For Irv Gotti, making music is a matter of supply and demand. If he feels the fans want it, he'll give it to them. With Murder Inc.'s name staying in the headlines, Gotti is planning to capitalize by fast-tracking Ja Rule's The Last Temptation LP.
"Ja's album is coming out in November," Gotti said last week from London. "We're gonna drop Nas and Ja's albums together, and we're gonna do a cross-promotion like you've never seen before. When you see an album come out and you see commercials, it's [usually] a 30-second spot. I'm gonna combine their budgets, and you're gonna see a 60-second spot."
God's Son is scheduled to hit stores on November 19 (see "Nas Sets Release For God's Son, Poo-Poohs Jay-Z's Challenge").
While Gotti voiced his game plan last Monday, the man with all the answers wasn't his usual self. He had a bunch of questions.
"Nas Kills The Speculation: It's Murder!"). He wants to assure all naysayers that Nas will not lose any of his street cred.
The remix to "The Pledge" is the first song to come from the new musical marriage. Gotti said the track will appear on Ja's LP, Nas' LP and possibly an "Irv Gotti presents the remixes" album. "I got the Ashanti 'Happy' remix, I got the Toni Braxton ['No More Love'], the Mary [J. Blige] and Ja remix of 'Rainy Dayz' ... I'm thinking about getting 10 songs together and putting that out," he explained.
"I'm almost happy that people still doubt that I could do anything," he continued. "I thought I would have dispelled all of that once we did what we did with Ashanti. All I'm doing is hoping to build their trust so when I do something, they know its gonna be right. Nas is a street-credible artist. Do I want to make a big record with this artist? Hell yeah! It's not like he's coming to a label where my acts is like f---ing MC Hammer."
Nas has the first verse on 'The Pledge,' and Ja Rule comes in with a verse that takes aim at a "dog" whom some people infer is DMX. Others swear Rule is talking about Snoop Dogg. Gotti said both sides are right.
"DMX Barks At Ja Rule For Biting, Plans Dis Track").
Although Gotti still refers to DMX as a friend, he's taken offense to the Yonkers beat basher's claim that Ja Rule pilfered his style. I.G. maintains that X should have held back from his badmouthing off the strength of their friendship. ("This guy doesn't seem to respect Ja or me because Ja is my brother,' Gotti said.)
"I'm gonna pose the question to you like I would pose to anybody," Gotti spouted, getting ready to state his case for Ja Rule by singing. "Would X have made 'Every little thing that we do, should be between me and you'? Would X have made 'Put It on Me'? Would X have made 'I'm reeeeeal/ The way you walk, the way you talk'? So would somebody explain to me what the f--- is X talking about? ... I take it as a slap and disrespect to my face."
Despite Ja's recent venom-drenched verse, don't expect him to participate in a drawn-out war of words. It goes against Gotti's philosophies.
"We're focused, man," I.G. rationalized. "The whole battle thing is overrated to me, man. The whole battle thing don't sell records. What sells records is big records. People always talk about B.I.G. and Pac. Pac was riding and doing on this battle stuff, but his singles were 'Dear Mama' and 'How Do U Want It' That's my take on it."
Making those gigantic smashes is going to be an even larger focal point for Gotti in the next couple of months. Besides Ja, he said he just got a call from Janet Jackson about possibly collaborating for her new project, and of course, there is the Nas album. Gotti reiterated that his new relationship with the lyrical assassin doesn't mean Nas is leaving Columbia Records.
"It's just me coming on and executive producing his album, along with himself and [manager] Steve Stoute," he explained. "He's in Orlando. He's starting to work on it, then I'm gonna come and bang on it. I'm probably gonna [produce] four to six joints on the album.
"[It] wasn't even about money," Gotti added about his partnering up with Nas. "It was more about history. We took an opportunity to make history. Whether it's good or bad, we got n---as talking. Now it's all about [making] the record. When we drop 'The Pledge' [on the entire country], I can say it confidently, we got the world on lock. Everybody is talking about this record."
For a feature interview with Murder Inc., check out "Murder Inc.: In Gotti We Trust."