Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld / Contributor via Getty Images and Bennett Raglin / Stringer via Getty Images
  /  08.19.2023

On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN welcomed Irv Gotti back to the show to talk about selling his masters, his upcoming film, Nelly reuniting with Ashanti, and more.

Born Irving Domingo Lorenzo, Jr., Gotti made a name for himself as the founder of Murder Inc. Records by signing artists like Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Lloyd. In recent years, he’s shifted focus and extended his influence into television and film. His TV show “Tales” on BET turned hip hop songs into visual narratives. In August 2022, Gotti also dropped his six-part docuseries “The Murder Inc Story” via the cable channel.

Gotti hasn’t abandoned music entirely, though. Despite selling part of his masters and publishing, the mogul is still focused on reviving his record label. In July, the New York native signed his first new act, LAZR. The emerging artist will appear on the soundtrack of Gotti’s upcoming film, We Made It In America, slated to come out later this year.

To help give fans a recap, REVOLT compiled a list of nine facts we learned from the Irv Gotti episode. Check them out below and watch the full conversation here if you missed it.

1. On selling his masters and publishing

Last year, Gotti announced that he sold a reported 50 percent stake in Murder Inc.’s masters and publishing rights for $300 million. The primary reason for his decision was to fund his forthcoming ventures, which include TV shows and feature films. According to Gotti, he inspired other artists, such as Future and Justin Bieber, to sell theirs after seeing how much money he pulled in.

“Basically I said, ‘I’ma sell my past to invest in my future.’ I sold everything. I sold the pub. I sold the producer royalties and my masters, which is the biggest part of it. I started a trend. After I sold my s**t, I started seeing everyone sell theirs,” he expressed.

2. On his upcoming movie, We Made It In America

Initially teased in July 2022, Gotti is currently preparing to debut his first movie titled We Made It In America. Tentatively slated to drop in October, the music entrepreneur explained that the story will loosely mirror the life of JAY-Z and his journey from drug dealer to successful entrepreneur. This week, Gotti dropped a six-episode TV series that documented him picking the lead actor.

“That I wrote, directed, produced, and paid for. And it’s a hip hop movie, so all of my hip hop n**gas, y’all gonna love it. It’s really a good movie, and it’s for the hip hop culture,” Gotti said. 

Having previously produced TV shows like “The Murder Inc Story” and “Tales” for BET, Gotti explained why he’s no longer partnering with the cable channel. He revealed, “I don’t like BET. Scott Mills don’t like Black people. Let me rephrase — Scott Mills don’t like hood n**gas, young hip hop n**gas, [or] Black people. He’s a Black guy, but I say he’s the whitest Black guy in existence.”

3. On Dame Dash speaking ill of him

Last Month, Dame Dash appeared on the “That’s F***ed Up Podcast,” where he blamed Gotti for orchestrating JAY-Z’s “Supa Ugly” during the rapper’s beef with Nas. “Every time Irv got in our business, he f**ked s**t up,” Dash told the hosts. In response, Gotti let his opinion loose on the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder.

“I don’t listen to Dame. Does anyone listen to Dame anymore? He’s lit on the internet? Good for him, good for him. I don’t give a f**k about what Dame Dash says,” Irv Gotti insisted. “I can’t be called a culture vulture, I’m the culture. I heard what he said.”

He continued, “Dame Dash was never around. Hov is Hov, n**ga. Don’t get it f**ked up; he don’t need nobody.”

4. On Gunna taking a plea deal

In December 2022, Gunna was released from jail after entering an Alford plea deal. Per the agreement, he pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Drawing parallels to the 2003 case where Gotti and his brother were found not guilty of using their label to launder $1 million in drug money, the Murder Inc. founder chimed in on the situation.

“Once you start taking plea deals, you’re working with them. They came to me, ‘You want to say anything [about] Preme?’ I told them n**gas, ‘Suck my d**k,’” Gotti shared. “N**gas ain’t cut from that. Some part of me would be like, ‘Yeah, to each his own. Do what’s best for your life.’ Do what’s best for your life, dog. But me, I just can’t.”

