Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

United States

Chris Lighty was a giant in hip-hop. He managed Foxy Brown, Fat Joe, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, 50 Cent—anyone who was anyone worked with Lighty. But in 2012 he was found dead at his home in the Bronx, a death that left the music world reeling. In this podcast miniseries from Gimlet Media and Loud Speakers Network, we tell the story of Chris Lighty, from the first breakbeat to the last heartbeat.

Episodes

Mogul Cameo: Russell Simmons and Sophia Chang  

This Cameo is from Russell Simmons and Sophia Chang. As one of Def Jam’s co-founders, Russell had a huge impact on Chris’ career, while Sophia was one of Chris’ closest confidants. In this Cameo, they each discuss how they processed the news of Chris’ death, and how the pain of his loss is still present today.

Reggie will also tell you about our upcoming live event. On August 10th, Mogul will be at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. Expect great conversations, a lively Q&A, and our very own park jam. Tickets are free. To RSVP, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mogul-live-presented-by-gimlet-media-loud-speakers-network-tickets-36670696039

On That Lo Life $hit  

Moguls, meet your new favorite podcast. It's called The Nod.

Luther Vandross ballads. Oil sheen spray. ‘Twice as good.’ What do these things have in common? They are each, in their own way, essential to some facet of the Black experience. In The Nod, a new podcast from Gimlet Media, co-hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life. It is a fun, yet poignant examination of both the biggest moments and most underexplored corners of Black art, media, and culture.

Eric’s always had an affinity for Polo Ralph Lauren. But he discovers a group of boosters in Brooklyn that took their love for Polo to another level.

Part 6: August 30, 2012  

August 30th, 2012. A day that shook hip hop. Chris Lighty was discovered dead in his Bronx home. The official cause of death: a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In this episode, we talk to people close to Chris to and try understand what exactly happened that day.NOTE: In this episode, we talk about suicide. Please take caution when listening to the show.  If you’re feeling depressed or you just want to talk to someone, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at  1-800-273-8255.

Mogul Cameo: Uncle Murda  

This Cameo is from Uncle Murda. The gritty Brooklyn rapper rose to prominence after dropping a series of mixtapes with titles like Murder Capitol, Respect The Shooter, and Summer Time Shootouts. Just like Fat Joe, 50 Cent, and other artists Chris Lighty worked with, Murda wasn’t putting on an act: He was a genuine street guy. In this Cameo, we hear about how Murda first pitched himself to Chris as both a rapper and a hired gun, and later found himself joining Chris on a daring mission. 

Part 5: How Heavy It Was  

In this episode: cold hard cash. Chris Lighty makes a pile of it, and changes the game forever, when he does the biggest deal of his career—getting 50 Cent a piece of Vitamin Water. But soon, instead of swimming in dough...Chris is drowning. 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Nana Kwabena, with additional music by Prince Paul, Don Newkirk, and Haley Shaw. 

Mogul Cameo: N.O.R.E.  

This Cameo is from N.O.R.E. The Queens native climbed the charts in the 1990s as a rapper, best known for his work in the duo Capone-N-Noreaga. Now, N.O.R.E. is a podcast host, so we went to his studio to talk (and, as it turned out, to drink a lot of alcohol). In this Cameo, N.O.R.E. tells us what the Violator offices were like back in the day, and why Chris’ management style was the stuff of legend.

Mogul Cameo: Joan Morgan  

This Cameo is from the author and journalist, Joan Morgan. In this exclusive conversation, she shares a few glimpses into what his friendship meant to her — from their shared roots in the Bronx, to the lengths Chris would go to just to chat and catch up. 
Mixing by Emma Munger. 

Part 4: Gucci Boots  

Lighty is at the top of his game. He’s got the fancy Manhattan office, the high-end designer clothes, and a roster of famous clients calling him 24/7. It all looks perfect. But in this episode, we discover something awful going on behind the scenes. 

WARNING: This episode includes a description of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive situation, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to help. Get more information at www.thehotline.org or by calling 1-800-799-SAFE. 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Nana Kwabena, with additional music by Prince Paul, Don Newkirk, and Haley Shaw. Special thanks to Cameka Crawford, Jina Moore and Bruce Shapiro.

Exclusive: Fat Joe  

Fat Joe is one hell of a storyteller. And in this special episode, he drops two great ones. First, the story of how Fat Joe the drug dealer became Fat Joe the rapper. Then, a story he almost never tells— because, as he says, “That's the realest story. I don't tell those stories, because then you'd think I lied. But it's a fact.” 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Jonathan Mena, and Peter Bresnan. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. This episode was scored by Nana Kwabena with additional music by Haley Shaw. Special thanks to Victoria Barner, Caitlin DiLena.

OUR SPONSOR: Bud Light





Mogul Cameo: Warren G  

This Cameo is from Warren G, who was one of Chris’ first big clients. Warren G shares a story about how Chris went above and beyond the role of manager, to find Warren G’s missing sister in the drug-ridden streets of 1990s Times Square. 

Mogul Cameo: Maseo  

Welcome to Mogul Cameo. This is a place where we’ll share some of the best stories, jokes, and observations we recorded during the making of Mogul, but were unable to fit into the show. First up is Maseo, who is best known for being one third of the iconic hip hop group, De La Soul. In this Cameo, Maseo describes talks about how Chris changed as he climbed the ranks of the music industry, from his demeanor to his tailored suits.

Part 3: Rice Pilaf  

Chris Lighty meets Warren G. It’s a story of East Coast beats, West Coast grooves, steak dinners and wild parties. Plus, a stand-off with one of hip-hop’s most infamous figures.

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, with additional music by Open Mike Eagle, Haley Shaw, Matthew Boll, and Nana Kwabena. Special thanks to Victoria Barner and Caitlin DiLena.

 SPONSORS: Sonos | Bud Light


Part 2: Not Just Me and Snakes  

Chris is headed for the big time. Meeting Russell Simmons, landing a job at Def Jam, getting into Queen Latifah’s birthday party—the future looks bright. But before he can get there, he’ll have to prove himself by squeezing eight dudes into a Chevy Corsica that smells like White Castle and farts. 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, with additional music by Open Mike Eagle, Haley Shaw, and Bobby Lord. Special thanks to Victoria Barner, Caitlin DiLena, and Tuma Basa. 

Part 1: That Beat, That Beat Right There  

Let’s start at the end—at a funeral. All the brightest stars in the hip-hop universe are gathered to mourn the death of Chris Lighty. He was their friend, their brother, their late-night confidant, the man who discovered them, or saved their careers, or made them millionaires. He was a hip-hop legend. But to understand how we got here, we have to go back to the beginning—back to a time before hip-hop even had a name. 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Prince Paul & Newkirk, with additional music by Open Mike Eagle, Haley Shaw, and Bobby Lord. Special thanks to Victoria Barner, Caitlin DiLena, and Tuma Basa. Check out more Gimlet podcasts at gimletmedia.com

SPONSORS:
Sonos







Trailer  

Chris Lighty was a giant in hip-hop. He managed Foxy Brown, Fat Joe, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, 50 Cent—anyone who was anyone worked with Lighty. But in 2012 he was found dead at his home in the Bronx, a death that left the music world reeling. In this podcast miniseries from Gimlet Media and Loud Speakers Network, we tell the story of Chris Lighty, from the first breakbeat to the last heartbeat. 

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