Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty
By: Gimlet Media
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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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.
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.comSPONSORS:Sonos
America’s divided. And it always has been. Uncivil, Gimlet’s new history podcast, takes you back to a time when America was so divided that it split in two. In each episode hosts Jack Hitt and Chenjerai Kumanyika ransack the official history of the Civil War… that boring, safety-first version you were taught in school. They’ll bring you untold stories of covert ops, mutiny, counterfeiting, and the 1860s version of drone warfare. And give you a better sense for how these forgotten struggles connect to the political battlefield we’re living on right now.In this first episode of Uncivil, The Raid, a group of ex-farmers, a terrorist from Kansas, and a schoolteacher attempt the greatest covert operation of the Civil War.New episodes of Uncivil come out every week. Listen on:Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Pocketcasts | Overcast
Moguls, here it is: The last episode of Season 1. And it’s a classic! Back in August, we recorded a live show at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. That night, Reggie chopped it up on stage with Dante Ross, Dave Lighty, Mike Lighty, Déja Lighty, and Tiffany Lighty. They talked about Chris' legacy as someone who made sure everyone got fed, and dropped more than a few big names along the way. There was also a lively Q&A where the audience got a chance to ask all of the burning questions about the first season of the show. You can hear all those conversations right here.
On this episode of Behind the Beats, Reggie chats with two Gimlet audio engineers who crafted the sound of Mogul. Haley Shaw and Matthew Boll break down how they built such a vivid world in Mogul by combining sound effects and music with hours of interviews.
Welcome to Behind the Beats. In this series, we’ll go behind the scenes to discover how Mogul got its distinct sound. In this first episode, we’ll hear from the three artists who wrote much of the show’s original music: Prince Paul, Don Newkirk and Nana Kwabena.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.