As part of a five part, Complex series titled “Jewels From Irv Gotti,” the Murder Inc helmsman spoke on what made Jay Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life arguably the rapper’s best album.

While speaking on Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, Gotti recalled Jay Z taking the Biggie formula and running with it following the death of The Notorious B.I.G., but he says it ultimately “wasn’t his energy.”

“This is my opinion,” Irv Gotti said. “My truthful opinion though. Jay Z, he made Reasonable Doubt, which is one of the greatest rap albums ever. Biggie died. He went and ran to the Biggie formula. So, he figured ‘I’ll get all them great records they was about to give Big.’ But that wasn’t his energy. He made that album. He didn’t fuck with none of us. It was a Bad Boy, Hitman album. ‘Sunshine,’ ‘You Belong To The Streets,’ all of that bullshit. Jay especially, he looked and seen what I did with X and was like ‘Woah, holy shit. That shit worked.’ His Vol. 1 album sold like platinum.”

At one point, Irv Gotti revealed that Jay Z’s “Money, Cash, Hoes” was another record that was initially intended for Ja Rule. In Complex’s “Magnum Opus” series featuring Ja Rule, which was released days ago, Gotti recalled Jay Z asking to have Ja’s “Can I Get A” record.

During this latest “Jewels From Irv Gotti” episode, Gotti also touched on the once troubled relationship between Jay Z and DMX.

“He’s looking for shit,” Gotti said. “He’s in my office a little bit more now…Then what helped sell that album, ‘Money, Cash, Hoes.’ ‘Money, Cash, Hoes’ was Jay coming around after X is the biggest nigga in the world and saying ‘Let me get some Swizz Beatz’…They always had friction. Because they battled and X like hated him. Jay really didn’t give a fuck, but Jay—they was always on some competitive shit…That session for ‘Money, Cash, Hoes’ was ill.”

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