On stage during the taping of the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards, one of the most memorable moments came when old rivals 50 Cent and Fat Joe joined forces to pay tribute to their fallen manager and mentor, Chris Lighty. In a recent interview with Philadelphia's Hot 107.9, Joe explained how Lighty represented a human link between he and 50 and how the Violator founder always wanted the two to reconcile.
"The same guy who discovered him discovered me," Joe said of the G-Unit boss. "I owe Chris Lighty everything. I used to hustle big time in the Bronx and out of like 50 guys, I'm the only one that got away because I went legit. Everybody else got like 75 years in jail, God bless 'em. So he literally saved my life."
Even though Lighty had long advocated for the two rappers to make a truce, it took his passing to finally get the deed done.
"He always wanted me and 50 to make peace, but we was just being stubborn and ignoring him, you know?" Joe said. "I came [to the BET Hip Hop Awards] to do the tribute. I knew 50 was gonna be there, but I came there thinking 'We gon' do this for Chris.' While I was there, 50 came and whispered something in my ear that was very gentleman-like. And I'm a gentleman, man. I don't dislike people. I'm one of the most lovable dudes in hip hop, believe it or not. So he said the right things and there was a handshake involved and that was that. It just took two grown men to say 'This is for Chris Lighty, this is for hip hop. Let's move on with our lives.'"
The reconciliation was as surprising to the audience as it was to the two men involved. Previously, 50 had indicated that he had no interest in resolving the dispute even in light of Lighty's death.
Catch the tribute performance, which also included Q-Tip, and all of the other unforgettable moments from the awards when they air next Tuesday at 8PM ET / 7C on BET.
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(Photos: Moses Robinson/Getty Images for BET)