If you know the hip-hop artists of: Nas, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, Missy Elliott, L.L. Cool J, and 50 Cent, the person responsible for their success is Chris Lighty, founder and manager of Violator Entertainment. Unfortunately, this leader in the hip-hop music world died on August 30th, 2012, at the age of 44.
Lighty, a Bronx, New York native, started his career in the music niche by founding the Violator music company in the 90's, named after a gang he used to be involved with.
2004 was a major year for Lighty and Violator. Lighty was involved with the largest brand endorsement deal in hip-hop history, branding 50 Cent's "Vitamin Water" product. The Coca-Cola company then bought this product from Violator, paying $4.1 million dollars. According to Forbes, 50 Cent received $100 million dollars from this deal.
Another great product that Lighty recently developed under Violator was the website of PleaseListenToMyDemo.com (still in beta), allowing new artists to submit their music online and have top music executives listen to the demo track(s) they submit to the site.
On Thursday, August 30th, 2012, Chris Lighty was found dead in his Bronx apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lighty was 44 years old. Various fans of Lighty's musical direction have left their respects via Twitter.
RIP Chris Lighty who made it possible for the world to know who Warren G is and believed in me when nobody did we gone miss you Baby Chris.
Love & heartfelt prayers go out to Chris Lighty's family & all of us whose lives he touched. Words cannot express the sadness we share today
So sad to hear the news about hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty passing. My prayers go out to his family.
I was blessed to have been around chris lighty my condolences to his family
Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston now Chris Lighty? Music has been loosing some major heavyweights...The Lighty family R in our prayers
R.I.P Chris Lighty. In remembrance of Violator and what they contributed to the music industry. You will be missed!