I've just been listening to Ja Rule's latest album Pain is Love 2 (his first studio album in 8 years). Some good tunes on it by the way so check it out. On Real Life Fantasy he says...
I never thought gotti would leave the game like d r e
Never thought shanti would ever stop reppin the team,
And the f-ck is lloyd hooking up with the enemies
If this was 03 I would have told you,
You was crazy if you told me this is what it would be
I miss vita caddy black child charlie,
I thought we were tighter then the marleys... family
People tend to forget that this guy ruled the charts in the early 00's with a bunch of #1s and triple platinum albums. Then it all just stopped suddenly. What was going on in Murder Inc? I realise they had tax evasion and money laundering issues with the FBI. Was it a case that they were a criminal gang that made music on the side or was it the other way around - they were musicians that got involved in crime (which is a bit stupid when your albums are selling bucket loads). Why doesn't Ja talk to Ashanti or Irv Gotti anymore?
If i remember all this correctly, the label got off the ground with money from organised crime, Irv Gotti being a gangster type person.
Started releasing bags of hits and albums, signing great artists.
Then there were court cases and legal battles, force of name change and everything went sour from there.
The Irv was shopping The Inc around every record label to get some deal that would make him a president of a major label which pissed everyone off.
Some were released from contracts, others held to thier deals. Those who were held released bad music after that. At that point, the sound of commercial hip hop and RnB had moved on and they were left behind. Other people captilised on thier downfall as well as there was a huge hoel in the commercial market after thier demise.
Murder Inc after Irv & his brother Chris got cleared of money laundering & tax evasion signed a distribution deal with Universal Motown where it was a 50/50 deal in terms of future masters being split between Irv & Universal, at the time Irv got on well with the head of universal so assumed he had him in his pocket in terms of what has been said earlier becoming a President of one of their divisions.
he signed a few up & coming acts Newz & The Thunderkatz & also tried to bring Vanessa Carlton back, releasing one album from her a Lloyd album & an Ashanti one off this deal, he couldnt create a buzz for Ja's mirror album and fell out with the head of Motown Sylvia Rhone and gave up on releasing anything else off his deal it was a 3or4year deal and once it ended closed his studio and Ashanti & Lloyd bought themselves out of their contracts with him and he left the game, a few months back he reappeared trying to get the Def Jam presidency but nothing materialised
as for Ja as OP mentioned he released his first studio album in 8 years off a independent deal with Fontana but it was a terrible deal to sign as they only distributed to USA not even Canada, he's serving a prison sentence for gun charge and failing to pay taxes will be out around this time next year
i like PIL2 its different to whats out there at the moment imo
he signed a few up & coming acts Newz & The Thunderkatz
were they a rock band or something? i remember vagely before murder inc fell of the face of the planet that they were re-building the whole label with lots of new acts even outside of hip hop, a bit like jay with roc-nation.
in truth we all know the damage was done by g unit and shady/aftermath, 50 was nibbling at ja's heels since he was underground, it was imo the last real beef hip hop has seen, started in the streets ended in the studio , it had stabbings, robberies, fights, shootings and music... it was very real and entertaining .
it started of david vs Goliath , ja was huge commercially the worst thing he ever done for his label was reply to 50 even though he started it when 50 signed to shady/aftermath.
this song alone tops any song in that beef, just a classic beef song and was released in 98 a long time before the beef went commercial.
real long story man, involves a lot of stuff with irv and supreme (a drug lord from queens who is also linked to the death of jam master jay and E money bags from mobb deep) who had a problem with the lyrics in ghetto quaran by 50 feeling he exposed too much, basically dry snitching.
Then ja rule claimed 50 set him up when he was robbed in queens, the beef kicked into gear and they both ran into each other again a while after and a fight between the 2 broke out. 50s friend who robbed ja claimed no one from supreme's team was safe in his neighborhood thats why he was robbed.
long story short a few murder inc lads came to the studio where g unit were and there was an altercation and someone hit the of the lights, 50 reached for his gun allegedly and was stabbed a few times by black child from murder inc.
the shooting happened soon after, the man who shot 50 was killed a few weeks later it was one of mike tyson's bodyguards who had ties with supreme, i think 50 himself says it in "many men". 50 kept going at ja when he recovered on the mixtape scene and was eventually signed by em and dre, the rests history.