[VIBE] - The Murder INC story...Superhead: 50 cent called the police on Ja Rule

Discussion in 'Audio Emcee Hook Ups' started by heady murphy, May 29, 2008.

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  1. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    The Irv Gotti/ Murder Inc. oral history takes you from Queens, N.Y., to the Murder Mansion in Beverly Hills, and then back to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District for a shoot at which Ja Rule was taller (and more charming) than you think, Deb Lorenzo as gorgeous as she seems on VH1’s addictive Gotti’s Way, and Irv, a hitmaker’s hitmaker, and old-fashioned wild-man, as boisterous as he wanted to be.

    VIBE
    Danyel Smith
    Editor-In-Chief

    IT’S MURDER
    SEX. POP. GANGSTA

    From 1999 to 2003, the record label and clique known as MURDER INC. dominated. Launched by the vociferous, hard-partying Irv Gotti, Murder Inc. made Ja Rule a superstar and produced megahits for Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez. But despite blows from 50 Cent, a falling out with Ashanti, and the trial of Gotti’s life, Murder Inc. is born anew. Today, Gotti and his family are reality TV stars, Ja is back in the studio, and The Inc. is aching to rise again. Thomas Golianopoulos puts the pieces together.

    IRV GOTTI TOOK HIS BEATING LIKE A MAN. It was June 2000, and he’d just finished playing what would become Ja Rule’s sophomore album, Rule 3:36, for his Def Jam bosses, Lyor Cohen (the label chairman at the time) and Kevin Liles. Cohen and Liles were experienced king-makers, helping launch artists like Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and Jay-Z. But they weren’t feeling 3:36, a turn to lighter fare after Ja’s hard-edged debut. The insults started flying Gotti’s way. “It’s soft. It’s wack,” said Liles, who did most of the talking. “This isn’t even hip-hop.” And, worst of all (to the suits), “You wasted our money.”

    Gotti was shocked--the young A&R star wasn’t used to having his ears questioned, even back when he was choosing beats for his first artist, Mic Geronimo. By the turn of the century, he had been instrumental in bringing Jay-Z and DMX to Def Jam (both in ‘97), and he’d delivered Ja’s platinum 1999 debut, Venni Vetti Vecci. Not to mention, according to Irv, “All the *****es in L.A. was loving [3:36].”

    At the end of the meeting in Lyor’s swank office, Liles ordered Gotti to make an entirely different record. What did he change? Not a thing. Def Jam eventually provided Irv with 10,000 pieces of vinyl for the lead single, “Between Me & You”---a very modes roll-out---and Gotti started calling his radio connections. “I whored Ja out basically,” Gotti says now. “I was like, ‘Please, if you like it, just play it.’ And, boy, did they play it.”

    Rule 3:36, a reference to a Bible passage from the Book of John, eventually sold more than three million copies and initiated one of the most successful runs in hip hop history. All told, between 1999 and 2005, Murder Inc. released eight platinum albums through Def Jam and conquered the Billboard charts. In 2002 alone, Gotti produced nine Hot 100 Top 20 hits. He did it by keenly merging R&B with street rap. It seems obvious now, but Gotti godfathered an entire subgenre: gangsta pop.

    Irv and his crew also pissed off a lot of people, from rival rappers to executives. But most notably, he caught the attention of the federal government, which put him on trial for money laundering. Now, through a series of interviews (see THE PLAYERS below), VIBE chronicles the highs and lows of the controversial label that made its own distinct sound, made friends, made enemies, but most importantly, made history.

