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Irv Gotti Ja Rule Harry-O Caddy Blackchild
In the early 90’s a young DJ/Producer by the name of Irving Lorenzo better known as “DJ Irv” to the people of New York, aligned himself with young and aspiring rap artists Mic Geronimo, and the collective CMC or Cash Money Click which boasted future hiphop icon Ja rule as well as rappers Chris Black aka Jody Mack, and 0-1. Together Irv got CMC a record deal with Blunt Records/TVT Records. They released two singles “Get the Fortune” and “4 My Click”, shooting a video for both. However, negative politics of the music industry made it unable for CMC to come out with an album. The repercussion caused Chris Black to be forced back to the life of hustling in the streets. Unfortunately Black was convicted of a crime he did not commit, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Even though he was locked up in Clinton Annex, Franklin and Hudson, he was still able to get his music out to the people who needed to hear it.

Cash Money ClickDisappointed in the industries lack of reaction to CMC, Irv put forth Mic Geronimo’s debut album “The Natural” in 1995 which included a historic collaboration between 3 megastars of the future. The track “Time to Build” found Ja Rule front man of the CMC trading verses with two other New York MCs, Jay-Z from Brooklyn and DMX from Yonkers. Irv’s dream was to create his own label, one that would simulate the type of image and success of rap power house labels before him; “Deathrow” and Bad Boy” records. The problem was, his deal with Blunt/TVT records showed a lack of enthusiasm and promotion, so the chance of his dream materializing was slim if he remained with his current label. Luckily, Irv’s savvy and street sense attracted the eye of Lyor Cohen then CEO of the largest hiphop label in the world “Defjam Records”. With Defjam going downhill with lackluster sales and a plethora of no-name “talents” (and Sony losing interest and selling half of its stake to Universal), Lyor set up an interview with Lorenzo for an A&R position at the label in an act of desperation to save not only his job, but the future of Defjam. When asked where he sees himself in 5 years, Irv boldly declared that he would destroy Cohen, hence taking his position at Defjam. Clearly impressed, Cohen hired him on the spot.

Jay-Z was the first of Irv’s army of rappers to sign a deal with Defjam and explode onto the scene. Staff that continually mocked Irv for his unusual artists at the time, were silenced quickly when his production on Jay’s 1996 classic “Reasonable Doubt” garnered major buzz. Upon hearing the other talents Irv had assembled over the years, Cohen inquired about Irv Gotti DMX Jay-Zbringing Lorenzo’s artist Ja Rule over to Defjam. But as fate would have it, no agreement could be made to secure a release for the rapper from his deal with Blunt/TVT. Therefore, Irv had no choice but to bring Cohen another artist…DMX. To many peoples surprise, X’s debut album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” which catered solely for the streets with its eerie beats and dark themes, reached the number one spot on the billboard charts with the aid of the Irv (now known as Irv “Gotti”, the moniker given to him by his artist Jay-Z) assisted “Get at me Dawg” which featured Sheek Louch from The Lox and was also supposed to feature Ja Rule, but he couldn’t get his lyrics ready in time.

