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Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent + More Pay Tribute to Chris Lighty at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards

Chris Lighty tribute
Chris McKay, Getty Images

One of the most touching performances at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards was the tribute to Chris Lighty, the visionary manager of hip-hop stars, who died from an apparent suicide in September. The tribute was a powerful display of unity among rappers rarely seen in the genre.

LL Cool J started off the tribute with a solemn speech of what Lighty meant to him and hip-hop. LL is known for being “hard as hell,” but clearly he was still mourning the loss of his friend as his voice cracked ever so slightly. He kicked off the memorial stating, “Without Chris Lighty there wouldn’t be music like this.”

From there, A Tribe Called Quest performed ‘Awards Tour,’ one of the group’s most well-known rap songs. Rapper Q-Tip demanded the crowd to raise their “L’s” in the air in honor of their beloved manager, which they obliged. Then Busta Rhymes came out looking like a general in his Army coat as he performed ‘Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.’ In the background, a video screen continuously flickered images of Chris Lighty.

Fat Joe came out to perform his chart-topping dance hit ‘Lean Back’ with Bussa-Buss giving him back up. Soon, Joey Crack had the entire audience leaning back in honor of Mr. Lighty.

Joe’s performance was followed by Missy Elliott who came out and gave a hyped performance of ‘Get Ur Freak On.’ Dressed in an all-black jacket with a red “V” across her chest to signify Violator Entertainment, Lighty’s management company, Missy was in rare form and was the most exciting performer out of the bunch.

Finally, 50 Cent came out to rock his get-money anthem ‘I Get Money.’ In the end, the audience raised their index and middle fingers up in the air to represent the “V,” which also, appropriately, symbolizes the peace sign.

This memorable performance also marked the end of a long-standing feud between Fat Joe and 50 Cent. According to Joe, he and Fiddy shook hands backstage and agreed to squash their beef and keep peace in memory of Chris Lighty.

“It was hard for me. This was like Palestine, Israel, B,” said Joe about his peace treaty with 50 Cent. “But we still chose the mature route and said, ‘You know what, this beef ain’t about nothing. So let’s just move on, let’s do it for Chris, and do it for hip-hop.’”

Next: See the Complete 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards Winners List!

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