Chi-Ali’s release from prison was cause for celebration. But soon after his release, Ali’s friend and mentor Chris Lighty committed suicide.

“Chris was how I got in the game, he was a mentor to me. To see him grow to the levels he grew to was incredible. He was another person I was hoping to see and kick it with,” said Chi Ali to MTV’s “RapFix Live.”

Sadly, Chi-Ali would never get the chance.

“He was the person that probably put the Native Tongues together as a whole,” said Ali of Lighty. “Him and maybe [DJ] Red Alert.”

Chi-Ali recalled the exact moment he heard of Lighty’s death. “I’m in the post office and Dres from Black Sheep calls my phone and says, ‘Yo did you hear what happened to Chris?'”

“I was only home two days, so that was definitely devastating to me. I still don’t know how to look at the situation,” he added. “I don’t know if there was funny business behind it, I don’t know. I haven’t been here; I’m not privy to that information. But I know Chris was a good dude that was a beautiful brother.” 

Watch the interview below:

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