Chris Lighty may be gone, but the trailblazing music mogul will never be forgotten. A number of Lighty-managed hip-hop stars banded together in a star-studded send-off for the mega-manager at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards, which aired Tuesday (October 9).
Hip-hop’s love for Chris was enough to even bring old foes together. 50 Cent has been warring with Fat Joe ever since the Terror Squad leader appeared on “New York” with Fif’s rival Ja Rule back in 2004. Even though both rappers were managed by Lighty, there was seemingly no end to the feud, but during the awards show, which was pre-taped on September 29, the G-Unit CEO took the same stage as Joe Crack, thrilling the audience with his 2007 hit “I Get Money.”
After a heartfelt video intro from LL Cool J, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest buried the hatchet and set things off, performing their 1993 classic “Award Tour.” As the iconic hip-hop group threw their L’s up for Chris, pictures of the fallen rap hero flashed across the stage’s main screen. “If it wasn’t for Chris, then you wouldn’t hear music like this,” Tip said before passing the mic to another Lighty protégé Busta Rhymes, who marched up and down the stage to the tune of “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.”
“Chris Lighty, we’re gonna rep you until we’re all outta here,” Busta barked, before spitting his lyrics in his usual gruff style.
Lighty’s influence on the culture became increasingly apparent with each rapper who stormed the stage. Fat Joe was next up with his banger “Lean Back,” and then Missy Elliott was next with her 2001 party-starter “Get Ur Freak On.”
“While we were there, 50 whispered some things in my ear that was gentleman-like,” Joe said during a radio interview a few days after the taping. “He just said the right things and a handshake was involved and that was that. It was two grown men that just said, ‘This is for Chris Lighty, this is for hip-hop, let’s move on with our lives.’ ”