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Once one of the top players in the music game Irv Gotti‘s career was derailed in the mid 00’s thanks to the meteoric rise of Hip-Hop rival 50 Cent and an FBI investigation that scared away potential business partners from working with the embattled music producer.

But for the last few years, Irv has been clawing his way back to relevancy and has been able to once again establish some stable footing courtesy of BET and 300, with the latter helping Irv relaunch Murder Inc.

Continuing his quest to back to Hip-Hop domination, Irv Gotti sat down with Cycle for an interview for its Inner Circle series in which the Queens native spoke about the yesteryears of the golden era of Hip-Hop, how the rap game has changed for both the better and worse, and how the Nielsen ratings box isn’t doing Hip-Hop programming any justice.

Some excerpts:

On Drake’s success and the glory days
“I be telling Drizzy all the time, I’m like, ‘Drizzy, if yous in my thing you’d be selling 15 million every trip. You’d be diamond every trip.’ Like Eminem. Eminem was like 18 – Eminem was doing obscene numbers. There will never be another time like the time when we had it. It was – you could point your finger at like mid-90s to like 2005 and in that ten year span where guys like me from the hood. There was never a time we was getting more money. The music business, when it was flourishing, you would have your guys that would sell five million to ten million crowds. That was when Foolish, Ain’t it Funny, Unreal, Always on Time. We would do it too, we would get off the place, ‘Yo turn the radio on, play the top 40 shit.’ Killing ‘em. ‘Play the black station.’ Killing ‘em. ‘Rhythmic.’ Killing ‘em. That has all been eliminated.”
On Jay Z putting him in his place
“Jay’s album had came out and we sold 2 million. Double Platinum. And I was livid. ‘F–k this fucking bullshit!’ Because Jay and X, the other projects that I was working – Jay was at like 8-9 million worldwide, I always talk worldwide, right? DMX was at like 7 million. So 2 million? I was pissed. Just ‘f–k this shit!’ And Jay’s looking at me like, yo, you mother f–ker. And he checked me. He said, ‘You got a double platinum album and you’re sitting here complaining?’ He said ‘F–k you!’ and walked out.”

Check out the interview below.

Photo: screen cap