Irv Gotti Explains Why He Never Gave Artists Ownership Of Their Masters
Irv Gotti has the mindset of most major record company owners when it comes to the artists signed to their labels. Capitalization is mostly at the helm, and that is why he and the other labels will not easily give their artists ownership of their master recordings.
While appearing on a recent episode of DJ Efn and N.O.R.E.’s popular podcast, “Drink Champs,” the Murder Inc. CEO shared why he was against giving artists who were signed to his label their masters, according to AfroTech. It basically boils down to simple mathematics—he made a lot of money by holding on to them.
“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 told the co-hosts. “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 shares that he doesn’t make the money the artists make, so why should he give up the only way he can make money off of them?
“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?”
He did acknowledge that Ja Rule is the only recording artist who has gotten a piece of the money from the masters he has sold. Ja was given a check that amounted to seven figures.
Last year, Gotti signed a “life-changing” deal worth $300 million. The deal obtained his 50% ownership stake of his masters to Iconoclast. Gotti will also receive funding for various film and television projects.
Gotti was responsible for creating and starting his own label, Murder Inc. Records while working with hip-hop heavyweights who sold millions of units at the start of their careers. His label housed legendary artists Ashanti, Ja Rule, Charli Baltimore, Lloyd, and Vita, to name a few. As an artist and repertoire executive, he worked with the likes of Jay-Z, DMX, Mic Geronimo, and other Def Jam artists.