Even though Baby Chris didn’t recognize his own born day, we do by celebrating his works following his untimely death.
Today would’ve been Chris Lighty’s 52nd birthday, but he was raised in a very structured Jehovah’s Witness household so he never celebrated birthdays or holidays. Chris became the most influential hip hop manager through his management and marketing imprint, Violator. Violator was the real Empire before Lee Daniels hit series. The impressive roster included Missy Elliot, P. Diddy, 5O Cent, Foxy Brown, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, Mariah Carey, Mobb Deep, and more.
To the outside world, Chris Lighty was an alluring powerful executive who negotiated unprecedented deals with his partner, Mona Scott-Young. Outside of his insane work ethic he had layers about him that made him a remarkable human being, friend, mentor and support system to many people.
Through Violator management, Chris and Mona became the cerebrum of hip hop, developing and sustaining careers while structuring lucrative marketing and branding deals that helped grow hip hop into becoming a viable entity- cementing its place in popular culture.
“Hip Hop was everything to Chris,” says Mona.
“I’m so proud of what Chris has done for our culture. I’m proud that the young guy that I sat next to on a stoop in the Bronx was able to conceptualize a dream and really make it happen. Everything we sat out to do we did. We stayed focused and accomplished it all. So much of who I am today has everything to do with the fact that Chris had a dream. My relationships, my ability to leverage the success of hip hop into mainstream culture and our ability to provide opportunities to others came from Chris. We locked arms, came together and his dream became my dream.“
Sadly, those dreams were cut short when Chris Lighty was found shot to death in an apartment in NYC on August 30, 2012, from an apparent suicide. He will continue to be missed by the Hip Hop community.