Murder Inc. Records

Murder Inc. (or The Inc.) is an American record label founded by brothers, Chris and Irv Gotti in 1998.

Murder Inc.
Murder INC Records.jpg
Parent companyUniversal
Founded1998; 23 years ago (1998)
FounderChris Gotti
Irv Gotti
Country of originUnited States
Location28th Floor, 825 8th Avenue, Worldwide Plaza, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.


Formation and success (1999–2003)Edit

After helping Def Jam with the success of DMX and Ja Rule, Russell Simmons gave Irv Gotti his own label under Def Jam. While watching Biography on A&E during gangster week, a Murder, Inc. logo appeared on the screen and Irv Gotti decided to use the name for his label because Murder, Inc. put out hits for murder and Irv wanted to put out hit records. In 1999, Murder Inc. released its first album, Venni Vetti Vecci by Ja Rule. The album featured the hit single "Holla Holla" and soon went Platinum in the U.S., which made Ja Rule and Murder Inc. among the most popular artists and labels in the industry, respectively.

In 2000, the label began to associate itself with Lil' Mo, who would record two popular duets with Ja Rule, "Put It on Me" and "I Cry". That same year, Irv Gotti released the first Murder Inc. compilation, Irv Gotti Presents: The Murderers.

Murder Inc. would sign Charli Baltimore and Ashanti during that year. Also in 2001, the label's friendship with Lil' Mo would grow sour as her tracks that were set to be released on Ja's third studio album were cut and/or replaced with other female artists.

This would cause a minor feud with Lil' Mo as she cut ties with the label. The label reached its peak of success from mid-2001 to early 2003. Ja Rule's release of his multi-platinum selling album Pain Is Love was soon followed by Ashanti's multi-platinum selling debut, Ashanti, which spawned three hit singles on the Billboard charts.

Charli Baltimore scored two hit singles that year with both Ashanti and Ja Rule ("Down Ass Bitch" and "Down 4 U", also featuring Vita). During this time, Murder Inc. started associating with Nas as he collaborated with the Inc.'s top two recording artists on several records (such as "The Pledge").[1] Murder Inc. would sign Bobby Brown to the label. Ja Rule's next album (The Last Temptation) went Platinum in the U.S.

On January 3, 2003, Murder Inc.'s office was raided by federal agents trying to find evidence that Murder Inc. was funneling and laundering drug money for Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.

The Inc. (2003–2008)Edit

On December 4, 2003, Irv Gotti held a press conference about recent changes at Murder Inc. , the feuds, the scandal, the investigation from the IRS, and Ja Rule's troubles. There, Irv Gotti announced that Murder Inc. would be changed to The Inc. In 2004, Lloyd was signed and released his debut album Southside.

Ja Rule would see his music return to form, with his Gold RIAA-selling album R.U.L.E.. Ashanti would also release her successful album, Concrete Rose.

At the end of 2004, they were ordered to leave Def Jam offices while the investigations were on. When the trials began in early 2005, Def Jam made them honor their contracts and release compilation albums; then they were not re-signed.

Murder Inc. spent 2005 and part of 2006 searching for distribution. Lorenzo first went to Lyor Cohen at Warner Bros. Cohen offered a deal that would make Gotti the head of not only Murder Inc., but also Atlantic. In the deal it involved them buying Murder Inc. and Gotti getting paid the same as he did at Def Jam. Murder Inc. then ended talks with Warner as Gotti felt they would not get paid enough money.

Gotti also held short talks with Capitol and Interscope. Although it seemed as if they were going to sign with Atlantic, Universal then offered Gotti a 7-year deal and 50% ownership of his materials and the label along with the job as A&R, a higher-paying role. A portion of the deal was financed by National Talent Agency out of Southern California.

The Inc. would sign on to Universal (like Def Jam, a division of Universal) in early 2006 and soon began releasing music. After settling in at Universal, Lorenzo would sign Vanessa Carlton, who had been recently been recruited by Robert Krout and Christopher Dixon of National Talent shortly before the company's financial contribution.

Decline (2007–2012)Edit

On August 1, 2007, Ja Rule would return to radio and television on Sucker Free on MTV, where he debuted his single "Uh-Ohhh!!" with Lil Wayne and his return to recording music. Irv Gotti and Eastwood created Murder Inc. West with Eastwood serving as its president and Gotti on A&R. Techniec also signed to the label and was appointed vice president. Techniec's group Dynamic Certified also signed to the label. Irv Gotti later gave Ja Rule his own label, MPire.

