Legendary hip-hop manager Chris Lighty has boasted a roster of incredibly talented artists and entrepreneurs. The Violator CEO’s list of entertainers was so vast, that two compilation albums were released in 1999 and 2001, respectively. While both albums were very high in quality, TheUrbanDaily wanted to put a spin on the projects. Here’s what a Violator compilation would look and sound like if it were comprised of various records of by Violator managed artists.
Track 1 – 50 Cent “I Get Money”
Lighty’s influence in 50 Cent’s career is well documented, so what better way to start this album. The Queens MC paid homage to their Formula 50 deal with the lyric “I took quarter water and sold it a bottle for two bucks/Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions/What the f*ck?”
Track 2 – A Tribe Called Quest “Award Tour”
Tribe’s third album ‘Midnight Marauders’ was a huge success for the group. In a year which is heavily remembered in Hip-Hop history, 1993 elevated Tribe into a new commercial space, both literally and figuratively. Lighty was able to use the groups success as a launch-pad for their 1994 commercial deal with Sprite.
Track 3 – Busta Rhymes “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”
One of Hip-Hop’s most charismatic artists is Busta Rhymes. Armed with a larger-than-life persona and lyrical skill, the leader of the Flipmode Squad dropped a visual masterpiece in 1997 with “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”. The Grammy-nominated record went on to become a legendary club record that’s been remixed several times over, and is still played in clubs to this day.
Track 4 – Warren G ft. Nate Dogg “Regulate”
This platinum selling record will always be linked to the ‘Above the Rim’ movie and soundtrack, but this was much more impactful than that. Dr. Dre’s half-brother joined Def Jam during the height of the East and West coast feud, which served as a bit of history for both artist and label. This would be the perfect spot for this record to appear in our compilation.
Track 5 – Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On”
Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott has been as influential and versatile as they come in hip-hop culture. The Grammy winning artist/songwriter dropped her third studio album ‘Miss E…So Addictive’ in 2001. “Get Ur Freak On” was produced by Timbaland, and went on to become a worldwide success.
Track 6 – LL Cool J “Luv U Better”
Nine studio albums in, and James Todd Smith proved that he still belonged. The Neptunes-produced “Luv U Better” was the lead single for LL’s ‘10’ album. The project marked the 10th body of work released by the Queens MC with Def Jam Records, which included a greatest hits album entitled ‘All World: The Greatest Hits’. While hip-hop has always been seen as a young-man’s game, LL proved that the ladies still loved Cool James.
Track 7 – Mobb Deep “Quiet Storm”
Keeping it in Queens, we have the ‘Murda Muzik’ single “Quiet Storm” from Mobb Deep. Believe it or not, the duo from Queensbridge almost didn’t release this record as a single. It was Lighty who convinced Havoc to put the song out and then to feature Lil Kim on the remix. “Quiet Storm” went on to become the group’s biggest commercial hit, which is still played in clubs today.
Track 8 – Terror Squad “Lean Back”
With Lighty being a Bronx native, it’s only right that we take this album uptown. Although “Lean Back” was technically a Terror Squad record, as it appeared on the group’s compilation album ‘Terror Squad: True Story’, it featured Violator MC Fat Joe as the single’s front-man. The 2004 club banger remains one of the most celebrated records in today’s nightlife.
Track 9 – N.O.R.E. “Superthug”
Speaking of club bangers, the 1998 release of Noreaga’s ‘N.O.R.E.’ featured the Neptunes-produced “Superthug” which was a huge commercial success for both artist and producer. The hit single propelled the Queens MC’s debut to platinum status, while simultaneously launching the Neptunes to some of Hip-Hop’s go-to hit-making producers. Here’s one half of the Capone-N-Noreaga duo’s “Superthug”.
The Chris Lighty Compilation Album We Wish We Could Have was originally published on theurbandaily.com