When Chris Lighty died of an apparent suicide in 2012, a void was created in his wake. There are no books dedicated to his memory, no exhaustive volumes of articles and most importantly, a giant piece of a hip-hop story left untold. Thanks to Reggie Ossé, aka Combat Jack the tales and legacy of the man affectionately known as Baby Chris are coming back to life.
Mogul: The Life & Death Of Chris Lighty, a six-episode serialized podcast from Ossé and Christopher Morrow chronicles the rise and tragic fall of one of hip-hop’s more prominent executives. The show airs exclusively through Spotify as a partnership between Ossé & Morrow’s Loud Speakers Network collective and Gimlet Media. From A Tribe Called Quest to 50 Cent and Violator, Lighty was instrumental in pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop looked like, what it felt and still feels like. It also doubles as a chronicle to the rise of hip-hop itself as Lighty, a Bronx born kid utilized his surroundings and the emerging culture around him to find his own voice and way.
Ossé is no stranger to the podcasting world; he’s spent the previous seven years as host of The Combat Jack Show, one of the earliest hip-hop podcasts before the podcast boom truly took off. Lighty’s story to him is a personal one and Mogul: The Life & Death Of Chris Lighty is a project that combines two audiences: Jack’s affectionate back and forth and piquing interview style from The Combat Jack Show and the narrative-driven world beloved by fans of Serial and This American Life.
“There are very few of us that made it through almost every era of hip-hop and made an impact,” Ossè told NPR about what brought him to starting Mogul. “When we set out to do this story, we didn’t set out to solve the mystery. We didn’t set out to be Serial. We wanted to tell his story.”