Murder Inc was a music powerhouse during their impressive run in the early 2000’s. The record company was home to superstar talents Ja-Rule & Ashanti, who both dominated the airwaves with catchy rap/R&B hybrids. The hits weren’t only reserved for acts on the label, Murder Inc also crafted smash hits for Jennifer Lopez, Fat Joe, Mary J. Blige and others. But things soon came crashing down when a federal case forced label heads and brothers Irv and Chris Gotti into a fight for their freedom.
To make matters worse, the label’s archenemy 50 Cent and his G-Unit collective’s hostile rap takeover drove fans to reject the Murder Inc’s previously lucrative sound. After Irv and his brother were found not guilty of money laundering, business resumed at the label, now operating under a new name; The Inc. Unfortunately, it would fail to achieve the level of success enjoyed prior to the fed case.
So what’s Ja, Ashanti and the rest of the crew up to these days? We track down the team that had the world screaming “MUUURRRDDDAAA” and throwing their M’s up in the air.
The mastermind behind Murder Inc, Gotti started out as a DJ spinning at neighborhood block parties before graduating to producer and eventually an executive. During his tenure in A&R at Def Jam Records, Irv was instrumental in the careers of both DMX and Jay Z. His success at Def Jam would eventually help secure a label of his own. Murder Inc Records was officially born with Ja Rule as the flagship artist.
Where Is He Now? In 2013 Irv resurrected Murder Inc under the umbrella of his new entertainment venture, Visionary. Irv’s focus is on more than music these days, when he’s not jet setting with Steve Madden (yes, that Steve Madden), he’s making TV deals happen. Irv will serve as one of the executive producers on Ja Rule’s upcoming MTV show,Follow The Rules.
You pretty much couldn’t turn a radio or television on with out hearing “RULE BABY!” for a smooth two years. At the time, Ja’s vocal stylings ensured a track’s success. If Murder Inc was a fine-tuned hit making machine, then Rule was both the fuel and the engine. He kicked down the door with his appearance on Jay Z’s “Can I Get A” in 1998 and never looked back, logging massive hits for himself with songs like “Between Me And You,” “Always On Time,” and “Put It On Me.” The hits would eventually stop rolling, as the tide would turn against Ja in the form of backlash from fans and the media.
Where Is He Now? Last summer Ja released a 256-page memoir entitled Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man. That same summer he announced Genius Loves Company his first new album since 2012’s Pain Is Love 2. Ja will also join the likes of T.I. and The Game when his new MTV show Follow The Rules premieres later this year.
As Murder Inc’s “princess of hip-hop and R&B,” Ashanti scored hits out the gate. Her debut single “Foolish” spent 10 weeks at #1, launching her into superstardom. She would release four albums on Murder Inc, with the first three all achieving platinum status.
Where Is She Now? In 2014 Ashanti released BraveHeart, her first studio album since 2008’s The Declaration. Braveheart would be Ashanti’s first non Murder Inc release, dropping the project independently via her label Written Entertainment. In her spare time she can be found setting thirst traps on Instagram.
Before she was known for rhymes, Charli Baltimore was known as the Faith Evans lookalike in Junior Mafia’s “Get Money” video. Unfortunately, her deal with Untertainment/Epic Records didn’t quite pan out. Her debut album Cold As Ice was never released in 1999 —but oddly, it became available for purchase in 2009. Charlie would get a second wind years later, signing with Murder Inc during the label’s prime years.
Where Is She Now? After a break from the industry, Baltimore dropped her Hard 2 Kill mixtape in 2013. She’s is currently signed to BMB Entertainment, where she also serves as president of the company. Charli’s oldest daughter India, rips the runway as a professional model signed to Ford Models.
Lloyd, aka Young Goldie, made his Murder Inc debut in 2004 with an assist from Ashanti on the duet “Southside”. He would record three studio albums amid label turmoil, before signing with Polow Da Don and Interscope Records in 2010.
Where Is He Now? LLoyd is prepping his mixtape The Playboy Diaries Vol. 2., the follow up to his 2012 mixtape The Playboy Diaries Vol. 1. Last year he turned heads when the crooner known for his smooth grooves, flexed his rap chops in a random video.
Where Is She Now? Murder Inc’s roster went their separate ways after the label fell on hard times. A federal case for money laundering, combined with an ongoing feud with 50 Cent, made it difficult for the label to operate. Vita releases new music from time to time, and is currently hard at work on a book and lingerie line.
Easily Irv Gotti’s most surprising signing, outside of that time he almost signed Nas. Pop-singer Vanessa Carlton was slated to help fuel the label’s comeback, attempt after their legal woes disappeared. She released only one album on The Inc, 2007’s Heroes & Thieves .
Where Is She Now? Carlton gave birth to her first child Sidney in January 2015. 2015 also marked her return to music, with the release of her single “Young Heart.” Her fifth studio album Liberman is due sometime this year.
In 2001 Cadillac Tah found some success with the single “POV City Anthem.” The track made so much noise in the underground, it found it’s way on the soundtrack for the first Fast and the Furious soundtrack. The single “Just Like A Thug” soon followed, but a full album was never released.
Where Is He Now?
Cadillac Tah has been relatively quiet since his Murder Inc days. His last musical offering can be dated back to 2010 with a track titled “Mind On Da Cash.” A collab mixtape with Tah and former labelmate Black Child, was also set to happen but never saw the light of day.
Black Child wasn’t a household name, but those who followed Murder Inc’s rise from the beginning are familiar with the Queens rapper. He first appeared on the scene thanks to a guest verse on Ja Rule’s “Holla Holla” remix. He was also a member of The Murderers, a collective put together by Irv as a way to introduce the world to his new label.
Where Is He Now? Black Child released the mixtape “Silence Is Golden, Duct Tape is Silver”, which was followed by the Black Power EP in 2014. Other than that it’s been pretty quiet for the former Inc signee.
As Murder Inc’s in-house producer, Chink had a part in a good chunk of Murder Inc’s releases from 2002-2005. Chink is musically responsible for notable Inc songs such as Ja Rule’s “Thug Lovin,” and Ashanti’s “Happy.”
Where Is He Now?
Chink Santana has swapped out the music world for the TV world, as he has since joined the New York cast of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop.