I’m always seeking out new, interesting Podcasts. Regardless of the length of your daily commute, there’s usually a Podcast available to fit your time-frame. Recently, I’ve been listening to Gimlet Media’s “Mogul,” an in-depth exploration of hip-hop manager Chris Lightey’s life and death. Through Lightey’s life, we track progression and change within the hip hop world. With excellent sound-editing, often using songs by L.L. Cool J and Jungle Brothers to illustrate a point, I haven’t listened to such a well-produced, beautiful podcast, since I first heard ‘Serial.’ (That score, though!)
‘Mogul’ is a multi-part, 25-minute, weekly series– the perfect length for a quick Subway ride! Its central figure, Chris Lightey, was a renowned hip hop talent manager. Growing up in the projects of New York City, Chris Lightey’s rise aligned with the rise of hip hop music and culture. Lightey (reluctantly) collaborated with Russell Simmons at Def Jam Records, as well as some of the biggest names in the industry: Foxy Brown, P. Diddy, L.L. Cool J, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent and more.
In fact, upon Lightey’s death, which was ruled a suicide, 50 Cent fronted costs for a further, re-examination into Lightey’s death. Many friends and family members were shocked by Lightey’s seemingly unexpected suicide.
As a lover of music, and a singer, I adore learning about the history of genres. This medium, tapping into hip hop through the lens of one individual, is successful and moving. As always, I prefer to attach to an individual over a greater concept.