Too many of hip-hop’s innovators have died too young. DJ Scott La Rock, Tupac, Biggie, Big L, Jam Master Jay, and most recently, Violator Management President Chris Lighty, all died leaving rich legacies and unanswered questions behind. The compounding factor in so many of the violent deaths suffered by these greats is that they remain unsolved. The uncertainty and lack of closure never allow the gaping wounds left by these losses to heal fully.
In the case of Lighty’s August 2012 death, which was initially ruled as a suicide, a private investigator hired by 50 Cent in September 2012 purports to have evidence of careless police work on the part of the NYPD, and questions their results and final determinations. Attorney Scott E. Leemon and P.I. Les Levine turned up the following results:
— The gun recovered at the scene of Lighty’s death was one of several guns purchased at in North Carolina. The gun was never reported stolen and the registered owner was never interviewed.
— The NYPD Medical Examiner never tested Chris Lighty’s hands or clothes for gunshot residue.
— A sample was taken so that the aforementioned test could be administered, but the test was still never taken. Leemon says that his team attempted to obtain the sample so that they could conduct their own test, but so far the evidence still remains with the NYPD.
Another positive contributor to hip-hop and music culture is dead, and, as is unusually common, it appears that more could be done to reveal why and how it happened. If there was foul play involved, all involved should exhaust their efforts to bring forth justice. If Lighty’s death is indeed a suicide, as was originally reported, here’s hoping that the police and investigators have fully investigated this case so that his family and his community can begin to heal.