Former Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti discussed his relationship with rap mogul Jay Z this week and why he regretted picking sides during his early 2000’s feud with Nas.
In Gotti’s opinion, he took a big risk by riding with Nas during their beef back in 2002.
“In hind sight, I love Nas, I love [his brother] Jungle, but I should have never did that. I should have never did that. [I did it] because as anyone who really knows me, I am one of the most ambitious, I want legendary, I want people to remember my name. I want that more than the bread. I want to do great, great things. I did ‘Super Ugly’ with Hov. You don’t have to keep reminding me. [laughs] I got it, my dude! I’m telling you in all honesty, me and Nas, Nas is my brother and Jungle. This is like my family, I would shed blood with these guys if I seen someone trying to harm them. I would frontline with these guys. But me and Jay – I’ve known Jay since ’87. I should have never did that. I should have never did that. I should have said, [music executive Steve] Stoute, I cannot do that.” (“The Breakfast Club”)
Despite being on good terms with both rappers, Gotti previously said his publicized relationship with Nas in light of his beef with Jay damaged their relationship.
“It ruined me and Jay a lot,” said Irv Gotti of Nas potentially signing to the Murder Inc. imprint. During the time of the reported deal, Nas and Jay-Z were embroiled in a heated war of words culminating in Nas’ blistering dis track “Ether” and Jay-Z’s “Super Ugly” response. However, Irv Gotti revealed that his interest in Nas was deeper than the Queens borough they both proudly represented. “I messed with Nas because Hov kept turning me down,” shared Irv of his reasons for going with Nas. Irv explained later in the interview that his frustrations that Jay-Z didn’t immediately latch on to a failed Murder Inc. tour plan fueled his pursuit of Nas with Steve Stoute‘s introduction linking the pair – but the Queensbridge lyricist wasn’t moved by Irv’s promise of rap riches. “If you know Nas, the last thing he wants [is that attention],” said Gotti. (RapFix)
In 2002, Gotti said the game plan was to sign Nas to a joint venture deal.
“I had talks with him,” Gotti explained Monday in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. “Me and him really got to kicking it, he’s a good dude. I was in Miami, Atlanta, we did the last leg of the tour with him. He’s gonna be on Sony, but it will be like Ill Will/ Murder Inc./ Sony. But I will definitely be affiliated and I’ll definitely be a part of [his projects], me and my brother Ja Rule.” (MTV)
Coincidentally, Jay later signed Nas to Def Jam around 2006.
It’s been a rumor for months, even before the I Declare War show, but it’s official now: Def Jam has signed Nas, and the greatest rap beef of four years ago has become the greatest rap joint-venture prospect of right now. It’s funny; the Times article makes much of the aesthetic border between personas in the Jay/Nas beef: “…they appeared to represent two versions of hip-hop, with Jay-Z cast as the savvy hustler and Nas as the brooding street poet.” That might be true, but I’m not sure we really felt that way at the time, since the Nas that was fresh in our minds then was the Nas of “Hate Me Now” and “You Owe Me” (Village Voice)
Outside of music talk, Gotti previously credited Jay’s marriage to R&B star Beyonce for fueiling celebrity hook-ups.
“I just don’t think most [celebrity relationships] are real and have a real foundation,” Irv explained. “I don’t think that it started with real love and everything. I think the way Hov is, everyone started getting on these celebrity couples after they seen Hov and [Beyonce] which I believe is the one true, real one. I want ‘em to make it. I like those two alot. Hov is my brother and I’m just happy for them now. But they thing looks really real and with everyone else, it’s like Hov tells you to take off your throwbacks and put on button-downs and that’s what they do. They see Hov with the power couple and that’s what they doing. That’s like what’s ‘in’ now.” (Hot 97)
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Check out Irv Gotti’s interview: