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Remembering Chris Lighty

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Danyel Smith wrote a great piece about Lighty over at NPR:

Chris himself moved through life with a smooth, mean grace cultivated with his siblings, the notorious Lighty Brothers, in the rust and rubble of the ’70s and ’80s Bronx. This during an era when crack was only wack if you were doing it (as opposed to selling it) and when hip-hop was learning to walk in the Sedgwick Avenue apartment of DJ Kool Herc. Chris Lighty has been down with hip-hop since Day One. He comes from a generation of entrepreneurs — Russell Simmons, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter — who dared act a part close to their actual selves in corporate America. They studied Berry Gordy and Ahmet Ertegun. They told each other tragedy-laced stories about black artists of the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s who “died broke,” or “didn’t keep their publishing,” or just plain old got played by a business that used and abused them. Lighty — and I know this because he’s told me — wasn’t having any of that. He wanted to, and did, win.

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