Beatmaking legend Irv Gotti has a healthy handful of classic songs under his belt. His late 90's and early 2000's run is something that most producers dream of accomplishing. Some of his most notable contributions include Jay-Z's "Can I Live," Fat Joe's "What's Luv" (with features from Ja Rule and Ashanti), and DMX's hit "What's My Name?." Until now, the general consensus was that Irv Gotti was the mastermind that crafted these hip-hop staples, but producer Self Service says otherwise.
On the My Expert Opinion podcast, hosted by Math Hoffa, Self Service brought some new information to light. He states that Irv Gotti, among other big name producers, don't exactly contribute to the process of producing a track in the way that listeners might think. When speaking on Irv Gotti, Self Service claims that he added nothing to the aforementioned "What's My Name?" production. He stated "Irv took credit for the 'What's My Name?' record. He didn't do nothing on that beat."
To elucidate upon the subject a bit further, Self Service talked on how big name producers view "producing" and what that entails. He states that Irv would hear a beat and decide what artist should be on it, making eversoslight adjustments to it along the way and calling that "composing." Then he would take credit for making the beat itself. At the 3:26 mark, he begins to break down what happens: "In his mind, he's producing the record, composing the record. If a producer comes to him saying 'Yo, I got a beat', he would say 'Let me use this for my artist, but I need to do this to it and move it around a little bit, this and that,' then all of the sudden he gets the credit because he's the bigger name."
While on the topic of Irv Gotti, Self Service also stated that Gotti has been stealing publishing from him for decades. "The writer gets 50 percent and the producer gets 50 percent. He took 25. He been getting 25 percent of my publishing for that record and that was 20 years ago." Not only did he speak on the creation of the beat itself, but he claims that the rights to it were taken from him as well.
The producer elaborated in further detail on Gotti's tactics behind records, pointing out the specificities behind some of Irv's Murder Inc. tracks. At around the 4 minute mark of the video, Self Service begins naming some producers Gotti has allegedly stolen from. "I know this for a fact, most of all Irv's sh*t that came out of Murder Inc. back then was by a producer named Fingaz, a producer named Little Rob, a producer named DL, or me... All that other stuff was done but Irv, his name is on it." When asked if having a bigger name attached to the record helped the track itself, he went on to say "It's hard to even say that. Especially back then, because I was in the middle of it... If it helped anybody, it helped Irv."
To protect himself from being subject to this happening on a more consistent basis, Self Service didn't sign to Irv Gotti. Gotti offered him a contract that made Self's lawyer say "If you sign this contract, I'm not being your lawyer anymore." By that time, though, the "What's My Name?" record had already been released and Self Service was still getting his portion. He didn't feel the need to sign with Irv at that point. "We not doing business? Cool. I'm gone. I already had the lick. He even told me 'Once that DMX record comes out you gon' blow! You gotta sign this contract.'" He chose to continue collecting his money freelance instead.
Gotti is not the only producer's business practices that Self Service spoke on. He goes on to say that Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jermaine Dupri have maneuvered through the game in the same manner: "Puff did it, Irv did it and Jermaine Dupri. N*ggas with them names, they were getting beats from other n*ggas. Dre did it."
How do you feel about these claims about how legendary producers operate? Let us know in the comments.