The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home has dominated political news over the last week. Another 2003 FBI investigation of Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. Records made headlines at the time as well.
Irv Gotti is currently on a media run to promote BET’s The Murder Inc. Story docuseries. The veteran record executive spoke to HipHopDX about the fallout from the federal government raiding his label’s Manhattan offices nearly twenty years ago.
“You got to be smart,” said Irv Gotti. “And the other thing, to anyone who’s listening, is you got to have an unwavering belief in yourself. My goddaughter Ricky, she’s like, ‘You always win, you always winning,’ and I’m like, ‘Ricky, you don’t see the thousand no’s because I don’t wear it.’ I don’t show it. You just see the one yes and think, ‘Wow.’ I got told ‘f### you’ a thousand times before I got to the one yes.”
The Queens, New York native added, “I don’t care who says they don’t like what I got or they don’t believe in this, I don’t care. They interviewed [Jay-Z] one time and they asked Hov, ‘What’s the smartest thing you ever done?’ And he sat there, he thought about it for a second and he said, ‘We didn’t give up.’ So it’s basically the same thing. But you have to have tough skin and a belief in yourself.”
Irv Gotti produced “Can I Live” on Jay-Z’s classic 1996 debut studio album Reasonable Doubt. Jay later tapped Murder Inc. artist Ja Rule for 1998’s Platinum-certified single “Can I Get A…” off Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. The track also lives on Def Jam’s Rush Hour Soundtrack.
Excitement rose among Many Hip Hop fans in 1999 about Irv Gotti’s proposed Murder Inc. supergroup, made up of Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and fellow New York-bred emcee DMX. The three then-Def Jam signees even appeared together on an iconic XXL magazine cover. The trio never officially released a collaborative project.