Chris Lighty’s story is the story of hip-hop. His childhood in the Bronx was soaked in 1970’s hip-hop culture, the first electric moments of a brand-new scene. Lighty fell in love with the music, and soon he was carrying crates of records for the pioneering DJ Red Alert, and hitting the road with legendary acts like The Jungle Brothers and De La Soul. Then he became a hip-hop legend himself: discovering artists like Foxy Brown and Fat Joe, making the careers of superstars like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, and masterminding of some of the industry’s most lucrative deals. Lighty was the rare executive who was comfortable in both the streets and the boardroom. But while he expertly managed the lives of everyone around him, his personal problems became unmanageable. And in 2012, he was found dead an his house in the Bronx, an apparent suicide that left the music world reeling.
Touching on issues of race, mental illness, the commercialization of hip-hop, and the price of success, Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty unpacks Lighty’s’ story in a 6-episode podcast miniseries. The project features interviews with Lighty’s’ family and friends, stories from hip-hop luminaries like Russell Simmons, Warren G and Fat Joe, and previously unheard recordings of Chris Lighty himself. It is hosted by Reggie Ossé, who comes to the project from his critically acclaimed hip-hop interview podcast The Combat Jack Show. Produced as a collaboration between Gimlet Media and the Loud Speakers Network.
"We were in a relationship! I had no idea."
"I had to get on stage and make a bunch of people laugh. And how the hell was I gonna do that?"
"A lot of things are about to change in my life, because I know who I am now."
"People don't write reviews about radio mystery theatre. They don't give you Pulitzer prizes."