Label They Almost Signed To: Murder Inc
Label They Ended Up Signing To: Columbia
Circa: 2002

The first couple years of the century was a weird time for hip-hop. (Post-millenial tension?) Irv Gotti, Ja Rule, and Murder Inc. Entertainment dominated the airwaves with a combination of gangster posing, pop hooks, and gelatinous, ecstasy-fueled soundscapes made by a producer named 7 Aurelius. Things got even weirder when rumors started to circulate that Nas would be joining the label’s ranks. Irv went on record saying that the deal was almost done, and Nas’s verse on “The Pledge” remix seemed to cement it when he said, “In the beginning, it was me, Nas, I stood alone/But now? It’s Murder!” For one reason or another, the deal never happened. Looking back, it hardly seems like it would have been a good fit. And Irv Gotti told MTV's RapFix that his dalliance with Nas, who was at the high point of his beef with Jay, hurt one of his oldest relationships in the business. "It hurt me and Jay bad," he said.