This was a special 6 part series in collaboration with Spotify, Gimlet Media, and Loud Speakers Network. The series was narrated by Reggie Osse’ bka Combat Jack in the podcast world. I credit my introduction into podcast to the Combat Jack Show. They brought me into the world with hardcore interviews with hip hop acts and behind the scenes guys of the industry that I have heard about since a child. So when Combat Jack introduced his new project about the legend Chris Lighty I knew the bar had been raised,
The series is an audio documentary. It starts from the beginning of his career and introduction to the industry. From going to clubs and getting in fights, getting his face cut. Being sat down by his mentor and being faced with a pivotal decision in giving up the street life and becoming the business man we knew him to be. The production of this podcast was official. They sat down with his close friends from before the fame, a few industry friends and family members. The perfect compliment to series was his daughter. She added in my opinion the icing to this project. Her insight and input gave a side of Chris Lighty no one could share.
The podcast also opened up about the side no one knew about Chris Lighty before and after his death. His volatile relationship with his wife and how physical it got between them. It also shed light on how much debt Chris was in at the time of his death from the effect of the Bernie Maddof dealings and an ongoing lawsuit that he ultimately lost.
The power play that I felt Combat Jack and Gimlet did was opening the door to talk about mental health in the black community. Chris was a strong and powerful man but at the end of his life he was struggling with bouts of depression. I remember when the news spread about him dying the hip hop industry spoke out about how much Chris meant to them and how he was there for everyone. It left me thinking how could it happen too, but I also thought about who does the person everyone depends to strong open up to? In most cases they don’t because of the weight that is placed on them to be strong for everyone else. A huge issue in the black community in my opinion is thinking that showing emotion is weak. Which it isn’t it’s just human at the end of the day. This hit home for me because as a husband and a father I know that I can’t be strong all the time and that eventually you will break down, so it’s important to have outlets. This also came after I took a mental health training a few months ago at work. In 2016 in hip hop it was a huge spotlight on mental health with Kanye and Kid Cudi sharing their struggles that forced conversations on social media to happen which is a good step. As everyone has decided to be more health conscious with drinking green smoothies and working out. Don’t forget the strongest muscle in your body your brain and mental state. Thanks Combat Jack again for raising the bar and awareness.
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