Part 5: How Heavy It Was

Update: 2017-07-212


In this episode: cold hard cash. Chris Lighty makes a pile of it, and changes the game forever, when he does the biggest deal of his career—getting 50 Cent a piece of Vitamin Water. But soon, instead of swimming in dough...Chris is drowning. 

CREDITS: Mogul is hosted by Reggie Ossé. This episode was produced by Eric Eddings and Meg Driscoll, with help from Isabella Kulkarni, Peter Bresnan, and Jonathan Mena. Our senior producer is Matthew Nelson. Our editors are Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney and Chris Morrow. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and mixing by Haley Shaw. Music direction by Matthew Boll. This episode was scored by Nana Kwabena, with additional music by Prince Paul, Don Newkirk, and Haley Shaw. 

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

the mogul is what you buy so know of so knows all your favorite music and podcasts any room and every room at once by using the solid South for your phone so easy to switch which are listening to song also has this new speaker play bass sings with a TV now I know there's a lot of great TV shows are right now though my TV lately is with a lot of NBA two K happening to the plate again my fifteen yo son all the time and on the play bass it really feels like you're in a game like in real game he always wins I hate that to learn more about soul sort of subtle stuck on slash mobile S O N O S dot com slash mobile LG you a quick one before we get started this episode contains depictions of gun violence please take care when listening to the show Akira what you guys own I really wasn't sure how to start this episode like how we pick back up after we heard the contents of the police report that roof is how fuckin OB but here's what I can say for sure started working on this project will over year ago and ever since then I've thought about Chris Lai almost everyday for the most part just straight up in awe of the sky and the journey to heal me from the Brock's of the boardroom and I still do it my decrease slightly but I don't know how to reconcile that guy the one I read about a police report people think about Chris Lai si Krista Diehl make a guy whom Anna celebrities and was so good at it they became one himself the reality is most people who knew Chris was going on inside is that he didn't just protect images of his artists was a massive keeping aspects of himself into other Christs flighty and Private Chris Lai de they were two different man and very few people knew Bowl the the job now to try to tell the story of okra slices the the public figure was always in control the private one was spiraling say the Mrs. mogul the life and death of Chris lighting of the to the the the fifth episode will flow for the things that most people don't know about Chris the first we've talked about one of the things he's rational for the same fella Chris headed out and start patch hit a career high point she made a deal that is the music industry average for his place in hip hop history book that really pick up the story today story of Chris's biggest deal starts around nineteen ninety nine and the source with two men and two very different places Chris is in Manhattan in the violator offices with walls covered in gold and platinum albums but on the other and the New York City at the very edge of Queens and up and coming rappers walking into the studio only gold inside is around his neck in the form of one quarter and five nickels on across this rappers name Curtis Jackson or fifty cents The The The as you can hear the thoughts straight out without size fifty three is called In Bloom a nickname he got when he started at the age of twelve at this point he's just out of his teens and even old enough to drink one thing about fifty had a tough life from the store his mom was a drug dealer too she died under mysterious circumstances we were just a kid was kicked out of school he sold crack to carry to go and sort of wrapper shortly after getting in a Correctional facility this guy had his her credentials on lock and we introduce themselves to produce a Sha Money XL he didn't just want to shake hands here Shah was the first is we immediately the slot boxed in the studio was what a slap boxing for cell phones is when you slap a man in the face like you're early so you're saying you on ah box was a lesson is the test he wants to see we was like Did you put dogs in the kettle you want to see if you skid or view really going to do it thinking no gum hasten I'm used to this nigga I'm going to find contests no use to get into known as Conan and he saw I was a skit and it was Dow was down was the bond in point you gotta be fuckin bathroom like to think they had this attitude that said I don't give a fark and he really didn't like seeing how far he can push and push you further fifty might seem like a loose cannon but there was no question that he was talented Runtime is Sha Money XL got picked up on a track masses of the hottest production teams and have how that will give a fuck attitude came out his music perfect example a song called How to Rob the the in Rosedale be on the map called a bailout his line can explain how his defeat of the songs all the time when no it like this is Jay Z BMX will slip to fifth no one was the first that he goes after Diddy and his girlfriend Kim Porter want to see there was a problem with heels girl and holding for ransom how can the suspect who is that maybe the posts of all when one after Missy Elliott this is the time she's off limits and the height of a Korean border similar to miss them like they should put the hot cold and Misty put the hotdog down know he's calling her fat fifteen fifty had no boundaries back when you hear what you think I said Oh my God this whole industries about a million was exactly this way he should do should I get to the ear pierced ear and raise the speed of around this infinity me said I'm about a dollar what the fuck is fifty cents but that only raise his profile more silly everybody was talking about the piece was the beginning of him his marketing genius and he used a tree Tuesday Beef is the way to Baguio as the weight of bad guys the way that is good for a good idea who ran with around the same time he released another phone call the ghetto karate and fifty kalau lot of drug dealers and clean the damn thing difference was the most about Paula in the workings of their business including the kind of incriminating details and did not expect to hear the rap song I quoted the killing of the bodies were buried and who but I like Rapids drug dealers don't fuck around with crimes when they heard get her on her piss like to fuck this guy think he is putting our business out there on the street like that but fifty one stop if you take enough shots eventually somebody's going to shoot back the the the the Weir Queens look at Grand Central stuff lovers on the she announced fifty cents a share of the Gospels in that lobby through his whole family's debts total unknowns you can see a face that was just having a belly with his book The nose mouth is wide open we really talk yet a bullet is fucking dumb our own actions look how many times to get shot nine times shot both his legs his hands in his left cheek a bullet was lodged in his gums look like he might not make it and if he did survive he'd never walk or speak again just like that dropped off the map nobody saw or heard from fifty cent was God but a few months after this all went down some when he got a phone call he was a yellow facilities he said going in life it is like here in t he can speak and he said they put Humpty Dumpty back together again after their noses next line was able to focus his new tome was talking about making his comeback he was ready to get back in the studio but he'd never be the same as he was before he just started to rap again but his voice was different and is slow is different so he sounded really different when you heard the difference and you think it was better when you heard the castle and you felt the pain and you felt his energy like a super hero origin story could have been hit with radioactive bullets and somehow it made him better and stronger he still had a piece of a bullet fragment in his goals giving him a slight slur and gritty a sound fifty ish I got back to work after they had a new lease on life this was a second chance crazy drive and make it to songs a day and he just wasn't a catch it and get out there she had the perfect spot to make this happen Bilbo Lamott the son of my house got a steal in a basement will draw moonlit boat is before Live allows lie you know um um good and the game and he saw it was a suburb young is kiln room of twenty four years ago and all around and I know of stairs nobody tell me turn the music down the wide totals mow weeds in my house is a house last as she did smoke as she had lied as she rocked that shit trapped ashes and we recorded for two years stream of bodies wafted to us are working on a timer sounds basement fifties record label drop some and no matter how good his rhymes are no matter how good his music is also the other record labels want to touch him for one obvious reason everybody was scared said it was this someone came to assassinate ok what's stopping them from doing it again does the job wasn't finished the the So You wanna be next on THE happen if you want to be the chauffeur more at a book the main menu and restroom until the sun yellow nobody wanted to be there as you know what was going to happen again the fog or in a supportive every week prepping fifty cards telling everyone fifty is that shes got assignment is worth the risk that no one would take a chance and then this lady actually listen to me and said Yo luckily a group Chris took a meeting with the Asha Chris Lai do was fantasize someone he knew what to do go to the dislike easily link up with Fat Joe is drunk spy shows up below shows based in Long Island walking right past all of the security sitting out front was alone by themselves yet always lose out to nearly fifty years so's like that any lightning in a militant I might just come in that first comes into the basins like he's nuts yet and that means the middle of the screws lying common cause is coming to us and he's at the crew and I was a man is due a refund here's Kris Allen journal is then shown us what he remembers about the first meeting the the list in the US the fact you know we serve the hot days we just got one so that people will take it seriously takes the edge off of me at and all that people stay safe if the violator got a recording contract shady aftermath Frank is Eminem and Doctor G is legal now for the go from being a hip Hopper I have a rescue deal companies in the business but you gotta to do with the Lord Ministries and he still had a target on his back and he couldn't take any chances I got a reputation like his needed to take acts of cautions reasonable for the money that was the first thing he bought it only stable of full view by our cash right the Bulls who saw one of the Dow's and taps was Chris got into business for fifty he can fuck around either every careless carefree so my dad's side are working with fifty because my father was wearing a bulletproof vest to go to work this is Chris's oldest daughter Tiffany she was eleven signed fifty I saw the vest and my dad's trunk at remember listing it up and how and my father ever talk about that with you just kept the separate Not Yet he didn't really talk about that surprise even let me see that invests a lot of people by the