Irv Gotti

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Irv Gotti
Gotti in 2005
Gotti in 2005
Background information
Birth nameIrving Domingo Lorenzo Jr.
Also known asDJ Irv, Gotti
Born (1970-06-26) June 26, 1970 (age 53)
Queens, New York City, U.S.[1]
  • Record producer
  • disc jockey
  • television producer
  • record executive
  • songwriter
Years active1988–present

Irving Domingo Lorenzo Jr. (born June 26, 1970),[2] professionally known as Irv Gotti (or DJ Irv), is an American DJ, music producer, record executive, and the CEO and co-founder of Murder Inc. Records. He is best known for producing multiple number-one records for Ashanti, Ja Rule, and Jennifer Lopez, as well as his collaborations with Jay-Z, DMX, and Kanye West. Gotti is also the creator of the BET series Tales.

Early life[edit]

Irv Gotti was born in the Hollis neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York City. [3]


Irv Gotti, under the moniker DJ Irv, produced the song Can I Live on Jay-Z's June 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt.

In 1997,[4] through Irv Gotti, Def Jam signed Ruff Ryders artist DMX. DMX's first studio album, It's Dark and Hell is Hot was released on May 12, 1998 and was co-executive produced by Irv Gotti. The album debuted and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and sold over 250,000 copies in its first week.[5] The album went on to sell four million copies in America, being certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, and sold five million copies worldwide.[6]

After helping Def Jam with the success of DMX and Jay-Z, Russell Simmons gave Irv Gotti his own label under Def Jam. While watching Biography on A&E during gangster week, a Murder, Inc. logo appeared on the screen and Irv Gotti decided to use the name for his label because Murder, Inc. put out hits for murder and Irv wanted to put out hit records.

Irv Gotti co-produced all of Ja Rule's 1999 debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci, as well as his 2000 second studio album, Rule 3:36. Irv co-produced Rule 3:36's singles Put It On Me and Between Me And You.

In 2002, Irv Gotti released Irv Gotti Presents The Inc, featuring much of Murder Inc.'s roster. Irv co-produced all of the album, including the album's hit single Down 4 U.

Irv, Ja Rule, and the label Murder Inc. were all involved in a well-publicized feud with G-Unit Records, Aftermath Records, and Shady Records over history between 50 Cent and Ja Rule. After this, Murder Inc. would change their name to The Inc.

Under The Inc. banner, Irv would move the label to Universal Motown and sign Vanessa Carlton.[7] Gotti co-produced Vanessa Carlton's third album, Heroes and Thieves, which was released October 9, 2007, with Channel 7, Rick Rubin and Stephan Jenkins.[8]

In an interview with Angie Martinez in early May 2009, Gotti stated that his label, Murder Inc., was leaving Universal Records.

In September 2013, Murder Inc. was relaunched as an umbrella label under Irv Gotti's new label, Visionary.[9]

Legal issues[edit]

Money Laundering[edit]

On Friday, January 3, 2003, federal agents and New York Police Department investigators raided the headquarters of Murder Inc. Records, located at One Worldwide Plaza in Midtown Manhattan. The raid was a part of a year-long investigation into the connection between The Lorenzo brothers and American drug lord Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. Investigators believed that the Lorenzos used drug money supplied by McGriff to launch Murder Inc. as a way to launder the illegal funds. Investigators also believed the brothers helped McGriff launder drug money through the making of the 2003 film Crime Partners.[10] Although computers and documents were seized, no charges were immediately filed, and no arrests were immediately made. The raid was dramatized in the music video for Ja Rule’s Murder Reigns.

Chris and Irv Gotti’s history with McGriff dated back to 1994, when McGriff, newly paroled from prison, met Chris and Irv on the set of a music video in Queens, New York. McGriff wanted to go into cinematography and sought help from Chris and Irv Gotti to produce and direct a film based on Donald Goines’ Kenyatta series’ novel Crime Partners. The Lorenzos since then maintained a friendship with McGriff, having him appear in the music video for Ja Rule’s 1999 single “Murda 4 Life” and helped finance McGriff’s dream project, Crime Partners, around 2000.

On January 25, 2005, Chris and Irv Gotti surrendered to authorities in New York City and were officially charged with money laundering and conspiracy to launder money. During the trial, Irv Gotti was represented by Gerald B. Lefcourt, and Chris Gotti was represented by Gerald Shargel. In December 2005, Chris and Irv Gotti were found not guilty of the charges against them.[11]


Irv Gotti in 2004

Singles produced[edit]


  1. ^ "Irv Gotti To Def Jam: "[They] Ain't F*cking W/ Me, I'm Too Much Of A N*gga" [Video] | SOHH.COM". January 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Smoking Gun: Archive". October 12, 2004. Archived from the original on October 12, 2004.
  3. ^ "Irv Gotti Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Executives Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles Remember DMX & Reveal How He Helped Save Def Jam". Billboard. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  5. ^ "Today in Hip-Hop: DMX Drops 'It's Dark and Hell Is Hot'". Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  6. ^ "DMX's 'It's Dark And Hell Is Hot' Tracklist, Ranked". Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  7. ^ "Yeah, Irv Gotti Knows Who Vanessa Carlton Is -- He Just Signed Her". MTV. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  8. ^ "Irv Gotti Maps Out Inc. Comeback - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". MTV. July 3, 2007. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Diep, Eric. "Irv Gotti Resurrects Murder Inc. Records - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  10. ^ "MURDER INC. OFFICES RAIDED BY FEDS". MTV. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  11. ^ "Gotti Brothers Found Not Guilty". Rolling Stone. December 5, 2005. Retrieved May 17, 2022.

External links[edit]