In May 2009, Irv Gotti announced to MTV that he was releasing Ashanti from her contract with Murder Inc. A month later Lloyd—who had been with Murder Inc. for 5 years—asked to be released from his contract. Lloyd cited the need for more control and change as reasons for his departure from the slowly shrinking label. "I'm ready for a change. There's no bad blood. I just feel I need to take more control over my career and get a fresh start. Hopefully Irv can understand my position," Lloyd explained in a press release.

"We find ourselves in limbo for the second time in three years," Henry Lee, Lloyd's manager said in a statement. "It's frustrating to know that opportunities to advance Lloyd's career are out there but we can't exploit them due to our current situation. Even though Lloyd is appreciative of the opportunity that has been afforded him by Murder Inc., he feels it's time for him to move on and seek opportunities that will allow him to build and enhance his brand."

That same year, Ja Rule announced that he was no longer signed to Murder Inc. as well, the same label he had been with since its beginnings in 1997. Ja Rule decided to go independent on his own label, Mpire, which is distributed through Fontana. Although Ja Rule had departed from Murder Inc., he revealed he was still on great terms with Irv Gotti and the two worked together for Ja Rule's next album, Pain Is Love 2. Baltimore soon left the label in 2010 for new opportunities.

Partnership deals (2013–present)Edit

In September 2013, Murder Inc. was relaunched as an umbrella label under Irv Gotti's new label, Visionary. On September 27, Murder Inc. released its first songs in years, Ja Rule's "Fresh Out da Pen" and "Everything", both produced by Murder Inc./Visionary producers Reefa and Myles William.[2]

In June 2017, it was announced that Murder Inc. had partnered with 300.[3]

In September 2020, it was announced that Murder Inc. has a new distribution deal with Epic Records. Irv Gotti has announced via Instagram that they have signed a new distribution deal with Epic Records.[4]

Feud with 50 Cent and Shady/AftermathEdit

50 Cent's past with Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, and Murder Inc. had been less than pleasant and once he became big in the industry in 2003, he and G-Unit once again took aim at Murder Inc., Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Benzino. Due to 50 Cent's rising popularity at the time and Murder Inc. being affected musically due to a federal investigation, much of the public seemingly took 50 Cent's side of the feud. Ja Rule's next album, Blood in My Eye, took aim at 50 Cent and G-Unit but was a commercial and critical disappointment.

Conversely, Ashanti's second album, Chapter II, topped the charts and scored two hit singles, "Rock wit U (Awww Baby)" and "Rain on Me". She received three Grammy nominations in late 2003 for the album. Although still featured on the "Rain on Me" remix with Ashanti and Ja Rule, Charli Baltimore struggled to release her next album, The Diary, before it was eventually shelved.

Former artistsEdit


Album information
Venni Vetti Vecci by Ja Rule
  • Released: June 1, 1999
  • Chart positions: #3 US
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
  • Singles: "Holla Holla", "It's Murda", "Kill 'Em All", "Daddy's Little Baby"
Irv Gotti Presents: The Murderers by The Murderers
Rule 3:36 by Ja Rule
The Fast and the Furious (soundtrack) by Various Artists
  • Released: June 5, 2001
  • Chart positions: #7 US
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
  • Singles: "POV City Anthem", "Furious", "Put It on Me (Remix)"
Pain Is Love by Ja Rule
Christina Milian by Christina Milian
Ashanti by Ashanti
Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc. by The Inc. Records
Irv Gotti Presents: The Remixes by The Inc. Records
  • Released: November 2, 2002
  • Chart positions: #24 US
The Last Temptation by Ja Rule
Chapter II by Ashanti
Ashanti's Christmas by Ashanti
  • Released: November 18, 2003
  • Chart positions: #160 US
Blood in My Eye by Ja Rule
Southside by Lloyd
  • Released: July 20, 2004
  • Chart positions: #11 US
  • Singles: "Southside", "Hey Young Girl"
Concrete Rose by Ashanti
R.U.L.E. by Ja Rule
Exodus by Ja Rule
  • Released: December 6, 2005
  • Chart positions: #107 US Billboard 200
Collectables by Ashanti by Ashanti
  • Released: December 6, 2005
  • Chart positions: #59 US
  • Singles: "Still On It"
Street Love by Lloyd
Heroes and Thieves by Vanessa Carlton
The Declaration by Ashanti
Lessons in Love by Lloyd

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Irv Gotti Says Nas May Sign With Murder Inc".
  2. ^ "Irv Gotti Resurrects Murder Inc. Records - XXL".
  3. ^ Platon, Adelle. "How Irv Gotti Brought Murder Inc. to 300 Entertainment". Billboard. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ Platon, Adelle. "How Irv Gotti Brought Murder Inc. to 300 Entertainment". Instagram. Retrieved 21 June 2017.

External linksEdit