Irv Gotti says the best thing that ever happened to black people was hip-hop music.
It’s no secret that the hip-hop industry is predominantly black, but based on history, it may have also been a lifesaver. In a new interview with B High TV on Atlanta’s 107.9, Murder Inc. record executive Irv Gotti gives major credit to hip-hop for ushering black people to new lanes of success. When asked to speak to the culture of the streets, gangsters, music, law enforcement, and large amounts of cash, Irv said, “hip-hop and hip-hop culture is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to black people – even more than sports.”
He went on to explain that the industry gave black people access to an opportunity for financial freedom that did not require athleticism. “‘Cause with sports if I’m not 6’6″ with a wicked jump shot, I’m dead. With hip-hop I can manage a n***a, I can be an engineer, I can be a producer. I ain’t gotta be athletic. I ain’t even gotta have no skills, I just gotta become the friend of a rapper and manage them or whatever.”
Irv explained that drug-dealing, as an example is something that seemed to pervade the black community perpetually. Thanks to hip-hop music, however, a lot of members of the community were introduced to another way. While a dealer from the ’80s would not imagine that they could ever get out of the business, by a decade later, they could see themselves migrating into other career paths because there were opportunities in the hip-hop industry or just investment opportunities in general waiting for their capital.
“It’s no longer does black people wanna just sell drugs, or least the smart ones,” Irv continued. “They gon’ dive into another business, they may start a tech company or fund some tech n***s. They gon’ do something to try and get out of that and become legitimate. And I give hip-hop culture one million percent credit for showing our people that and making them see examples of that.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Irv Gotti analyzed Jay-Z’s net worth and asserted that the hip-hop mogul is a billionaire because he is a hustler. Citing the rapper’s plethora of business ventures as the keys to his wealth, the record producer explained that it’s important to start a brand or company that’s worth something. To further illustrate his point, he said Drake is by far one of the most successful rappers, but he needs to do something “other than music to get to the Billi.”
Do you agree that hip-hop and hip-hop culture is the best thing that ever happened to black people?