VIBE’s Datwon Thomas tributes the late mogul
The rocky road of hip hop’s music industry was tailor made for a man like entertainment mogul, Chris Lighty.
Coming of age as a rough and tumble youngster from New York’s Bronx streets, the burly kid once known as “Baby Chris” went on to help turn a culture built from the concrete of his neighborhood into the billion-dollar business that it is today.
After taking his supreme “street” skills from roadie status with legendary DJ Red Alert and Boogie Down Productions, to the iconic Rush Management/Def Jam Records offices with Russell Simmons, Lighty turned his talents to his own management company, Violator.
With a quiet, yet strong, demeanor Lighty built an impressive roster steering the careers of LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Soulja Boy and teen sensation, Diggy.
Not only an innovator of mainstream deal maneuvers (he helped secure a lucrative Vitamin Water share stake for 50 Cent, rumored in the 100 millions), Lighty was also quick to defend his artists in the face of adversity.