In an interview with TMZ on Tuesday (June 21) at Los Angeles International Airport, Irv Gotti expressed a bit of concern about the possibility of Drake‘s polarizing new album making way for an entirely new wave.
When the interviewer implied that Drake seems to be expanding upon the blend of hip-hop and R&B that Irv helped to popularize in the early 2000s, he asked if we’re currently hearing the demise of that particular style of music. Irv Gotti swiftly replied that in his mind, something like that would spell the end of rap as we know it. He also explained that he feels as though it could be time to dust off his proven hip-hop exec skills in order to resurrect the game.
“I hope not,” said the Murder Inc. cofounder at the 0:41-mark in the video below. “’Cause that’s the demise of rap, the demise of hip-hop. As long as I’m alive, it could never be demise of hip-hop. I gotta get back in the game and find me a nigga then.”
Gotti doubled down on the fact that he feels like Honestly, Nevermind not only shouldn’t be considered part of the genre but is actually a bad thing for the state of hip-hop.
“That’s what that album made me feel like,” continued Irv. “It made me feel like going to find me a raw, new DMX, new Ja [Rule], new Jay[-Z], and serving niggas, and fuckin’ bringing back great hip-hop. That album is not hip-hop.”
As the conversation progressed, the TMZ interviewer brought up Drake’s recent response to the exact sentiments of naysayers like Irv Gotti, when the “Calling My Name” rap-crooner said that his detractors within rap simply haven’t caught on to the new wave just yet. With that, Gotti said that Drizzy is powerful enough to make a significant shift in the way people consume music while at the same time, putting out a rallying cry for anyone who creates hip-hop.
“I don’t want to catch up,” said Gotti. “If that’s catching up, then what’s that mean for hip-hop? And he’s so strong and so powerful, he can change the dynamic of shit. And any nigga who sees this, please, hip-hop, yo. Hip-hop has gotten me getting picked up in cars like that. Hip-hop has changed my whole family’s lives.”
Prior to being asked the question about a possible new trend in music, Irv made his personal feelings toward Drizzy as a person very clear while at the same time explaining that due to the OVO boss’ status within the industry, he can take any musical direction that he chooses.
“Personally, I love Drake,” said Gotti. “I think Drake is a great person, he’s a great human being. But I listened to his album, and Drake’s new album is not hip-hop. And he could do whatever he wants. Let me stress that. Drake could do whatever he wants.”
This isn’t the first time Irv Gotti has spoken out about the “Jimmy Cooks” rapper and his music. Back in 2020, Gotti told Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club that he doesn’t believe Drake has an album in his catalog that can be considered a classic masterpiece.