Irving Lorenzo’s dream of his own label finally came true when Russell Simmons (Owner of Defjam) rewarded him for making over 100 million for Defjam in the span of 3 years, ultimately saving Cohen’s position and the label. Simmons provided Gotti with around 2.5 million in start up money for his label “Murder Inc.”. Gotti decided to call his label Murder Inc. after the original crime organisation that was paid to assassinate people. He would often state the word “murder” in regards to lyrically or money wise killing off the competition, not to be taken literally. By 1999, Ja Rule had got out his contract (but jody and 0-1 remained) and signed to Defjam/Murder Inc. along with two other rappers Blackchild and Tah Murda. Black had grown up together with Ja in Hollis and sought out Irv’s help as soon as he was released from prison. Tah was from Southside Jamaica Queens and was friends with Blackchild, so he too came to the studio. Gotti being impressed by their persistence signed both, but had to abandon Mic Geronimo due to a misunderstanding. It was now time for Ja to release his solo debut album “Venni Vetti Vecci” (One of Julius Caesar’s famous quotes meaning, “He Came, He Saw, He Conquered”). Ja had already appeared on a record under Murder Inc. titled “Can I Get A…” He had written the record for Jay’s third album “Hard Knock Life Vol. 2” and the Rush Hour soundtrack, which had exploded on the radio and club scene, causing Jay’s album to sell over 5 million units (his highest selling album to date) and the soundtrack to also break the platinum mark. So naturally when Ja’s first single of VVV “Holla Holla” was released, it created a similar effect. Even though X and Jay weren’t signed Ja Ruleto Murder Inc. (X had his Ruff Ryders Imprint, and Jay had Rocafella) Gotti had put together a super group known as “The Murderers” which included Ja, X and Jay, a group with extreme opposites of the spectrum of rap, the grit of the streets being represented through DMX, the floss/pimp movement of Jigga, and the medium that could go both ways in Ja, but at the same time having his own style. The famous signature chant of “It’s Muuurdaa” could be heard all over the mixtape scene and the radio, making people familiar with the label and its artists/affiliates.

Whilst all of this was going on, Gotti had befriended 1980’s New York Drug Lord, Kenneth “Supreme” Mcgriff on the set of a video shoot. Mcgriff being a legend in New York fascinated Gotti as ‘Preme was considered a mere myth during his childhood. ‘Preme was looking for a way out of the crime life he had previously led, having served plenty of time in prison, he had no intention of going back in - seeking a legitimate income in the film and music industry. He consulted Gotti about a movie he wanted to make known as “Crime Partners”, but Gotti being young at the time (back in the CMC days) couldn’t help him, so directed him to his good friend Hype Williams. Once Irv got the ball rolling at Defjam, he funded the movie (with the help of Defjam) which included guest appearances by Ja Rule, Tah Murda and Charli Baltimore and provided a free soundtrack. ‘Preme then became friendly with the Murder Inc. roster, particularly Rule who thanked him on VVV, and then enlisted his friend and former drug lord Tyran "Tah Tah" Moore to help him with the activities of Murder Inc’s street team.

Amongst all the activity in 99, another rapper who resided in Tah Murda’s neighborhood Jamaica Queens was on the rise. His name was Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his click the G-Unit had their eyes set on Murder Inc’s position. They continually attacked Murder Inc. and its flagship artist Ja on mixtape tracks, most notably “Your Life’s On The Line” which exclaimed “Scream Murder! I don’t believe you!” Irv and Ja ignored their attempts to steal any of their fame and put forth a Murder Inc. compilation album known as “The Murderers”, which stuck to VVV street theme and also featured DMX and Jay-Z, as well as Blackchild, Tah Murda, O-1 and the new female Inc artist Vita (Chris Black was still serving time in jail). Vita released her single “Vita Vita Vita” and The Murderers collective effort “We Don’t Give A Fuck” did little to catch mainstream attention. The album failed to gain any commercial success but it did reach the street audience and set up Ja Rules sophomore release “Rule 3:36” which was released in early 2000. The summer anthem “Between Me and You” which introduced the world to Christina MilianChristina Milian (whose first album came under The Inc.) scorched the airwaves, but nobody expected his next single to do even better. “Put it on Me (Remix)” feat. Lil’ Mo and Vita held down the number one spot on the billboard single charts while Between Me and You came in at number two, a feat noboady had accomplished since The Beatles. The music industry was on lockdown. Even though the style of records were juxtaposed to the street anthems such as Holla Holla and Murda4Life, the talks of Rule being a one hit wonder were stubbed out.

