Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti has stepped forward to reveal his interest in getting offered a top-ranking position at Def Jam and why he is ultimately the best person for the job.
While crediting Def Jam’s uniqueness, Gotti also understood why his past track record could scare the label from considering him.
“I wanted to speak on this because I love the hip-hop culture with a deep, deep passion,” Gotti said in an interview. “Def Jam is the light of that culture; Def Jam personifies the hip-hop culture. There is no other hip-hop label like Def Jam…If you don’t want to hire me — the best man for the job, the man who will die for it — cool, I understand. You think I’m Suge Knight, you think the feds may come in here again if you hire me, cool…Put somebody in there, because you not giving any sign or any indication that you care about my culture.” (RapFix)
Despite eventually beating the case, Gotti’s offices were raided in the early 2000’s over money-laundering charges.
Amid all of this controversy, the FBI decided to investigate. They raided the Murder Inc. office on January 3, 2003, and the investigation made headlines everywhere, from MTV News (“Drugs, Friends & Allegations: Inside the Murder Inc. Raid”) to the New York Times (“Inquiry Into Rap Label Asks if ‘Gangsta’ Is More Than Genre”). More shootings followed throughout New York: The office of 50 Cent‘s management company, Violator, was shot up multiple times, and Gotti’s brother, Chris, was subsequently shot in the leg outside of the Def Jam office. (All Music)
In 2009, Def Jam’s Nas contemplated whether or not he would want the label’s presidency.
“Yes and no,” Nas said about being offered the presidency. “I don’t know what’s in store for the future. I’m happy to do whatever makes sense. I would love to add on and help hip-hop, I feel Def Jam is a great label for hip-hop music but I feel they could be doing a lot more for hip-hop, that’s what it’s about. Obviously people they have, have their own agendas and own direction and I respect that too. I think I can add on but I don’t know, at this point and time, I’m just taking it day-by-day, I’m not getting too caught up into all of that.” (PunchBowl)
Ex-Def Jam artist Jay-Z held the presidency until he stepped down in 2007.
Three years ago, Jay-Z signed an incentive-based contract to take over the storied hip-hop label, and in 2006, he returned from “retirement” to put out a new album, Kingdom Come. The project was met with mixed reviews but was best known for the controversies that surrounded it. Several artists who were signed to Def Jam voiced their displeasure that the president of the company was busy promoting and supporting his own album rather than helping to market works by other acts on the label. (MTV)
During his heated rap beef with Rick Ross in 2009, 50 Cent hinted at taking on a position as Def Jam president.
“When I run Def Jam I’m going to get rid of all of them,” Fif told radio personality Angie Martinez last February. “Khaled, all of them…they’re going baby…I don’t think that’s a bad idea if I have to go to get rid of Khaled and a few other artist over there that I really don’t like.” (Hot 97)
Check out Ja Rule speaking on Irv Gotti below: