November 18, 2003 15:50


They're getting rid of the word 'Murder' in an attempt to shake off negative images...

MURDER INC., the record label home to JA RULE, is to be renamed to 'THE INC.' in an attempt to shake off negative images.

Also famous for representing artists such as Ashanti and Charli Baltimore, label head Irv 'Gotti' Lorenzo is also to drop the 'Gotti' part of his name.

"I am changing the name so people can just try and focus on our music and not our name," Lorenzo said. "I've been making hits now for close to ten years in this game. All everyone seems to want to focus on is the word 'murder'."

The label have had problems in the past promoting collective records by his artists who were dubbed 'The Murderers' as some video channels and record stores were initially hesitant on displaying the name.

As previously reported on NME.COM, federal prosecutors are currently investigating Gotti for money laundering and fraud charges involving Murder Inc. as well as his connections with convicted drug dealer Kenneth 'Supreme' McGriff.

Lorenzo denies the charges, saying that McGriff is a friend who he tried to help turn his life around.

He told "Hopefully people will focus on me and my artist's talents, which is making great records and entertaining fans."

Def Jam's founder, Russell Simmons, said: "I feel it's a good idea. They have always made music that focuses on love, so it makes sense to get rid of the word 'Murder', it's just too negative."

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