Irv Gotti has a lot of free time on his hands as he plans his next endeavor and he’s currently spilling some of the hidden gems he’s recovered along his travels in the music industry. During his 20-year+ career, Gotti (born Irving Lorenzo in Queens) has had tremendous success as a manager (Ja Rule) record label boss (Murder Inc.) producer (see Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt and Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life) and even beating the FBI at their own game.
Today, Irv Gotti is remembering how all the powers that be wanted to initially pass on DMX’s entry into the game. In hindsight, it is hard to believe how the Dark Man’s potential could be lost on anybody given he came out of the gate in 1998 with some of the most magnetic records (and fans are still clamoring for a comeback despite a series of seemingly insurmountable odds). But said hindsight is always 20/20 and Gotti says if it was left up to Jay Z, Dame Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records as well as Lyor Cohen and Def Jam, DMX may not have ever gotten signed.
“Tina Davis used to tell me after meetings, ‘If DMX doesn’t sell, you’re getting fired,'” he said with some snark in his voice. He also recalled how Jay Z thought the music was too depressing and Dash simply wasn’t a believer.
As we all know, history was soon made shortly after. Not only did X get the street cred for single-handily deadening the “Shiny Suits Era,” he also became the second rapper to have two albums released in the same calendar year to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200. (Behind who else, but Tupac Shakur?)
The biggest tea spilt in the story is how Gotti would literally tell Cohen to “shut the f*ck up and get behind [his ideas] ni*gga,” during meetings. And it actually word.
Peep the first installment of “Jewels From Irv Gotti” down below.