Long before putting rappers with big name brands was the thing to do, Lighty spearheaded the movement. In 1997 he paired LL Cool J with Gap, and clocked notable collaborations for Busta Rhymes with Mountain Dew, and A Tribe Called Quest with Sprite.

“There’s nothing better than a song to help move a brand,”-Chris Lighty

By 2004, he took things to another level with the business union between 50 Cent and Glacéau. The move gave the G-Unit rapper a stake in the company and propelled him to a $100 million payday after the Coca-Cola bought the company.

Last fall, Violator merged with Primary Wave to form Primary Violator, under the pretense of offering artists an array of cross-promotional services. Lighty was named CEO of the company. “There’s nothing better than a song to help move a brand,” he said in an interview

Career accomplishments aside, it’s important to remember that Lighty was a brother, husband, friend, and father. He will be greatly missed.

Click below to view condolences from some of his friends.

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