    IN THE MID-1990s, IRVING DOMINGO LORENZO was a young cat from Hollis, Queens, known as Magoo for his signature Mr. Magoo squint. But in the music world, he was a producer known as DJ Irv who’d just cut ties with Queens MC Mic Geronimo. Irv says, “He wasn’t ****ing with me the way I needed him to.” Mic says, “I didn’t sign to his production company [Top Dawg Productions], and I think he was counting on that.” Irv eventually linked up with fellow Hollis native Ja Rule, a rapper he’d followed since Ja was part of the failed TVT Records group Cash Money Click. Gotti always envisioned running a rap empire, and, thanks to his success with Jay-Z (see sidebar), he scored a serious sit-down with Def Jam president Lyor Cohen for an A&R position. He aced it, and soon thereafter, Gotti’s ascension from brash, cocky A&R to brash, cocky CEO was underway.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH5if1SfjfU
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  2. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    THE PLAYERS
    Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins, artist; Joseph “Fat Joe” Cartagena, artist; Michael “Sha Money XL” Clervoix, former president, G Unit; Damon Dash, former CEO and co-founder, Roc-A-Fella Records; Julie Greenwald, former senior vice president of marketing, Island Def Jam Music Group; president, Atlantic Records; Zach Horowitz, president of Universal Music Group; Mike Kyser, former vice president of promotion, Def Jam, and current senior vice president of promotions, Atlantic Records; Tiffany “Charli Baltimore” Lane, artist; Kevin Liles, former president, Def Jam Recordings, and current executive vice president, Atlantic Records; Chris “Chris Gotti” Lorenzo, president, The Inc.; Deborah “Deb Gotti” Lorenzo, wife of Irv Gotti, now separated; Irving “Irv Gotti” Lorenzo, producer and CEO, The Inc.; Cynthia “Lil’ Mo” Loving, artist; Michael “Mic Geronimo” McDermon, artist; Lloyd Polite, Jr., artist; La’Vita “Vita” Raynor, artist; Russell Simmons, former chairman, Def Jam Recordings, and current CEO, Rush Communications & Russell Simmons Music Group; Karinne “Superhead” Steffans, friend, former video model, best-selling-author; Marcus “Channel 7” West, formerly known as 7 Aurelius, producer; Lauren Wirtzer, co-founder, Moonlight Productions, and co-producer, Gotti’s Way.

    Russell Simmons: This guy comes into my office saying, “The only way *****s is going to dance again is like this.” And he started bouncing. Because that was the [musical] vibe DMX and Ja Rule had.

    Mike Kyser: Irv came in with a chip on his shoulder. He was ready to change the whole system in a week. Irv was like, “We need some new blood.” He brought this guy named DMX to the building.

    Julie Greenwald: Gotti plays me [DMX’s] “Get At Me Dog” and is like, “It’s going to sell five million.” I’m like, “Irv, you’re out of your mind.” [DMX’s 1998 debut, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, went on to sell just short of four million copies.]

    Chris Gotti: They were like, “Irv, [DMX] barks. He’s a ****ing dog. Who’s going to want to buy that?” They used to laugh at Irv.

    Irv Gotti: In 1998, [then Sony vice president] Dave McPherson, was like, “I want to give you a label.” That’s when Lyor was forced to give me a label deal, which he didn’t even give me. [Universal CEO] Doug Morris gave it to me. [Despite numerous requests, Cohen declined to be interviewed for this story.]

    Simmons: Irv graduated to a label…quickly. It didn’t take long. How long did it take for the white guy who signed Britney Spears to get a label?

    Deb Gotti: He wanted his own record company. And he worked and worked and he got his own record company. He’s just passionate.

    Irv: Roc-A-Fella and Ruff Ryders were already born, so I knew I couldn’t have [Jay-Z and DMX] to myself….I knew Ja was going to be the flagship artist. We made “Holla Holla,” and I was like, “If this record takes off, we’re on.” And the record was hot. You got to realize…these three guys [DMX, Jay-Z, and Ja Rule] were like [my] brothers, and they just happened to be the nicest *****s on the mic….The group album [the proposed super group: DMX, Jay-Z, and Ja Rule, who were to be known as The Murderers] never happened because of one person I’m not going to name. And only he knows the reason why it didn’t happen. It wasn’t Ja. I can’t say. I don’t want him to read it and be like, “Gotti, why did you say that?”

    Damon Dash: I knew that would never happen. Look what happens when Jay does a record with anybody--it usually ends up being a problem. He don’t like to work with people.
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  3. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    WITH THE SUPERGROUP SCRAPPED and Venni Vetti Vecci slowing down after the success of “Holla Holla,” Murder Inc. went West. They moved into a six-bedroom house in the Hollywood Hills with a pool and tennis court. Stragglers dubbed it the Murder Mansion. Irv had Ja collaborate with up-and -coming R&B singers Lil’ Mo, Christina Milian, and Ashanti Douglas, an innocent 20-year-old songstress from Long Island, N.Y., who had already weathered two failed label deals before Gotti hired her to write hooks for his artists. This was all for 3:36--and soon a sound was born.

    Irv: We were wilding. Living the life of rock stars.

    Karinne “Superhead” Steffans: Nobody partied like Murder Inc. Nobody. I don’t think people understand. Even down to the menage a trios--not three, it was like 20 girls in the room. Massive orgies going on. It was rock ‘n’ roll….Ja was hungry, and he was frustrated. I think he felt like he should have been known. But mind you, this is California. [Ja] got turned away at doors at clubs: Who? Who are you? No. He would have to pay the bouncer to get in. Sky Sushi was the hot restaurant/club everyone went to. The doorman, Black, took his money--like $200, $300--put it in his pocket and was like, “Now, you still have to leave.” Ja was like, “I’m going to come back and shoot up this whole club.” And we were all on drugs. At the time, it was Ecstasy.

    Deb: Once Murder Inc. became really successful, he was just out there. It was like, Where is Irv? Where is he? He got lost in the business. We hardly saw him.

    Irv: The music being made in the midst of the wilding was great. We developed the whole Murder Inc. sound out there.

    Channel 7: The guy-girl format had not been introduced with that blend of sex, pop, and gangsta. It was being created before our eyes, and the whole world was ready.

    Rule: The success of Rule 3:36 made me go harder. With [my] third [and] fourth album, [Lyor] pitted me, X, and Jay against each other. It was like, “Ja outsold you last time.” Lyor knew how to keep us competitive. It made us grow egos, and probably animosity toward each other that probably shouldn’t have been there.

    Irv: Lyor would take Roc-A-Fella on a private jet ride, and we’d be like, “We’re not hot? **** it, we got to get hot.” Then he’d do something with us, and Ruff Ryders would be like, “You ****ing with us?” He was getting albums every year because we knew whoever was making the money was getting his attention and love.

    Chris: I was managing Irv. Next thing you know, I had [his fee] up to $250,000 a beat.

    Fat Joe: These guys had all these No. 1 hits. They were on top of the world. Irv was getting $250,000 a beat. Ja was selling four [million]. [Irv] gave me a No. 1 hit record. I just had to lay the verses, and it was good money. [2001’s] “What’s Luv?” saved my life.

    Irv: Money was raining from the sky--literally. In billing, I did like $120 million two years straight. So basically, anything I wanted, I was getting. I didn’t hear “no” much back then. Bigwigs loved me ‘cause I was an earner.

    Mic Geronimo: In 2000 or 2001, I go to this club and bump into Irv. He was a little inebriated. I’m like, “What’s up.” He’s got a bottle in his hand, was running around with 20, 30 dudes, and is like, “Yeah, what’s up.” Very nonchalantly. It was then I realized this is not the same Magoo, and this isn’t DJ Irv. This is some sort of concoction called Irv Gotti.

    IN 2002, JA RULE AND ASHANTI, who was riding a wave to a triple-platinum self-titled debut, thanks to the mega-singles “Foolish” and “Happy,” were superstars. Gotti was hip hop’s most sought-after hitmaker, but Murder Inc. was having difficulty developing another rap star. The compilations Irv Gotti Presents: The Murderers (Def Jam, 2000) and Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc. (Def Jam, 2002) failed to catapult Vita (who has since left the label), Charli Baltimore, Taheem “Cadillac Tah” Crocker, or Ramel “Black Child” Gill, to stardom. To date, none has released a solo album. By 2002, rumors of a romantic relationship between then-married Irv and Ashanti were swirling. Murder Inc. was becoming a three-ring circus: Ja, Ashanti, and Irv. Everyone else was left out in the cold--and happy times would soon turn tragic.

    Irv: I didn’t want Ja to be the star with a crew of underlings who don’t really mean nothing. I was looking at Bad Boy and Death Row and…they got monsters.
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  4. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    Vita: I just felt like, Damn, why isn’t my album coming out? I did some singles that were hot, but Irv was working with Ja.

    Charli Baltimore: Irv knew [Ashanti] was going to be successful, but her being that successful that fast threw him off. It was difficult for him. I told him, “I want the Irv that sat in the studio for 72 hours.” He said, “When I sat in the studio for 72 hours, it was just me and Ja.”

    Irv: Charli…I put out three different records with her, but they didn’t get a response. Vita started getting a big head, started talking crazy: “I want to do this.” “You don’t know what the **** you doing.” Nas was coming over [to Murder Inc.], but then he just disappeared. Not even the paperwork showed up. It’s like he was scared of the union or something. That did strain me and Jay’s relationship [because of the since-squashed Nas/Jay-Z feud]. I regret that. Lil’ Mo was an awesome talent. There were hard feelings because of Ashanti’s success. Lil’ Mo didn’t have success, and I think Mo was pissed.

    Lil’ Mo: I thought I owned part of my songs. When it was time for the payout, I found out my side wasn’t taken care of.