Emulating the formula for 3:36, Rule readied his third album “Pain Is Love” in 2001. This was the year where Murder Inc. would step outside the hiphop world, and into R&B. It was also the year Chris Black was released from prison and is found on the CMC track “Smokin’ and Ridin”. Ja became hiphop's most diverse songwriter penning remixes for Jennifer Lopez songs such as “I’m Real” and “Aint it Funny” both outdoing the originals and staying in the number one position for weeks on end. It didn’t stop there, Ja also penned entire songs for the likes of Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige and Brandy. The second single from Pain is Love Pain is Love“Always on Time” broke the record for the number of times a record could be spun on radio and stayed number one for over a month. Not only was it good for Ja, but it also brought Murder Inc’s newest artist Ashanti into the spotlight. At the time Gotti wasn’t trying to do an R&B record, so he put her on the late Big Pun’s “How We Roll” and on The Fast and the Furious soundtrack which he produced and helped sell a million plus units. When Always on Time was being recorded, Ashanti happened to be in the studio at the time and Rule let her sing the hook, the rest as we say, is history. Newly signed female MC Charli Baltimore created a buzz for herself when she appeared on Jas third single form Pain is Love, “Down Ass Bitch”. The next move would be to release Tah Murda (now known as Caddillac Tah due to the controversial Murda) who’s lead single “Pov City Anthem” from his debut album “Pov City Hustla” was featured on the Fast and the Furious soundtrack, but failed to gain much attention.

By then Murder Inc. was seen as on par with fellow labels Bad Boy and Rocafella. Ashanti’s self titled album dropped in 2001 with the massive single “Foolish” which also reached number one and stayed there with the help of its Biggie assisted remix “Unfoolish.” Ashanti then made history by being the only solo artist to appear in three of the top ten songs on the billboard charts – Always on Time, Foolish and the collaboration with Fat Joe, “What’s Luv?” at the same time, as well as being the highest selling female artist in her first week sales, selling over 500,000 copies in the US alone. “Happy” and “Baby” followed Foolish into the top of the charts and solidified Ashanti’s spot as the “Princess of AshantiHiphop and R&B”; the album went on to sell over 5 million units worldwide. Tah's second single, the Ashanti aided “Just Like a Thug” failed to create a bona fide hit also but did get air play. For unknown reasons, Caddy, Blackchild, Vita and Charli’s solo albums were pushed back to unspecified dates, but a promo/advance of Pov City Hustla did get released to create a buzz, however it was to no avail. Instead a second Murder Inc. group album was put forth “Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc”, which included a modest hit in the Down Ass Bitch Remix “Down 4 You” which featured Ja alongside all the female artists on the label. New artists were added to the roster including Ronnie Bumps, D.O. Cannons and Caddy’s cousin Young Merc. It was literally Murder Inc. radio at the time.

By this point, Gotti had risen to Dr. Dre-like proportions in the rap industry. He was more than a producer; he was a hitmaker, and for a while, he made headlines regularly. He spoke to the media about his plans to work with Michael Jackson and sign Bobby Brown and Nas to Murder Inc. During the 2002 holiday season he banked on his marketable name yet again by releasing a remix album, Irv Gotti The MurderersPresents: The Remixes, comprised mainly of reworked tracks featuring Ashanti, Ja, and a stable of others including Nas who was featured on “The Pledge (Remix)”. 2002 was probably the one of most controversial, drama filled years for Murder Inc. TVT filed a law suit against Defjam's chariman Lyor Cohen over original CMC records belonging to them being used on Inc. releases. There was aso the case of Cohen breaching a contract stating a CMC album was due on the indi label, but Cohen had backed out of the deal to make a joint venture over the unreleased album.

Ja Rule’s “The Last Temptation” was said to be his last album, since he was turning to acting, Ashanti’s Chapter 2 album was released but failed to reach the success of her first, but did open with strong sales. In fact it got mediocre reviews with only “Rain On Me” and “Rock With U” lasting on the charts for a reasonable time, as well as Ja’s who at this time was being heavily attacked by 50 Cent who had just signed a deal with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope records. Ja’s tired formula alongside Ashanti on the second singles video “Mesmerize” was treated with two thumbs down from the 106 and Park audience, while his Bobby Brown assisted “Thug Lovin’ barely received any attention. He had forgotten the streets who had once championed him. Amongst the poor sales, lack of interest and the sudden G-Unit invasion, on January 3, 2003 the FBI decided to raid the offices of Murder Inc. as well as Irv Gotti’s home in an attempt to bring the label down on laundering money, racketeering, tax evasion and murder conspiracy charges. An acquisition of the label being funded with Supremes drug money, and Supreme being the actual owner of Murder Inc. and Gotti just being a figure head was also put into motion. The music video to the controversialPov City Hustla “Murder Reigns” (featuring Alexi an artist supposedly signed to Ja’s MI2 label) which dramatized the federal invasion of their offices was mocked just like Mesmerize for its theatrics. During the drama Caddillac Tah made another push with his single featuring Althea “I Gotcha Ma” but again same result. Instead of any new artist albums, all that the public got were a couple of diss tracks aimed at the aftermath camp.

 

Things had become so bad that Vita had left the label, Ja was being booed at concerts and Ashanti had an online petition against her stating she shouldn’t have won the Aretha Franklin award at the Soul train Awards. Gotti was being mocked in nearly every XXL magazine and the G-unit front man 50 Cent had sold 10 million albums worldwide due to his 50 Centfamous “getting shot at 9 times and living to tell the tale” incident, creating an anti-Inc. hiphop audience. To make matters worse, one time friend DMX had turned his back on Ja and began dissing him on the regular, and Jay-Z’s relationship with Ja also soured. Gotti who once told his fellow murderers not to mention 50 Cent (even though both camps have fought twice before, one incident ending in 50 being stabbed by Blackchild and an order of protection being taken out against several Inc. artists), was now prepping a diss album by Ja Rule entitled “Blood In My Eye” The monster comeback record “Clap Back” had heads nodding around the world, but it failed to help in the sales department, Blood in My Eye being the only Ja album not to reach platinum at the time. Not only were the murderers going against 50, but also the entire Shady/Aftermath Imprint which boasts Eminem and Dr. Dre, who took aim at Ja Rule after Ja targeted their entire camp in the scathing diss track “Loose Change”. Irv also declared a name change, from Murder Inc. to simply The Inc. in order to clean up its public image. Rumors of Hussein Fatal the leader of 2pacs Outlaw group signing to The Inc. circled the media as he appeared several times on Blood In My Eye to attack the G-Unit leader. However, it appeared none of it mattered as the public had chosen to side with 50 while The Inc. who they once loved was now hated with a passion. To make matters worse, artist D.O. Cannons was killed of gun shot wounds in Queens. However, there was some light, as Ja and Irv launched their own clothing line “Ervingeoffrey” (as in Irv and Jeffrey) and a super-group label was in the talks between Irv Gotti, J. Prince (owner of Rap-A-Lot Records) and Suge Knight (owner of Deathrow Records) to form a major independent black label where they would control the rap game. Artists from both other labels Rap-A-Lot (Yukmouth, Hussein fatal) and Tha Row (Crooked I, Eastwood) pledge an alliance with The Inc’s artists already, having thrown lyrical barbs at Curtis “fiddy” Jackson himself.

Towards the end of 2003 and early 2004 Ashanti released a Christmas Album and Blackchild dropped a mixtape called “A Warriors Words” which aimed at the Aftermath/Shady/G-Unit camp, in an attempt to diminish their popularity. By this time he had also hosted a DJ Kurupt’s “Murder Was The Case” mixtape with Caddillac Tah and The Inc. had also put out a mixtape through Kurupt known as “Change ‘Gon Come” which also targeted their enemies. Black also formed together his own group called Hoodstock which included such members as Ronnie Bumps, Chicos Son, Saiku 720, Shadow and others.

Lloyd politeThe Inc soon signed 17 year old Lloyd, an Atlanta crooner with a knack for making slow jams for the ladies and gangster hooks for the harder audience. Lloyd did well with his first single of his debut album “Southside”, which featured Ashanti for the duet. The album titled track reached number one on the 106 and Park countdown, as well as his follow up single “Hey Young Girl” but he only broke the gold mark in sales. Prior to Ja and Ashanti's 04 releases, The Inc. released another mixtape through DJ Kurupt called "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" to create a build-up for the years releases and to talk about the feds on their backs.

By November 04 Ja would officially make his comeback album R.U.L.E. a very personal definitive album that really showed off his artistic abilities. Arguably his most important album of his career, Ja teamed up with R. Kelly and Ashanti on the lead single "Wonderful", which landed at number one in the UK and number 5 in the US. To top it off, Ja enlisted the help of Fat Joe and Jadakiss to pay tribute to the 5 boroughs (as well as Yonkers) on the street anthem of the year “New York”, regaining a lot of his earlier fan base in the process. After Ja came Ashanti who released “Concrete Rose” her third LP, which was also arguably her best and most important. With its rock like guitar sounds and thundering hiphop drums, “Only U” quickly got into heavy rotation, but for some reason the second single (Don’t Let Them, Don’t Leave Me Alone and Focus were all considerations) was messed up due to indecisiveness and lack of promotion. All in all, 2004 was a successful year for The Inc. respect wise. Sales wise both have gone platinum worldwide but are yet to reach that mark in the US.

2005 was a year of preparation and planning for The Inc., as well as a year of stress. Before the release of 50 Cent's second album under Interscope “The Massacre”, Blackchild and Hoodstock prepared “A Warriors Words Part 2 -The Art Of War” a mixtape primarily aimed at discrediting the G-Unit camp. The fight over who should benefit from discovering Ja Rule continued. In the latest twist, a U.S. appellate court reversed a federal judge's ruling that ordered the Island Def Jam Group and former chairman Lyor Cohen to pay independent label TVT Records a record $53 million in damages for backing out of a deal to let TVT release a record by Rule's early group, the Cash Money Click. The judge reduced the damages to $126,000. TVT president Steve Gottlieb approached Cohen in 2001 about the labels collaborating on a Cash Money Click reunion album. According to the suit, Cohen encouraged the reunion album idea in an effort to appease Rule, who wanted to help out his former bandmates. After Gottlieb reportedly spent $1 million producing and promoting the album, TVT alleged that Cohen convinced Rule to drop the project and then withdrew permission to let him participate, leading to the original suit in 2002 alleging breach of contract. The verdict is still yet to be decided.

The federal case was set to take place at the end of the year and if they were convicted, the death penalty would be one of the sentences they’d be facing. Low profile signings were made between The Inc. and On Top music for the up and coming rapper “Newz”, as well as the signing Bronx rapper Harry-O. Newz has put out a mixtape under On Top with DJ Envy that boasted the connection between him and Gotti, as well as numerous collaborations including Ja Rule on the song “I’m Ready”. Harry-O was found on the remix of “You Already Know” by 112 with Ja Rule and Foxy Brown. Both Newz and Harry-O appear on the track 1-900 Murder with Ja Rule, Blackchild and Caddy and appear to be bright spots in The Inc’s Harry-Ofuture. Harry-O has made a mixtape under The Inc. known as “Soon You’ll Understand” which features the likes of Ashanti, Caddy, Newz, Young Merc, Maino and Carl Thomas. Since the new artists were releasing mixtapes as well as Blacks collective Hoodstock, Caddy took it upon himself to get his name out there with his own titled “Pov’d Out Unleashed” which included many of the songs he was going to use for Pov City Hustla. The mixtape came under the imprint 'Inc. Gang.'

Chris Gotti (President of The Inc.) was also busy managing two up and coming boxers known as the Chin Checkers with ex Rocafella Owner Damon Dash. Whilst all of this was going on, Ja Rule announced in an interview that he and Ashanti have one more record on Defjam’s contract and then they (along with the Inc.) will move elsewhere. Ja has also been quoted saying he will no longer make albums under the name Ja Rule anymore. Instead, he will be known as Loki (The Angel Of Death) his alias. He has also released some of his older unreleased material to the masses including “Streets Raised Me” feat. Mary J Blige and “Better Days” both taken from the Last Temptation era. Gotti has also made cock sure predictions that The Inc. will take over once again in 06 stronger than ever before. Caddy surprisingly released another mixtape within months of his first through DJ Kurupt, called "Soldier's Story" which really displays the growth Caddy has made over the years as an MC. Hoodstock also dropped another mixtape around the same time as Tah, "A Warriors Words Part. 3" which also was a DVD.

