Today marks a sad day in Hip Hop, it also is an opportunity to celebrate the life of Chris Lighty aka Baby Chris, who contributed much more then most of us knew to our beloved culture
On May 8, 1968, the co-founder of Violator Records, Chris Lighty, was born in the Bronx, New York. It was Chris, his five siblings, and his single mother living in the Bronx in one of the most dangerous parts, the Bronx River Housing Projects.
Fast forward to the 1980’s Chris has found his way out of the streets and into the music scene. Lighty began his career carrying crates for DJ Red Alert, who still spins to this day on Hot 97. Russell Simmons then hired Chris to work for him and his Rush Management company. This led to Chris starting his own management company called Violator in the early 90’s. Violator went on to become an outlet for music as well becoming home to a few classic hip-hop verses and projects.
Violator was also able to help artists gain some time in the public eye. They got LL Cool J in GAP commercials, Tribe Called Quest linked up with Sprite, And Busta Rhymes and Mountain Dew working together. In 2004, Lighty was able to broker one of the biggest deals in hip-hop; 50 Cent’s Vitamin Water. In 2011, Chris started his own website that would allow up and coming artists to submit their tracks for $10 dollars and top music executives would listen to it and give you feed back, the site is no longer up and running.
A few other interesting facts about Mr. Lighty some of you may not know are as fallows; Lighty got Jay-Z to ghostwrite most of Foxy Brown’s debut album, his pops was an FBI agent, and he launched Violator Management with LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Da La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest.
Today, Chris Lighty would have been 47 years old. Sadly, Chris was found August 30, 2012 laying face-up with an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. Let us celebrate Chris and all the great things he accomplished, not mourn him, thank you for everything you did for the Hip-Hop culture Chris. Make sure you peep the video above and hear some words of advice from Mr. Lighty.