    BY 2003, LIL’ MO’S PAYOUT became the least of Irv and Murder Inc.’s worries. The label’s archrival was a new MC on the scene: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The beef’s origin? An alleged snubbing of 50 by Murder Inc. at a Queens ‘hood video set, and a chain-snatching off Ja’s neck, allegedly by an acquaintance of 50’s. Some say it goes even deeper than that. In any case, on March 24, 2000, at the now-closed recording studio The Hit Factory in New York City, it turned physical.

    Steffans: The story was, Curtis was in the studio, [Irv and Chris Gotti, Rule, and Black Child] go up there, lights go off, someone stabs the **** out of Curtis, then he runs into someone else’s session, locks the door, and calls the police. I got a call from Rule; he was not sounding good. I was like, “Baby, what happened?” He was like, “I can’t talk about it, but I’m coming back [to L.A.].”

    Rule: It was a good moment in history.

    Irv: We were on top of the world, and 50 hated us, like a lot of rappers did. He turns on the radio, hears us, and hates us. You didn’t snatch the chain. I knew the guy who did. Everyone knew the guy who snatched the chain.

    Sha Money XL: They were trying to blackball 50. I know Irv called Craig Kallman at Atlantic. He made that big record with Fat Joe and pulled his muscle with Craig: “If you sign him, it’s a wrap.”

    Irv: I never told anyone not to sign him. But when people called me, I was like, “I don’t like the dude and I’m not ****ing with the dude.” If that’s blackballing, then that’s blackballing.

    Rule: I should have squashed him. I should have put out more records to let the public know how I feel about this guy, and who this guy really is. But I couldn’t do that because this guy is telling the police, “Listen to my records, and you’ll know who shot me.” He’s saying, “**** Ja Rule. **** Murder Inc.” So the police are investigating Murder Inc., Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, and [convicted drug kingpin Kenneth] Supreme [McGriff} thinking we’re the ones who go him shot.

    Sha Money XL: Everybody loves the underdog. At the same time, [Murder Inc.] was on top, and we were the underdog, so there was a strong relevance for the underdog to win. It’s like Gladiator. You got a king who’s a little ***got and doesn’t deserve the power, and you have the real king who’s a warrior in the cages fighting his way to the top.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH5if1SfjfU
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  5. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    ON JANUARY 3, 2003, while Irv was at his New York City apartment, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office and NYPD officers raided the Murder Inc. offices. The main reason: Irv’s relationship with Supreme, which Gotti still characterizes as a deep-rooted friendship. In November 2004, Irv formally changed his label’s name from Murder Inc. to The Inc. Months later, Def Jam kicked the boutique label out of their building, and in November 2005, the Gotti brothers’ money-laundering trial began.

    Dash: As soon as Irv had a problem, Def Jam turned their back on him and let Irv starve. Irv told me that Jay-Z said, “I can’t buy a beat from you because I’ve been instructed, and I can’t touch you.

    Greenwald: We had to take certain measures because we had other people we had to answer to.

    Irv: Before the raid, it was all good. Listen--Lyor and Russell know ‘Preme. They knew ‘Preme before me. Back in the ‘80s, ‘Preme was doing the parties, and they were bringing the artists.

    Simmons: I knew Supreme better than Irv. I knew him when he was a kid. I knew him and James “Wall” Corley and Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols, and all those guys from Southeast Queens. I couldn’t help it--they booked my acts. I always felt Irv could have taken an arm’s length from the streets. You love the streets. You go back and create things for them. You give to them in such a way that they can’t help but love you. I love all the ‘hood kids I grew up with. It’s just, they weren’t my friends before I got hot, and I didn’t make them my friends.

    Irv: My lawyers was like, “If you just say you’re not going to be friends with him, this might just all go away.” I was like, “I can’t do that.” My mom was so mad at me. She was like, “Why must you keep saying you’re friends with him?”

    Geronimo: They were good friends.

    Steffans: I knew Irv was the boss on paper, but when ‘Preme walked through the house and said something, everyone listened. Maybe Irv was the boss in the Universal building, but when ‘Preme walked in a building, and if he said something, that’s how it went.

    Chris: You know what I told the prosecutor? “For three years, you took my life. I get it back today, you ****er.”


