Earlier, I wrote that Chris Lighty's death was tough to process. It still is. I never knew the man, so I can only imagine what his family and close friends are feeling right now. Lighty must have been a quality guy because news of his alleged suicide has everyone down and sad.
And we can go ahead and remove the "alleged" tag now that the NYPD has officially ruled his death a suicide. But his brother, Dave Lighty, isn't buying it.
Dave told Hot 97 FM's Lisa Evers that he's unconvinced his brother took his own life. "I'm surprised, shocked, and lost at this moment," says Dave. "I want the truth to come out. This isn't my brother. My brother was a strong person, is a strong person. Nothing is adding up. I can't get a direct answer from anybody...I understand there's a process to be followed. I can't even get clear answers from people I think I should be getting clear answers from... I just want to know what really happened to my brother. If he did take his own life, all right, I just wish he could have reached out and spoken to us. We were all here for him. I just want the truth. The truth."
We may never know the truth about the circumstances surrounding Lighty's death, but initial reports suggested that he took his life after an argument with his estranged wife. Veronica Lighty swiftly shot down those claims. "He was in a lot of pain and he possibly had some financial difficulties," said Veronica's friend Norman Downes, who spoke on her behalf, according to the Daily Mail.
So blame his financial woes then? Not so fast, says Lighty's Primary Violator partner Michael "Blue" Williams. Blue downplayed the link between his friend's debt and death in an interview with MTV News. "Chris' debt is probably less important than the pressure that he was under," Williams told MTV News last Friday. "What people are missing and what people don't see and what Chris is an example of is how much, as black men, we carry around and don't always communicate." "Some people will hear you're in $2 million of debt and be like, 'Aww he could've got out of that,' " Williams said anecdotally. "Other people will be like, 'He's been in debt before and then dug himself out,' because managers get in debt sometimes and you got to dig yourself out when your artist gets hot."
Danyel Smith, former Billboard editor, has written a compelling obit of Chris for NPR. "Chris Lighty made history," Smith states. "He helped make hip-hop. He was a success story. He was a sweet and brilliant man."