5. On JAY-Z working with 50 Cent after Gotti tried to sign Nas

After Gotti attempted to sign Nas to Murder Inc. amid Nas’ beef with JAY-Z, Hov aligned with 50 Cent, who had a longstanding feud with the record label’s roster. 50 and Hov joined forces for the “Roc The Mic Tour” and a Reebok commercial. Moreover, things didn’t work out for Gotti after the “If I Ruled the World” rapper turned down his offer.

“I recall me talking to JAY about Nas. I was like, ‘Y’all beef ain’t real.’ If it was real, I wouldn’t do it. I like Nas. Everyone likes Nas, he’s a cool n**ga, and he’s legendary,” the music exec pointed out. “You know, Nas coming to Murder Inc., if he would’ve actually did that, it would’ve put Murder Inc. in a whole ‘nother stratosphere.”

“[One hundred] percent… because the relationship that me and JAY had… Once I did that, JAY openly was like I was dead to him. It opened up him doing all of the things with 50, and I couldn’t say s**t,” Gotti added.

6. On Ashanti reuniting with Nelly

During his previous appearance on “Drink Champs,” Gotti told N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN how he found out that Nelly was dating Ashanti, the latter of whom he alleged he had a relationship with. Although the “Hot In Herre” rapper and the R&B singer split in 2013, they’ve since reportedly rekindled after being spotted holding hands in April. Speaking on Ashanti, Gotti admitted that bringing her up was a regrettable decision while boasting about all the pretty women he can get.

He explained, “She’s done. She’s f**king done with me. No one’s sitting around thinking… ‘Oh, but she still looks great. You ain’t want her when you seen that last picture?’ I mean this with all respect to women… I get some of the most baddest b**ches you will ever [see] in your life, and they not Ashanti. Black, white, Latina; I get bad b**ches.”

7. On Fat Joe coming to Ashanti’s defense

Following the aftermath of Irv Gotti’s previous “Drink Champs” appearance, Fat Joe called the businessman out for speaking ill of Ashanti. During an Instagram Live session, he said, “When you keep ranting about somebody 20 years later, it feels like he’s not over the young lady, right?” Later in the interview, Gotti explained why he didn’t respond to Joe and revealed that they’re not close anymore.

“Fat Joe was my brother. I do not feel Fat Joe is my brother anymore,” he said. Gotti continued, “His defense and Ja’s defense is they do shows with Ashanti, but Rule will never come out and say, ‘Gotti’s a sucker.’ Fat Joe said, ‘Oh, Gotti’s a sucker.’ I gotta pull back and regress from that. If I was to go respond or anything with that, it could get crazy.”

8. On the moment he lost out on signing Nas

During an interview with HipHopDX, Gotti revealed that not being able to sign Nas to Murder Inc. is still one of his biggest regrets. Even though the Queensbridge MC appeared on Ja Rule’s “The Pledge (Remix)” alongside Tupac and Ashanti, the venture was never finalized. Midway through the “Drink Champs” interview, Gotti revealed the moment he realized Nas wasn’t going to ink a deal with the label.

He noted, “Imagine me, Nas, Ja, f**king Ashanti, and we pulling up in Rolls-Royces and eating fried chicken in the hood. That’s a moment… Nas was like, ‘Yo, I hear you, but what if we get killed being in the hood like that?’ This is when I lost him. I said, ‘If we get killed, then we martyrs, n**ga.’ N**ga, what I was talking about would’ve been some once-in-a-lifetime, legendary s**t.”

9. On Drake being a better artist than JAY-Z

In 2022, Drake tied JAY-Z for the most No. 1 releases on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Both artists are considered leaders of their respective generations. However, the Toronto rapper is a better artist than JAY solely based on the fact that he’s still making music, according to Gotti.

“I think Drake is the biggest artist in the world, but I do think it’s time for someone else. I don’t view Hov like how I view Drake. Drake still makes music; Hov is not making no music,” Irv Gotti said. “Last time I spoke to Hov, he said, ‘Gotti, I gave it all I had.’ That was his way of telling me he’s out.”



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