Irv Gotti Says He Stopped Suge Knight From Releasing A Jennifer Lopez Sex Tape (Video)
In 2002, Irv Gotti produced two #1 remix singles for Jennifer Lopez. As a supplement to the actress-singer’s quadruple-platinum J.Lo LP, she took a page from Mary J. Blige by releasing J To Tha L-O!: The Remixes. Like it’s companion, the Epic Records remix album went to #1, featuring Hip-Hop guests such as Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Puff Daddy, G. Dep, and a pre-Shady Records 50 Cent.
With the included “Murder Remixes” of “Ain’t It Funny,” and “I’m Real” Murder Inc. Records’ Irv Gotti and 7 Aurelius produced the hit songs that wove in Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” and Rick James’ “Mary Jane,” respectively. In the public eye, each song seemingly fit the narrative of J.Lo’s then-recent breakup with Puffy, as songs chiding an ex. Both remixes were serviced as videos, each featuring Ja, and placing Ashanti and Cadillac Tah on prime spots. Irv Gotti appeared in both vids.
In the latest episode of Drink Champs, Irv Gotti revisits why his relationship with Lopez soured immediately despite the great success. He also claims responsibility in stopping an alleged J.Lo sex-tape, possessed by Suge Knight, from ever hitting the streets or DVD players.
At 2:09:00 in the nearly three-hour discussion where the champagne and vodka flows and the blunts burn, Irv tells N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN about his collaborations with J.Lo. “The J.Lo story is I’m an assh*le. I’m an idiot at the highest level. J.Lo was like one of my really good friends. She was [throwing the Murder Inc. sign in public appearances]; she was reppin’, man. She called me and she said, ‘Hey, I’m on the cover of Elle magazine, and I told them to call you to get quotes.’ So I said, ‘All good.’ Like, J.Lo’s like our sister—me and Ja’s sister. Like, we loved her. Murder Inc., all my ni**as loved her. Everyone loved her…and I f*cked up. So Elle magazine calls me. Now, let me give you the prequel to the call: I’m on the phone with [Sony Records Chairman] Tommy Mottola, because they put Cadillac Tah in the video to ‘Ain’t It Funny’ but they serviced the record to radio without him on it. I’m like, ‘Yo, you’re killin’ me,’ because he’s sending mixed signals. You’re basically saying, ‘He’s too wack for radio.’ So I’m heated. I’m like, ‘You shouldn’t have let me put him in the video if you was gonna do that, you f*ckin’ idiot!‘” Gotti alleges that Mottola “may” have used the n-word in the heated phone argument, only further upsetting the Queens, New York producer. Irv admits, on three especially potent ecstasy pills at the time, that he threatened the executive for using the slur. Mottola apologized on the spot. “Me and Tommy is good now,” he updates, before returning to the story.
“Basically, I hang up on Tommy Mottola and say, ‘when I see you, I’ma f*ck you up,’ laughing…the phone rings immediately. ‘This is [a writer] from Elle magazine…’ I said, ‘Yeah? What the f*ck you want?‘ straight like that. He seen he had a live one. He says, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll get straight to it: J.Lo says the “I’m Real” record is not about Diddy.’ [I replied], ‘What? That b*tch lyin’ [and hung up].'” Irv adds, “When you read it [in the magazine] it’s so much worse.” In May of ’02, Gotti’s comments—referring to Lopez as “a b*tch” and calling into question were widely circulated. The producer/exec later apologized in a subsequent Rolling Stone statement.
Today, he reflects, “I love J.Lo. I love her. That’s another one: If I see someone beefin’ with J.Lo [I am getting involved]. J.Lo will never trust me again. I made two records for J.Lo: ‘I’m Real’ and ‘Ain’t Funny;’ I have not made another one.” The producer continues, “There’s no making it right; I am a f*cking idiot. I abandoned her trust and her loyalty, and if she says—till she goes in the casket—’F*ck Irv Gotti,’ I deserve it! That’s the truth.” Gotti points out that “I’m Real” was at #1 for 21 weeks, while “Ain’t It Funny” stayed in the pole position for 15 weeks. He charges, “Check the stats; Google it.”
Irv elaborates, “I’ve apologized to her a hundred times, and every time I see her, I just bow my head. That’s all I can do.” This is where the Tales executive producer speaks about the alleged sex-tape. “Remember when Suge [Knight] was saying that he had a sex-tape on J.Lo? Ni**a, I went there. ‘Suge, ni**a, she [is a friend]. Ni**a, you can’t do that, ni**a!’ He was like, ‘Gotti, she’s with you?’ I said, ‘She’s the best mothaf*cka in the world; you can’t do that, ni**a! Destroy that sh*t if you got it!’ He said, ‘Yo, Gotti, for you? Tell her no one will ever see that sh*t.’ Has anyone ever seen that sh*t?” he asks. “This is the friendship that I had with her.”
In 2001, when Jennifer Lopez was romantically linked to Puff Daddy, Death Row’s film division marketed an upcoming sex-tape of the actress on its website. Puffy had been a longtime rival of Suge’s, with Death Row and Bad Boy Records feuding on songs, in videos, and at award shows.
In May of 2002, Lopez’ legal team filed a lawsuit to block release of the tape with an unidentified male. ABC reported that after Knight’s lawyers denied the existence of the tape, J.Lo’s team dropped charges. After the legal shuffle, the same ABC report claimed Knight intended to release an unauthorized film titled J.Lo Uncut: Tha Real Story.
In June of 2002, the Compton, California native appeared as a guest for On The Record. There, he updated host Greta Van Susteren about his plans for the content. “I have the utmost respect for women. And I like the fact that J.Lo has a career and she’s also had a lot of sponsors and movies and stuff, and any type of video that would threaten her sponsors, to me is unfair to put out.” Pressed on if he actually possessed the tape, the onetime multi-millionaire replied, “Put it like this: I wish [Jennifer Lopez] the best just as long as she don’t ever get on TV or run an ad and call me a liar, it’s not a video.” When the FOX News anchor asked Knight if he was making a public threat, he responded, “No. It’s not a threat, sweetheart. I’m on parole. What you trying to do, send me back already?”
Earlier in the Drink Champs episode, at 20:00, Gotti describes meeting Knight in the early 2000s. “I’m like the one dude—and Murder Inc. was the one crew, especially from New York—he f*cked with all of us,” he says of the bond. “So how we got cool with Suge Knight: we heard the stories just like every-f*ckin’-body-else. ‘This guy, you gotta watch him. He’s the prince of darkness,’…and when he wants to be, he is the prince of darkness. I sampled [Tupac’s 1995 single ‘So Many Tears’]. Not only did I sample it, I had Pac’s voice [in Ja Rule, Nas, and Ashanti’s 2002 ‘The Pledge (Remix)’]. I thought [the master belonged to] Interscope, ’cause he wasn’t on Death Row at that point. No, Suge took everything! So once Suge took Pac, I called Jimmy [Iovine] at Interscope. He says, ‘Irv, you gotta call Suge.’ I said, ‘Aight, cool,’…I give the number to his people. He calls. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m at Enterprise; I’m in L.A.’ He said, ‘Yo, I’ma come through.’ I said, ‘Cool.’ So now I’ma be honest. [I tell my group], ‘Suge’s comin’ over; you’ve heard all the stories. Everyone, get ready. Ain’t no punkin’ sh*t goin’ on. We gonna be cool. We ain’t gonna overdo it.’ But I ain’t gonna lie: it was like 20 ni**as in the studio; it was a gangsta session. [Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff] was there, all my ni**as was there, and we was cool. Suge comes in; he got like five of his ni**as there. He smokin’ a cigar [and looking around]. We ain’t on no bullsh*t, but he can see the temperature of the thing: this ain’t security, this is ni**as. Ni**as is lookin’ like, ‘it’s whateva.’ ‘Preme always got love; I’ve never not seen him get maximum love and respect. So boom: he sees ‘Preme, and he’s like, ‘Oh sh*t, what up, homie?’ ‘Preme is like, ‘Yo, what’s up.’ All cool sh*t.’…the first thing [Suge Knight] said is, ‘Oh. Y’all ni**as ain’t on no Hollywood sh*t.’ We was like, ‘Nah.‘…He [asks Ja] Rule a question, this is a true story. ‘Where do you see yourself in five years, homie?’ Rule, he’s smokin’ his blunt, he says, ‘Man, sky’s the limit, ni**a! Sky’s the limit.’ And Suge shed a tear. He said, ‘Yo, that’s the same exact thing as my man [Tupac] said,’ and he got emotional. And it’s scary when you see a big ni**a like that get emotional…he said, ‘Y’all can have that sample,’ and he didn’t charge me a penny.”
Later that year, Death Row’s then-flagship artist Crooked I (nka Kxng Crooked) and label-mate Eastwood appeared on the same Last Temptation album, thanks to “Connected.” Irv, who had previously been dissed by Tha Dogg Pound’s Kurupt, says his association with Death Row and Knight caused problems in “the streets” in New York City. “How could I not have a relationship with the guy? He gave me the sample for free. [He] was never on no bullsh*t, never tried no bullsh*t. It was just a pure, good relationship. I’m a pretty smart guy in the music industry; I know a lot of sh*t. And Suge Knight is probably one of the smartest guys I have ever spoken to, where he was breaking sh*t down to me that I didn’t know. And I used it to get more money out of f*ckin’ Def Jam. This guy is brilliant. The only thing wrong with Suge is he likes being a gangster.”
In another part of the same Drink Champs episode, Irv Gotti explained why Murder Inc.’s brief union with Nas was one of the biggest regrets of his career episode, .