Chris as he was known to longtime friends and fans, started his career as a member of The Jungle Brothers crew. In an interview with Allindstrom.com last year he talked about how the Native Tongue affiliation is what lead to his initial big break working for Russell Simmons’ Rush Management. And he actually rapped on the Black Sheep song “Pass The 40.” Lighty would eventually co-found Violator Management with Mona Scott and become a guiding force in the careers of Q-Tip, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot, Foxy Brown and numerous others. The native New Yorker’s success was the embodiment of the American Dream hip-hop style. He credited Reagan-era foodstamps for being a strong motivator for achievement.