Thursday, August 30, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Hip-hop mogul, Chris Lighty, dead at 44

Influential hip-hop music mogul Chris Lighty fatally shot himself inside his South Riverdale townhouse on Thursday.
Police said Lighty, 44, fired a single shot to his head from a .9mm black handgun after an altercation with his ex-wife, Veronica, around 11:33 a.m. at his 670 West 232nd Street home.
The medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death, but it is understood the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said Lighty was pronounced dead at the scene.“He was going through a divorce and was in the process of moving out. He had a U-Haul truck in the front,” he told The Riverdale Review and Bronx Press Review.
The scene just before the medical examiner's office
removed the body from the scene
“Words were exchanged and he went out in the backyard and shot himself once.”
Lighty, who grew up in the Soundview section of The Bronx, is credited with bringing hip-hop to mainstream audiences and for discovering a number of leading rappers.
The Bronx native, who was reportedly worth $30 million, got his start in the industry by schlepping records for DJ Red Alert in the 1980s and by working under Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen at Rush Management.
He founded his own company, Violator Management, and eventually merged it with Primary Wave Talent Management to form Primary Violator Management last fall.
At the time of his death, he was the chief operating officer of Primary Violator—a management company and record label whose roster include artists such as 50 Cent, Sean “Diddy” Combs, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey.
A slew of musicians and industry professionals took to Twitter to express their condolences including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Pete Wentz, Scooter Braun, Fat Joe and Omar Epps.
Popular rapper and recent Bronx Walk of Fame inductee Fat Joe paid tribute to Lighty and said he “would be dead or in jail for a hundreds years” if Lighty hadn’t signed him to his in the early 1990s.
“Many years ago, I was a young kid in the Bronx selling drugs and I had a dream of becoming a rapper,” he said in a phone interview. “He saw the talent in me, and signed me. He birthed me, and my career. I’m mature enough to understand that he saved me and my family.”
Fat Joe said he last spoke to Lighty two months ago during an event in Miami. The “Lean Back” and “What’s Luv?” artist said the pair joked around and had a brief heart-to-heart.
During their exchange, Fat Joe said Lighty gave no indication that he was depressed or going through a rough patch.
“He was telling me how proud he was of me and that I was doing really well,” he said.
“He was a beautiful, handsome and lovely person. He was a legend. This is shocking. Nobody can believe it.”
More than a dozen of Lighty’s family and friends gathered outside his Riverdale home on Thursday afternoon. They even used flattened cardboard boxes and a large white sheet as shields when the medical examiner’s office removed the body from the scene.
According to Forbes, Lighty was extremely selective about whom he worked with, but he was extremely dedicated to those he selected.
“I only work with artists I love, people I’d leave my vacation for or get out of bed at 3 a.m. to clean up a mess for,” he reportedly told the publication in 2006.