Today the music world was rocked by the tragic news that legendary music executive and manager Chris Lighty died of an apparently self-inflicted gun shot wound. As a manager, Lighty’s clients included acts like 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and A Tribe Called Quest. A street kid made good, Lighty began his music career carrying crates for Kool DJ Red Alert, later acting as a road manager for the Jungle Brothers and then learning more about the music biz under the tutelage of his Rush Management bosses Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen. Lighty took “The Violators,” the name of the crew he ran the streets of the Bronx with, and used it to name his management company.
In the ’90s “Baby” Chris Lighty was the business-minded backbone of the Native Tongues hip-hop collective that included De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Black Sheep. Though Lighty wasn’t a rapper himself he wasn’t above dropping a humorous verse on a often overlooked Native Tongues posse cut called “Pass The 40″
“Pass it, tap it, and then crack it
Take a small swig
Or down it like a pig
You’re too tipsy to operate this rig
of my mic, you suckers I strike in filght.
Here’s a DWI for drivin’ drunk with the mic
From Chi to Lawnge and all those in this fight.
Loosen your grip ’cause you’re holding it to tight.
It’ll take a body count, I know my body count is right
Five drunk niggas from my left to my right,
And maybe ya ho that I’m with tonight
But it’s all right Yo! It’s all right
So Dave my grip is getting weak
Grab the 40 so I can hear you speak”
Pour out a little malt liquor for Baby Chris y’all . . .