free that i a bulletproof vest and meetings Chris was used to have people come out and he started his muscle with toe to toe was certain I was comfortable with this and maybe even liked it one of the friends Chris talks a lot during this time Sophia change she was a manager were called Wu Tang clan members ol' Dirty bastard ages eight and a visit I remember checking in at fifty and saying in a way are the only one that could really manage fifty I never could manage fifty am a fucking great manager of managers will tell you manage yeah I I I couldn't if if if the economy with a boy who was highly implausible as that would then that if the economy I would say go to Chris why did I don't know how to do that I'm not a fucking deal with that kind of beef and that kind of I don't know I don't have the background for that we seem to relish the idea that everybody that was leaning into the image in the music he was making was pretty much saying Oh come for me pull up for example his song wish the death the the the being the the the the the Boston bombings music wasn't just whacks it already been ambushed once and now the people around them are becoming targets in real life too coming up after the break Violet is a very real for Chris lives in this episode of moguls what to buy talk space online therapy company believes that Turkey should be affordable confidential and convenient talk space you can work with an experienced licensed therapist for as little as thirty two dollars a week you can see a therapist text audio and video messages whenever you want is also an option to live video chat now I know that mental health and access to mental health to carry a stigma in my community and talking about mental health can be difficult I know that going into office talking face to face with somebody about difficult topics to make people feel uncomfortable talk spaces in the sensible way to just ride out on your own terms Internet's also point to take care yourself especially a mental health to learn more go to talk space dot com slash mobile and as a special offer the mobile listeners you can sign up and use code mobile LG will get thirty dollars off your first month that stalks race dot com slash mobile promo code Mobile for thirty dollars off your first month welcome back to Mobile before the break it was still hot on the streets and things are becoming very dangerous for the people around fifty two and then in January of two thousand and three on a bitter cold Thursday evening was the end of a regular workday of the violin offices but suddenly out of nowhere became anything but ordinary at about seven pm gunman entered the elevator first lady's office on twenty fifth Street in Manhattan when the elevator doors opened up onto the eleventh floor the shower the violator reception area with bullets the the uh the doors were shattered the glass wall shelves littered the floor the elevator while the building security guard bolted to the state is trying to reach the elevator to the bottom floor Collin managed to get away the no one of I League I heard that my two things would clear one this shooting had something to do a fifty cent and two Chris was in serious danger a month later six bullets fired at a car parked right outside of Eileen offices was an SUV that belonged to Busta rhymes again no one got hurt but it was not lost on Chris to him and both had the same model car that Rabbi could have been meant for lightly this all happened so see normally of upscale boutiques and tech offices the drama have turned a block into a war zone now Chris is looking over shoulder every day as he walked to work one of the busiest cities in the world for most managers this would be it and they would draw for the last second Chris still saw the advantage business with because the spy be in the bag estimate in people getting shot and shot at fifty was about his business featuring remembers how Chris talked about for the the time well he said he was super professional she said he doesn't do any of the nonsense self I know not to chase him he's on time for every meeting that getting high is not generally doesn't do any of that he's not chasing girls he's working out he's just I mean what a perfect client for Chris right here I have a client that all of my ideas and all of my vision to just forge ahead as managers were not all that lucky Chris got really lucky the fifties debut with the aftermath of that trial was about to be a monster day the issue the issue of the the phone in the club can go anywhere without million albums to sell five million copies in the first three months to sell thirteen million copies not just planned OT times when the diamond to be on the fringes to being the undisputed hottest hip hop act despite all of that success Chris O'Sullivan lot of other people would not see for years year to sell a lot of records right then because online streaming record sales were down and they were going to stay down she was changing but an artist like fifty to make way in endorsements selling sneakers in his own branded stuff so this whole time Chris is behind the scenes so if if he is a brand when it came out it was a smash hit Chris seize the moment and line of deal after deal after deal for fifty first up a clothing line fashion designer Marc echo then is a video game level if the the three A The below the The Barclays to live an easy place to die the finally if the Reebok featuring fifty rapping about his signature kicks the foot with the the the the victim as that the man wasn't just the thing for that one now get a crew few young rapper from Queens Grill unit wise you might remember them G Unit G Unit was on fire industry kingpin Steve stout also helped launch the careers of Will Smith and then he worked on that Reebok deal Chris and fifty that