Rap royalty turned out Wednesday for the farewell of fallen hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty. A constellation of stars — many of them wearing pins emblazoned with Lighty’s face — crowded a Manhattan funeral home to pay their respects.
Sean Diddy Combs, Fat Joe, Rev. Run, Missy Elliott, Michael Bivens, Wyclef Jean, Ed Lover, L.L. Cool J— each stopped by the open casket where Lighty was laid out in a black suit.
The mourners also included rappers Lighty had worked with like 50 Cent, singers like Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill, celebrities like Gayle King and Nick Cannon, and other rap moguls like Andre Harrell, Lyor Cohen and Mona Scott-Young.
Rapper Busta Rhymes capped his tribute to his longtime friend with a rap. “You were the light in a lot of lives,” Busta declared at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel. “It ain’t no coincidence that your last name was Lighty.”
Russell Simmons credited Lighty with helping “create a cultural revolution” and rapper Q-Tip called him “an honorable man.” “He grew up to be in so many ways a true leader in our hip hop world,” rapper LL Cool J said. “We didn’t thank him enough. I know I didn’t.”
Lighty, 44, the founder and chief of Violator Management, killed himself last month after a heated argument with his estranged wife Veronica outside their Riverdale townhouse, police said. Veronica Lighty was at the funeral but did not speak.We toldya she insisted earlier this week that their fight did not spark his suicide.
“We had a passionate relationship,” the 36-year-old widow said. “We fought all the time.” While Veronica Lighty had filed for divorce last year, she said she called it off two days before Father’s Day. Asked about Lighty’s massive money woes, the widow said he paid the $5 million he owed the IRS by selling their Chelsea pad for $5.6 million.
Lighty still owed more than $330,000 in state and federal taxes and was sued in April by City National Bank for not paying them after he had overdrawn his account by $53,584.