Irv Gotti appears to not be a believer in giving artists their masters recordings.
During an interview with “Drink Champs,” the Murder Inc. founder broke down his reasoning for why he is against it.
“When people talk about the masters…and they’re like, ‘Oh you should give your artists their masters.’ No, because that’s how I make my money,” Gotti said. “Like Ja, Ashanti, millions of dollars they make every year [from their shows]. I don’t get a dime of that. I don’t get one f—king penny of that.”
He continued, “The only thing that I have that I can sell to get me a check is those masters. And you wanna take that from me?”
Gotti went on to share that the only artist whose masters he’s sold that received a cut was Ja Rule, who he says got a seven-figure check.
While Gotti is anti when it comes to musicians having their masters, it also appears that he no longer owns his. In 2022, he reportedly sold his masters in a $300 million deal with Iconoclast to make movies and start a new catalog. After previously claiming he owned 50% of his masters and Universal Music Group owned the other half, he gave up his ownership.
“I sold my past to ignite my future. I’m building Visionary Ideas Entertainment into a multi-billion dollar entertainment company,” he said, according to Billboard. “Instead of going to the investment circle and maybe raising $100 million, I did it myself, and I’m betting on myself.”
Previously, former Murder Inc. signee Ashanti has been vocal about her experiences with Gotti. As previously shared by AFROTECH, the singer recalled various interactions with him during an interview with Angie Martinez.
She claimed that he took a large percentage of income from her past music and would attempt to block opportunities such as DJs playing her records. In addition, when trying to depart Murder Inc. and join Dr. Dre, Ashanti says that Gotti demanded the majority of what she would earn from the deal.
“Me and Dre were talking about a deal, and when I was talking to Irv about it, he had said something like, ‘Well, I want 90 percent of anything you make, like for the rest of your life’ — You know, like something crazy,” Ashanti told Martinez.
Regardless of their past, Ashanti still acknowledges what the two accomplished together. She also credited Gotti for helping her reach new heights. However, she did make one thing clear.
“You didn’t make me,” Ashanti said. “You helped make me great. You pushed me. I will always give him that.”
Today, as AFROTECH previously reported, Ashanti has regained ownership of her masters, and the singer turned businesswoman has cemented herself as a permanent fixture in R&B.