By Keith Rogers
It’s been a minute since the rapidly changing music space heard from Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, and their once chart-dominating Murder Inc. The once dynamic duo both got hit hard by the legal system. Ja just recently wrapped up his latest sentence, which found him serving time under house arrest, while Gotti has been waiting patiently to make his next move. For those who don’t remember, Murder Inc. came under fire by the feds when it was being investigated for alleged connections to a big-time drug dealer. This prompted him to also leave the umbrella of Universal Records and make some other moves, like entering the world of professional gambling. Seriously.
Irv Gotti has established himself as a pretty damn good poker player over these past few years. Most recently, he entered the Seminole
Hard Rock Poker Open. Even though he didn’t take home the $10 million grand prize, it’s been reported that he had the most chips ($238,700) among the celebrity players, which included Nelly and actress Shannon Elizabeth among others.
As this kind of success would indicate, this isn’t some newfound hobby for Gotti. He’s been known to frequent online gambling sites to practice his skills when he can’t make it to the physical tables. Given the site’s popularity, it wouldn’t surprise us if he entered virtual tournaments at Betfair and stacked plenty of chips.
The first reports of Gotti at a real life gaming table came back in 2009, by a writer for Salon, Jim Rich. Rich wrote about how he got into the underground gambling world and, sure enough, ran into the rap mogul. They ended up at the same table, which was bad news for Rich, who recalled losing at least $3,500 to Gotti in the game. Three years later, Gotti was seen at the 2012 World Poker Tour in Atlantic City, N.J. discussing his love for the game, playing against his nemesis-turned-savior, the music he listens to during matches, and much more.
Now that Ja Rule is finally making his proper comeback, and hopefully staying out of trouble, with tracks like Fresh Out Da Pen, it’s likely that Irv Gotti will shift his focus back to the music industry. In a recent update on his Instagram (per Hip-Hop-N-More), he made his latest motives well known with a passionate mission statement. He explained that he’s launching a multi-faceted entertainment company called Visionary that will be doing TV shows, movies, artist management, and more importantly, resurrecting Murder Inc.
That’s right, the full name is finally back. And it arrives with a brand-new signing, 14-year-old Chicago singer Maddi Jane, and perhaps even more artists to come. That all depends on Gotti’s feelings on the artist, though. He noted in his statement he’d only be willing to sign more rappers if he can find some that inspire him in the way Ja Rule did so many years ago.
Who do you think could be next to join the squad? Will Gotti go with another rapper or try to make more money with pop stars? Let us know in the comments section!