Hip-hop is mourning the loss of Violator Management founder Chris Lighty.

Lighty, 44, was found dead in his Riverdale, Bronx apartment this morning (August 30) at 11:33 a.m. with “self-inflicted gunshot wounds” to the head, an NYPD spokesperson told XXL.

The tragic news of his passing sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop community. On Twitter and other social media outlets, where everyone from the many rappers whose careers he helped to mold to fellow executives, producers and even DJs, have offered condolences in the short window of time since learning the sad news.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of a hip-hop hero,” Russell Simmons wrote on his GlobalGrind Web site. “Chris Lighty has been a dear friend of mine since he was a kid. Was a brilliant partner in business and I was so proud of all that he had accomplished. He is an amazing example of how a passionate kid from the street can go to the most even-keeled, smart, thoughtful manager in the business and a generous philanthropist. He was loved by everyone who knew him, including me. He will be missed greatly by all of us."

Other close friends of Lighty’s were also floored and deeply saddened to hear of his passing.

“This is by far the most devastating news I’ve ever heard,” DJ D-Nice tweeted. “Lighty was one of my closest friends. Rest in peace CL. Love you always Chris. What a sad day.”

Def Jam Exec Sha Money XL wrote, “This man gave me my 1st check from music for a Cormega track, you have no idea how much this man did for this Industry #ChrisLighty.”

Plenty of rappers, ranging from Fat Joe to Ghostface Killah to Game and Pusha T also swiftly reacted to the news of Lighty’s death.

“R.I.P. Chris Lighty the man that saved my life!!!” Fat Joe offered. “I Would Be Nothing Without YOU!!! My Kids Appreciate YOU God Bless Chris Lighty”

Added Ghostface Killah: “Hard one to grab Yo damn…. My most humble prayers to the family of Chris Lighty!”

Though the Game had a notorious fallout with G-Unit, whose head honcho 50 Cent collaborated with Lighty, he had glowing things to say about Lighty.

“R.I.P. to my old friend "Chris Lighty," Game wrote. “Tragedy has once again struck the music industry & this time it hit close to home. Chris was a good dude, honestly.... A father, husband, mogul & a great business man. May his soul rest & many condolences to his immediate family & children. Love.”—XXL

[gallery template="xxl"]