Record producer Irv Gotti co-founded the record label The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.) with his brother Chris. Since the mid 1990s, he has produced a number of hits for such artists as J-Zay, DMX, Ashanti and Ja-Rule. He has also released his own albums titled “Irv Gotti Presents: the Murderers” (2000) and “Irv Gotti Presents: The Remixes” (2002) and contributed to several movie soundtracks, including “Romeo Must Die” (2000), “The Fast and the Furious” (2001) and “Shall We Dance” (2004).
In 2005, Gotti and his brother were acquitted on federal charges of money laundering.
Childhood and Family:
Irv Gotti was born Irving Domingo Lorenzo Jr. on June 26, 1970, in Queens, New York City, New York. Along with his brother Christopher Lorenzo (known as Chris Gotti), he owns the record label The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.). Irv is separated from his wife Debbie. They have two kids.
Irv Gotti launched his producing career in the rap industry in the mid 1990s when he aligned himself with Mic Geronimo, a New York MC whose first album, “The Natural” (1995), Gotti helped produce. At that time, Gotti used the pseudonym DJ Irv. His career received a boost the following year when he used his producing talents on Jay-Z's debut album “Reasonable Doubt” (1996). The album was an instant success.
Gotti continued to establish himself in the music industry when he began working with DMX. “It's Dark and Hell Is Hot” (1998), DMX's debut album, proved to be extremely influential in the trendy rap industry. 1999 saw Gotti work with Ja Rule on his debut album “Venni Vetti Vecci” (1999), which although it was not quite as promising as Jay-Z's or DMX's debuts, the work enabled Gotti to further cement his reputation. Due to his success of his executive producing DMX and Ja Rule, Def Jam, the label responsible for both artists, subsidized the producer to create his own label, Murder Inc.
Under Murder Inc., Gotti released “Irv Gotti Presents: the Murderers” in 2000, but it did not receive the same success as his previous work. In the meantime, he also produced hits, most remarkable for Ja Rule whose sophomore effort, “Rule 3:36” (2000), comprised of many chart topping Gotti productions. Gotti also shared a degree of prominence with the success of Ja Rule's subsequent album “Pain Is Love” (2001).
Gotti's next big break arrived when he collaborated on Fat Joe's “What's Luv,” Ja Rule's “Always on Time” and Ashanti' “Foolish.” All three singles became chart hits. He also frequently became the center of attention in the media and announced his plans to join forces with superstars like Michael Jackson and sign Nas to his label.
Following the release of “Irv Gotti Presents: The Remixes” (2002), a remix album featuring Ashanti, Ja Rule and many other artists, Gotti created controversy for creating a shady persona. He originally posed as a self-made don and later declared to have connections with Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, a legendary drug kingpin also from Queens. The connections were represented in a number of songs, including “Ghetto Qua Ran” by fellow Queens native 50 Cent. The platinum selling rapper was known to have a long relationship with Gotti and Murder Inc.
In 2004, Gotti once again made headlines when his label, The Inc., came under investigation for allegedly laundering money. On December 2005, the brothers were found not guilty of all the charges. More recently, Gotti teamed up with 7 Aurelius, Rick Rubin and Stephan Jenkins to produce Vanessa Carlton's album “Heroes and Thieves.”
Gotti has also worked on numerous soundtracks for movies, including “Rush Hour” (1998), “Bamboozled” (2000), “Exit Wounds” (2001), “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” (2004) and “More Than A Game” (2008). He also starred and produced the reality show “Gotti’s Way” (2007-2009).