was so hot in this league is able to do any price to write him a win for the seventy dollars eighty dollars for the game a solo bow everyone one need of a broke every sales record in the book G Unit even so more sneakers than Allen Iverson he was the biggest on NBA at the time this is unheard of but the biggest deal was yet to come the one that changed everything for fifty and for Chris one day in two thousand and four Chris was sitting in his office brainstorming here someone again Friday was texting is was really popping new Chris having these conversations me fifth and Chris was in Chris's office and have these conversations and we will sin and Christians live lives politically sound like baka baka little jewel for decent Literature go go go don't even drink like a gas costs around a few ideas came up with something different he said Let's do something bigger something everyone needs water Chris thinks of these ID or start calling around water companies get a connection with a small company in Queens called glass so he sold a drink called Vitamin now back in two thousand and four vitamin water was people knew about they were regional company it was just getting started before Chris was perfect because it opens was input space with something like this fifty would endorse one particular flavor Vitamin Water flavor to have special significance to him here's Chris ah the way to the grave with the uh well I mean the ratings of the community a hole in the Kate Kate's mother and everything they own over the last person of course more towards the streets you get at the Bodega sugary juices it only costs you a quarter now is the idea or thing from the Bodega suffer way just corn I remember him talking about itself imagine I guess actually tracking the fifty cent drink if they can fucking brilliant called a mood ring formal if it be to deal with the new year but this was an ordinary deal Chris made one big bet in those negotiations rather than get the usual one off and often check off if the equity in the small company ownership it turned out to be a very good bet Vitamin Water but the walk is sold everywhere cross country from Bodega upscale gyms got more more popular between two thousand and six and two thousand and seven sales skyrocketed then in two thousand and seven jackpot pool water vitamin water for four billion dollars the the move frees me to do with a fifty cent made somewhere between forty and a hundred million dollars in May so much money if it just had to brag about in his song I Get Money The The The The The The The The octagon the Senate before this companies borrow the hip hop cool in the Jennifer Tse together rapidly where their products are mentioned and given the small Shack that was it but now that is fighting artists black artists were finally getting what they deserve rather than smiling for them and they were the man his music industry powerhouse recorder he managed stores like the John Legend and Lady GA GA that vitamin awarded EO was the wakeup call for all of us that every art is across every genre nudges have to clear every rock everybody say give me a piece and this is all first ladies range oh yeah oh yeah after this fifty face was everywhere everybody knew everybody for the sun was up to my father and is decent o Izzo knows his own and those that do so it wasn't just a big deal for fifty cent Chris had a huge payday somewhere around ten million dollars and a lot of us in the industry we were there for Chris this is one of his biggest catch is when you pulled out like that you expect to be set for life bias often Island and relax and kick back but it doesn't always work like that Chris had a lot of expenses for one his business old business that was a fraction the size of my later yo the Bills were unbelievable Manhattan for the office plus overhead and keeping lights on their salaries their health insurers goes on and on the business side you gotta count for his family to support his mother to seven kids four different women as private schools college tuition car insurance houses vacations birthdays just exhausting going down on this let's remember Chris never knew his next pay day would be when you have a Vitamin Water Deal the next year called the music industry can never rest on laurels can never feel good secure never feel that your work is done Chris had to go out and get after another deal and it was no end in sight in it pushes its like a conveyor belt that doesn't stop his vibe editor and she dates one Thomas doesn't stop for you because you're successful it's like I How long can you stay on his treadmill you know how long can you run this out and if you're running you fall do you get back up Chris a God of so many times before but it was getting harder and harder the first sentence of that was really offer Chris Kaman two thousand and seven Chris can pay his tax bill and it still remains on paid today and I was just the beginning because now what of it everything else to million dollar loss will and don't see a few years back Chris went into business for a guy named Michael over its was big time Hollywood agent like he was going to bring his oyster Hollywood and all this was going to make them all movie stars in the deal to go the way Chris expected wanted out of the contract over this one let him go Chris then spent the next four years in litigation as an attorney have to say before you fucking time to be legal battle what's worse at the end of all of this Chris lost over it and had the paint tool million dollars plus the legal fees for both of them had heard that on the face with the impact that loss we had on Chris the waitress reflected on it was the way that you reflect on a divorce you know he said to me
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Part 5: How Heavy It Was