    AFTER HIS ACQUITTAL, Irv contemplated his future in the music business. Despite a flirtation with Cohen and the Warner Music Group, Gotti resigned with Universal and gained control of his master recordings. He brought along Ja Rule, Ashanti, Black Child, Cadillac Tah, and the promising R&B singer Lloyd, and he signed singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton of “A Thousand Miles” fame. But Ashanti, who called Ja, her “big brother” in 2003 and The Inc. her “second family” as recently as 2006, began to quietly break ranks with the crew. Lines were being drawn.

    Zach Horowitz: When you go through a federal investigation like Irv and we did, it’s like having an atomic bomb dropped on you. The fallout makes it hard to see things clearly. When it was over, I had conversations with Irv. Then Irv, Doug Morris, and I had a lunch. At that lunch, we spoke very candidly about what happened from both sides’ perspective. It cleared the air. It started us back on the road to being in business together.

    Kyser: One thing that the Universal Music Group could offer that we couldn’t was his masters, and that was something Irv really wanted. That was a decision Irv made….Sometimes you have to sit back and question that decision. We would have loved to work with Irv.

    Irv: [The WMG offer] was a bull**** offer. It wasn’t really a joint venture. It was just a bull**** offer.
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  6. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    fuck supahead
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  7. Odd Job

    Odd Job didnt kno it was ur bitch

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    bitch is famous from sucking dick and she aint even famous. that bitch can shut the fuck up.
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  8. heady murphy

    heady murphy Member

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    sameshit i was thinking ^^
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  9. Psicobabble

    Psicobabble Rebellious Rhetoric

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    lmao wtf @ irv signing vanessa carlton? never heard of that
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  10. PinkcHica

    PinkcHica hip hop addict

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    oh man i have to sit and read this. i'll comment in a minute.
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  11. kabzdaprophet

    kabzdaprophet New Member

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    -dead-@"FUCK SUPERHEAD! She suck dick! Aint that crazy? She must be lying!!!! NOT 50!!!!!!!!!"

    expose that nigga
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  12. Odd Job

    Odd Job didnt kno it was ur bitch

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    ^^^another big mouth pussy, no different than supahead. she aint got no reason, right or affiliation to 50 or murder inc. she needs to keep her mouth the fuck shut. just another big mouth bitch making statements and commenting on some shit she probably has no idea about.
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  13. kabzdaprophet

    kabzdaprophet New Member

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    ya sex is not an affiliation......dumbass. Bitch been in the industry as long as anybody. She know da fucking deal. And if a nigga a snitch, I wanna know.

    shut yo ass up.... u defendin a snitch
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  14. A-Lyricz

    A-Lyricz We Off That

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    my thing is i didnt read nothing or look at shit but the title

    why the fuck is this hoe still being allowed a mouthpiece to even speak on shit

    bitch is a gutter ball.
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  15. MFB

    MFB Ciroc Boys

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    [​IMG]
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  16. kabzdaprophet

    kabzdaprophet New Member

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    somehow the bowling balls that fall in the gutter......

    pick up alllllll the dirt from the gutter
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  17. Odd Job

    Odd Job didnt kno it was ur bitch

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    ur a stupid fucking idiot. u a virgin, u a bum and u dont know shit about bitches. bitches mouth off and pop off with so much dumb shit its ridic. i aint going to believe no bitch over none of my boys for shit. thats just the way it goes. fucking doesn't make you affiliated you moron. so a bunch of fucking groupies that rock and rap stars fuck now have the knowledge to speak up about their personal business? sideways ass idiot.


    you a clown and she a groupie.


    word @ Alz. no clue why this bitch is still allowed to pop off like she pulls weight or knows some hidden conspiracy no one else knows about.


    bitch aint even tight.
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  18. kabzdaprophet

    kabzdaprophet New Member

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    thats why u watch what u stick ur dick in

    nigga stuck his dick in the biggest ho on earth

    u made ur bed nigga, NOW LIE IN IT

    dont address me again
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  19. Odd Job

    Odd Job didnt kno it was ur bitch

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    you aint making no valid points cuz you a pussy and i can tell, you aint been through shit and dont know shit. what does fucking this hoe have to do with any of these accusations? i fucked many a bitches just to fuck them. they dont know my fucking social security number before they leave my crib, or what city i was born in, or how much money i got in my bank account. see, you dont know anything about that, thats why you popping off and looking like a fucking idiot doing it.


    lame.
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  20. kabzdaprophet

    kabzdaprophet New Member

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    Rich niggas be the FIRST to talk all big to let people know they big shots cuz of their insecurities.

    Especially around a ho thats known to other rich niggas cuz they gotta be better than the other rich niggas.

    I been through too much homey, thats how I know
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