Chris Lighty laid to rest in Manhattan | Music News

A who’s-who of Hip-Hop personalities gathered in Manhattan Wednesday morning to pay their final respects to Chris Lighty as the popular and prolific industry mogul’s funeral and interment were held, respectively, at the city’s Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel and George Washington Memorial Park.

LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Diddy, 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean and Fat Joe were among the industry names intermingled with the dozens of Lighty’s other friends and relatives in attendance, while Hip-Hop legends DJ Red Alert and Boogie Down Productions alumnus D-Nice acted as pallbearers.

“He grew up to be in so many ways a true leader in our hip hop world,” LL said during the ceremony, according to the NY Daily News. “We didn’t thank him enough. I know I didn’t.”

Fellow music exec Lyor Cohen and Lighty cohorts and clients like Q-Tip, Russell Simmons and Busta Rhymes each shared fond memories of the man once known as “Baby Chris.”

“You were the light in a lot of lives,” Busta said. “It ain’t no coincidence that your last name was Lighty.”

Lighty, 44, was found outside his Bronx apartment August 30 with a gunshot wound to the head. The death was ruled a suicide, although some of his family members question whether that was truly the case.

Tributes to the much-loved founder of Violator Management have been pouring in since the news of his death broke, mostly via Twitter but also in verse — Fat Joe dedicated a touching 16 over the instrumental to Slaughterhouse‘s “Goodbye” to Lighty — and through soul-baring letters.

“Chris is always going to be who I aspire to be like in the industry. He represents WINNING, LOYALTY, and CONSISTENCY and to this day, I’ve never heard an artist say Chris jerked them,” Queens MC Cormega wrote in his open missive. Mega called Lighty a “true leader” and credited Lighty with teaching him how to be a recording artist and not just as MC. “My first recording plaque came from Chris, first tour came from Chris, and the first true sorrow I ever felt for a music executive dying is from Chris.”

[Props: MTV]