The longtime hip-hop executive is dead at 44 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lighty has been a hip-hop fixture for nearly three decades. The Bronx native began his career as part of the Violator Crew, a security team for DJ Red Alert in the early – and often more violent – days of hip-hop. The crew evolved into a rap group (Lighty’s verse on Black Sheep’s ‘Pass The 40’ appears at 2:22, below) and eventually an entertainment conglomerate of the same name.

Lighty was instrumental in managing the careers of 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, and Missy Elliott. Last year, Violator Management merged with Primary Wave Talent Management.

According to the NY Daily News, law enforcement sources said he may have been dealing with financial struggles, including owing about $5 million to the IRS, in addition to fallout from a divorce last year.



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