Veteran hip-hop executive Irv Gotti may have come a long way.
Known for helping launch the careers of artists like DMX and Ja Rule, the heavyweight has reportedly signed a $300 million deal with Iconoclast – a network developed to serve global agencies, record labels and content platforms , and more.
“I raised $5 million to shoot my movie and used my music catalog as collateral. When I did that, it opened a Pandora’s box,” he told Billboard. “My good friend Zach Horowitz, who was the CFO of Universal Music Group, called me up and said, ‘Irv, are you interested in selling [your catalog]”My guy, Walter Jordan, was always like, ‘Irv, you got money over there.’
He continued: “Then Zach said he knew Oliver Chastan, he was the best and paid top dollar. We met and it was a feast of love – Oliver felt my energy and the affair did not take long, a few months. I am a very spiritual person, and it was God and my father who passed away on November 1 watching over their boy. It’s very surreal, but I would give every dollar of the $300 million to get my dad back. But he is with me and I feel his presence.
Although he has apparently made the decision to sell a 50% stake in the old music recordings of Murder Inc., he will always retain ownership of the famous label.
Moreover, for him, this deal is one of redemption.
Records of Murder Inc.
At one point, Irvi Gotti claims that Universal Music Group offered $1 million for his records.
“I only owned 50% of my masters and Universal Music Group owned the other 50%. When it came time for us to end the deal, Universal Music Group offered me $1 million,” he told Billboard. “I basically said, ‘What? It’s nothing, yo. Kiss my ass. My shit is worth more than that. They explained to me that it was only CD sales. I would like to thank God for the streaming. Streaming has made my masters worth so much more.
Now he credits God for holding his hand every step of the way.
“God himself is holding my hand right now and I’m not letting go,” he said. “I sold my past to ignite my future. I’m making Visionary Ideas Entertainment a multi-billion dollar entertainment company. Instead of going into the investor circle and maybe raising $100 million, I did it myself and I bet on myself.
As part of the deal, Gotti will continue his television endeavors.
He premiered the American drama anthology “Tales,” which shares visual stories through iconic hip-hop classics in June 2017. Its third season premieres on BET on August 9.
The next step is a TV competition series, titled “Double Threat”. The series aims to help find the next rap and movie superstar. Additionally, his BET series “Tales” is set to be adapted into a movie called “Tales Presents: We Made It In America.”
Born Irving Domingo Lorenzo Jr., Gotti co-founded the successful Murder Inc. Records label alongside his brother Chris Gotti in 1998.
Apart from flagship artist Ja Rule, the label has served as a launchpad for artists like Ashanti, Vita, Charli Baltimore, and more.