March 4, 2021

Soul of Hip Hop

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On this day in 2005, millennial music powerhouse Murder Inc. was put under pressure by the FBI, thus, forcing the surrender of label heads and brothers Irving and Christopher Lorenzo aka the Gotti Brothers on money laundering charges.

The FBI spotlighted the Gotti brothers as record execs with criminal ties, alleging that the Murder Inc. imprint was merely a front to launder proceeds from Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff’s underworld enterprise, The Supreme Team. Following McGriff’s executive-produced, full length 2003 film Crime Partners, the Bureau claimed that the soundtrack to the movie, among other avenues of income of Murder Inc. was used to launder Supreme Team drug money and raided the Murder Inc. offices.

The Lorenzo brothers plead not guilty in their case against the FBI, spending upwards of $10 million in legal fees in their case against the government. Nevertheless, the brothers came out victorious, winning their case against the U.S. government and cleared their names, even with the government’s 98% conviction rate.

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In an era where rappers getting indicted AND convicted by the government is virtually a normal occurrence, the big win for Murder Inc. was a win for Hip Hop and emphatically a piece of Hip Hop history!

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