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Ask just about any hip-hop fan why Ja Rule doesn't get the respect he deserves for making the monster hits he made and they'll all point to one guy; 50 Cent. The general consensus amongst hip-hop fans is this: Ja Rule was flying high off pop hits when gritty up-and-comer 50 Cent rose to the top with street raps and gunned Rule down in his prime. While 50 was telling Rule "You sing for hoes and sound like the Cookie Monster" and calling Irv Gotti a "fat, cupcake eating motherfucker" there was hardly a response from Rule and company. When it finally did come in the form of "Clap Back" and the Blood in My Eye album, it was too little too late. But to hear Irv tell it, it was more complicated than that.
In the latest episode of Jewels From Irv Gotti, Gotti recalls how the foundation Murder Inc built made it hard for them to respond to 50. But then he reveals something we didn't expect. "It was time for me to make an album," says Gotti, who produced many records but never got on the mic. "I know this may sound crazy, but I should have Dr. Dre'd it. Have Jay, X, and Ja write all my shit, have them featured on the album, and make like a Chronic album."
According to Gotti, the idea was actually put in the air by Sony Music's then-head honcho Tommy Mottola who wanted to create a Murder Inc subsidiary on Sony. Taking an idea that Diddy and Biggie never got to do, Ja would have been the head of the label, Gotti would have been Ja's artist, and Sony would have paid $10 million for Gotti's album. Gotti would have used the album as a platform to respond to 50 but also make more street oriented records. Unfortunately, Ja didn't think it was a good idea so the Sony deal never happened. Still, it's one of rap's great what ifs.