Here's understating the obvious: Irv Gotti is a big talker. He'll boast, he'll brag, he'll make promises, and, plenty of times like when he said Ja Rule and Ashanti were going to be the next big things or that we'd all be dancing to J. Lo he backs up his words.
He'll also openly disclose his dreams and gas us up to the point where we believe they'll become reality, only to soon realize we should stop holding our collective breath (remember the Jay-Z/DMX/Ja Rule supergroup LP he trumpeted?).
The past few weeks, Gotti and Ja have been going to the media with more visions of grandeur, saying that they're in the process of rocking the music world by signing Nas to Murder Inc. These are baffling claims, given that the Inc. puts all its records out through Island/Def Jam, a label Nas has openly admonished in the past for its alleged dirty business practices. Def Jam is also the label that has a partnership with Nas' on-wax enemies, Roc-A-Fella Records (see "Nas Calls Cam'ron A 'Dummy,' Retracts Call To Steal Funkmaster Flex's Chain"). And even if QB's Finest did decide to put aside his differences with Def Jam, Nas has told MTV News that he's still under contract to his recording home of almost a decade, Columbia Records.
So is Gotti selling dreams? Not so, says the now-rapping exec.
"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."
Gotti didn't have anything to do with the recording process of Nas' next album, though it remains to be seen if he adds to the marketing scheme. The long lost (actually just delayed for years) Lost Tapes LP will finally be released in September, according to a spokesperson for Columbia.
Included on the set are previously (unofficially) released tunes, many that had been bootlegged or leaked to mixtapes, and some that are at least three years old. "Drunk by Myself," "Belly Button Window," "My Way," "You Gotta Love It," "No Ideas," "Blaze a 50," "Purple," "Black Zombies" and "Poppa Was Playa" will all be included.
As for his affiliation with the Inc., Nas himself could not be reached for comment, though a source close to the rapper did confirm Gotti's statements.
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway