Jay-Z made a rare appearance in Irv Gotti’s new Murder Inc. docuseries, which recently premiered on BET.
The label executive’s new project gives fans an in-depth look into the history of Murder Inc. while celebrating the impact the collective had on Hip-Hop culture. The first episode highlights the close connection Jay-Z shared with Irv Gotti, and Hov revealed that it was he who came up with Irv’s moniker.
Jay shared how he became close friends with Gotti after meeting him while on tour in London. The pair hit the clubs together and soon forged a bond. However, Jay-Z told Irv Gotti that there was something he should change if he wanted to be successful in the industry.
“I remember be snappin’ on Irv, like, ‘Your name is ‘Irving’,” Jay-Z recalled fondly. “‘Man, get outta here. Irving?’ And everybody laughing, ha ha ha.” He then told Irv that he needed a name that could “toughen” up his friend. “‘Yo, you need a name like Irv Gotti we gotta toughen you up.’”
After some thought, he suggested “Irv Gotti.” The Murder Inc. honcho added, “And like everything that Jay does, it stuck.”
The Hip-Hop Supergroup That Never Was
Elsewhere in the episode, Jay-Z discussed forming a legendary supergroup that never came to fruition. He linked with Ja Rule and DMX, and they began making music together as a trio.
“The supergroup with Jay, X and Ja, I used it to push branding for Murder Inc. All I gotta do is put a hot track on, and they gon go at it,” Irv said. “If there’s a studio and the rappers is rapping, X is trying to kill you. Hov, you can’t tell Hov he ain’t the best. He thinks he’s f###### the illest ever, and he might be. Rule has a Napoleon complex. If you think for one second he’s bowing down to anybody, no.”
However, no official debut album materialized, and the group went their separate ways.
“I got the legendary XXL cover of Jay, X, and Ja. Murder Inc,” Irv Gotti shared. Hov then added, “I think it was everyone’s ambition, everyone’s ego. It was just three guys, three independent labels, three Black men, who were all fighting to be the best in the world.”
Check out the clip below.
Jay-Z and Irv Gotti Take A Walk Down Memory Lane