New York rapper Chi-Ali has revealed his reaction to learning of the passing of longtime friend and mentor Chris Lighty 48 hours after getting released from jail last month.
Although he questions how the death happened, Chi could only speak of his fondness for the late music executive mogul.
“I was only home two days, so that was definitely devastating to me. I still don’t know how to look at the situation,” Ali said. “I don’t know if there was funny business behind it, I don’t know. I haven’t been here; I’m not privy to that information. But I know Chris was a good dude that was a beautiful brother.” While the rapper is grieving for his friend, he is happy to be home. “It’s a feeling that words can’t describe properly,” he said. “Being back into a normal lifestyle is great. I’m truly blessed.” (MTV)
According to reports, their relationship dates back to the pre-fame days.
Chi made his first rap appearance as a teenager on Black Sheep‘s “Pass the 40,” a track off of the group’s 1991 debut album A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. While Lighty appeared rapping on the same track, his gift wasn’t in the booth, but in the boardroom, where he helped guide the careers of the Native Tongues rap crew, which consisted of Chi Ali, Black Sheep, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and many others. “He was the person that probably put the Native Tongues together as a whole,” Chi Ali said of Lighty. “Him and maybe [DJ] Red Alert.” (MTV)
Late last month, fellow New York rapper Mysonne hinted at Ali’s release from jail.
“Welcome home to My brother Chi Ali!! #Realn*ggasisback,” he tweeted August 28th.
“Salute comrade Ch i’s home “@HustleHardMouse: @Mysonne yooo”,” he tweeted September 1st. (Mysonne’s Twitter)
Having only released one album back in 1992, Chi reportedly began serving his 14 year sentence in 2001.
On January 14, 2000, Griffith shot and killed Sean Raymond, in The Bronx, New York. At the time, Griffith was dating Raymond’s sister. He was charged with second-degree murder, as well as various lesser charges. An extensive manhunt resulted, with Griffith twice being featured on the TV program America’s Most Wanted. He was apprehended on March 5, 2001, and was subsequently convicted of the killing. He is currently serving a 14-year sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, where he is prisoner number 04A0267. (Wikipedia)
Check out “Pass the 40″ below: