The rise and fall of Irv Gotti has been well documented. He spent the early years of this decade basking in the success of the Murder Inc. empire he built around Ja Rule and Ashanti—but then things got difficult. When rapper-of-the-moment 50 Cent engaged Gotti and Ja in one of the most intense off-the-wax beefs hip-hop has ever seen, the label’s approval rating dropped like Dubya in his second term. Insult got added to injury in 2005, when Irv and The Inc. got caught up in a money laundering investigation that potentially meant a 20-year federal bid. While Gotti was ultimately acquitted, the road back to where he once was has been long. Now, with his hit VHI reality show Gotti’s Way, and new projects from Ja Rule and Ashanti coming down the pike, IG is looking for 2008 to be a comeback year. And he sat down with us to build on the new show, the current status of Murder Inc, the rumors behind Ashanti and Irv’s sexual relationship, and how he feels the Internet has fucked the music industry. It’s Murder.