Everything seemed to stop once the trial began. Luckily the Gotti brothers were able to separate their case from friend Supreme who had it much tougher, being charged with the shooting of 50 Cent, Eric. E Money Bags and another murder, as well as other drug related charges. The trial Irv Gotti Trailincluded a lot of changes and overruling in regards to bringing in evidence regarding 50 Cent. The Feds had been listening in on phone calls and reading text messages of Gotti since 1997 without him even knowing. The fact was, the feds were looking at The Inc. through dirty glasses, they committed no crime, they only befriended a former drug lord. Thus the verdict was not guilty and all charges were acquitted. ‘Preme on the other hand is still awaiting trial.

Charli Baltimore, unhappy with her situation at the label, left The Inc for Game’s label “Black Wall Street”, the same label Vita signed to. To cap off 05, The Inc. released Ja Rules greatest hits compilation “Exodus” and Ashanti’s “Collectibles” which is a remixes album. Both albums weren’t pushed to sell units as they were basically just rushed together to get off Defjam’s contract.

2006 was a relatively quiet year for The Inc, with nothing really happening until around the forth quarter. Ja's Record label 'Mpire Records' was launched (a subdivision of Murder Inc.) and new artists emerged. Official myspace pages were launched for all the artists including new comers Harry O, D.Gift, Young Life and Boxie. This online resurfacing of the label led to a new mixtape hosted by DJ Kurupt titles 'MI:3" which featured everyone on the Inc/Mpire. Ja's 'Stars On Poker' was also launched where fans could enter tournaments and chat with Rule and other members of The Inc.

Mpire RecordsThe beginning of 2007 was when record label negotiations started to heat up. Many people speculated that The Inc was heading back to former partners Lyor Cohen and Kevin Lyles over at Warner Music Group where Irv would be given the position of CEO at Atlantic Records. Slowly over time though, the general public learnt that the offer from Warner was underwhelming, sparking new negotiations with Universal Music Group; the very same label that failed to support Irv throughout the tough times. Many raised their eyebrows at this, but what came from the deal shocked many. Irv, having finally secured Murder Inc. at Universal/Motown, was now sitting on a deal worth approximately 15 million dollars, as well as owning all his masters from Def Jam Records. Around the same time, Charli Baltimore left he label over personal disputes with Irv Gotti. She is now supposedly signed to The Game's Black Wallstreet Imprint.

Controversy around R&B crooner Lloyd started brewing when reports stated he had signed a new deal with Jazze Pha's 'Sho 'Nuff' records. After a relatively lengthy period of ambiguity, Lloyd announced he'd had some disputes with Irv and had wanted to move on. All differences were soon worked out and Lloyd was found back on The Inc (Sho 'Nuff still remains his mangement team) where he has now started his own movement 'Young Goldie'. A joint mixtape with The Outlawz member 'Stormy' and Lloyd titled 'H.I.M.' was released around this time.

The Inc continued to set their affiars in order when it was reported Ja Rule's beefs with The Game and DMX had finally come to an end. Putting aside their differences, Gotti had approached Game and since then Ja has collaborated with him on the One Blood Remix and on the record 'Sunset' on Ja's upcoming album.

The most surprising signing made in 2007, was arguably Vanessa Carlton Vanessa Carltonon Murder Inc. Irv had been in the Universal offices and heard Vanessa (who was also there for a meeting) playing her music. Upon hearing the famous '1000 Miles', Gotti in an enthusiastic fit had the urge to sign her then and there. Having just left her previous label, Vanessa was looking for a new deal and the two seemed to click. Since then, Irv has vowed to expand The Inc. into all kinds of genres of music starting with 'V' and her Inc debut album 'Heroes and Thieves' set to be released October 13th.

Seven Aurelius (long time in-house producer for The Inc) now known as Channel 7 is also slated to release his self titled debut album. 7 is another key piece of the puzzle in Gotti's vision to expand his label into the depths of music. An early recording of 'M.A.K.E.L.O.V.E.T.O.M.E.' featuring Vanessa Carlton gave the fans a taste of the new sounds the new artists were capable of bringing to the table. The album was supposed to drop on the 7/7/07 for obvious reasons, but the album is still being worked on.

After many months being spun on radio and many remixes, Lloyd's collaboration with Lil' Wayne 'You' peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. March 13th was the set release date for Lloyd's sophomore album 'Street Love', and being the summer anthem that it was, 'You' helped propel the album to the debut spot of number 2 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

ThunderkatzAmongst the hype created by Lloyd's new success, another intriguing signing was made. Hip Hop/Pop/Rock up and coming group the 'Thunderkatz' were brought to the label. The group is a real band, each member specializing in different musical aspects and they are known for their energetic live performances. Members of the band include o8o, Ginger, June, Jon, Jive and XO. The official name of the album is 'Radio' but a release date for the album is yet to be announced. The first single is 'Cupid Baby' and has smash hit written all over it.

With all the new signings and activity at the label, Irv anounced that he would be staring in his own reality show on VH1 titled 'The Irv Gotti Project'. The show will detail Irv's work as a music executive and how he balances that with his family life. It is still unconfirmed as to when the show will air, but expect many Murder Inc. appearances.

To build some hype around his new album 'The Mirror' in stores November 13th, Ja Rule released various tracks to the public such as Get Up, Free, Style On Em, One Dance, Gangsta's Paradise and various remixes, as well as launching his online radio station '187FM'. Ja did regular shows on 187 where the fans could chat with him and listen to exclusive music. Ashanti also released a few tracks 'You Can't Deny It' and 'Switch' to build some buzz around her upcoming release 'Incredible' (now changed to 'The Declaration') in stores December 4th.

Lloyd Street LoveThe second single from Lloyd's Street Love - 'Get It Shawty' also recieved much airplay and many remixes. The single peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs keeping the album very much alive throughout the middle of the year. This new found success has Lloyd in high demand for guest spots, appearing on albums by the likes of Fabolous, Chamillionaire and Rick Ross to name a few. The next single from the album for the 4th quarter is 'Player's Prayer'.

Ja Rule The MirrorWith the release date of Ja's 'Mirror' approaching, two singles were leaked to the public to get people talking. The street record featured Lil' Wayne titled 'Uh Ohhh!' and the radio friendly 'Body' with Ashley Joi. Both records have had videos shot for them and are circulating on video countdowns, while both songs are getting play predominantly in the New York region. It is rumoured that the real single to get the worlds attention is 'Father Forgive Me', a record that has been co-signed by Jay-Z and The Game, as well as Irv making a 100,000 dollar bet with Ja that this would be his biggest record to date. The main talk about Father Forgive Me is that it samples The Beatles number 1 hit 'Eleanor Rigby'. Vanessa also released the first single from Heroes and Thieves titled 'Nolita Fairytale'.

Controversy surrounding Irv and Ashanti's relationship lead many to believe Ashanti will not remain on the label for too long. The Princess has stated she will not be working with Irv on her latest album or anyone else on The Inc except Channel 7 who along with Mario Winans produced her latest single 'Hey Baby (After The Club)'. These two producers have formed a new production team called 'The Senate'. Channel 7 went through some differences with the music executives at Universal (both singles M.A.K.E.L.O.V.E.T.O.M.E. and She Got A Girlfriend were not given enough attention) but is now back on track with his new single 'Hello'.

As 2007 slowly approaches its end, The Inc look to finish off strong with releases from Vanessa Carlton, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Channel 7, a Blackchild/Caddillac Tah project and a Murder Inc compilation titled 'The Supreme Team'. 2008 will most likely be the year for the Thunderkatz, Young Merc, Harry O and a new girl group from Detroit that is yet to be named (members include Ashley Joi, Stephanie and Adrienna). Up and coming rapper 'Tre' is also working with Gotti, as well as Newz who was thought to have moved on to other things. Expect big things.

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