Irv Gotti’s passion for music stems from when he was 11 years old and started cutting up his first record on a friend’s turntable set around the corner from his house. The record was a breakbeat called “Shangri La.” By age 17, “DJ Irv” was in Europe touring with Jaz-O and JAY-Z earning a few dollars for what he loved. In between though, as Gotti tells N.O.R.E. And DJ EFN on this week’s Drink Champs, he didn’t look any further than his own neighborhood for inspiration and a place to hone his skills.

“I heard ‘Sucker MC’s’ and that was all she wrote,” Gotti said, speaking about Run-DMC’s classic song. “I’m from Hollis Queens and Run and them lived down the block. Jay and Run and them lives down the block. What bigger of an impression can you get than the niggas that was runnin’ the whole world? They was making everyone buy adidas and they really controlled the world and were colossal, orca big. My influence started right there, just seeing Jay had a 560 Benz with the chrome rims. I thought he was the coolest muthafucka and I thought ‘I wanna be that.’

“So at 15 years old, my man Quaseem, —Jamaica Park was where we did our park thing — my brother Chris got me to DJ in the park,” Gotti continued. “I get in. I put on ‘Rock Box’ and on ‘Rock Box,’ you know Run says ‘Run, Run, Hollis Crew.’ I knew Hollis niggas were in there and I just destroyed that. My hands were like a blur. The crowd went crazy and the older heads were like ‘Yo, it’s your park now.’ You got the park every week, you play the music.’”

Irv was just one of an immeasurable amount of people influenced by Run-DMC over the past 30 plus years since they debuted. Monday, October 30 marked the 15th anniversary since Jam Master Jay was killed and taken away from us all. REVOLT has full coverage, from the origin of the case to an update on what’s going on. As for Irv Gotti, you can catch him this Thursday on Drink Champs at 10 PM. It is truly the most unfiltered episode ever with stories about Nas, JAY-Z, J. Lo, Karrine “Superhead” Steffans, and of course his drug-infused days with Ja Rule, Ashanti and Bobby Brown making music for Murder Inc.