The idea for Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti to co-star on We TV’s “Growing Up Hip Hop: New York” came from his son, Jonathan “JJ” Wilson Lorenzo — who appears on the upcoming (Aug. 29) season of the series with his father and sister, Angie Pearson.
“My friend hit me up and told me, ‘Yo, bro, we are going to be on ‘Growing Up Hip Hop: New York’ and I said, ‘I want to do it too,’ ” says JJ, 20. “That’s when I went to my dad and said it would be dope if we were all on it together.”
Gotti was happy to oblige and appear on the show — which also features Fat Joe, Charlie Baltimore, Lil Mama, Flavor Flav and Kid Capri — but he did have one major concern when a video of Gotti and Ja Rule being barred from the nightclub SOB’s and arguing with a security guard went viral. Gotti, who felt the show’s producers ratcheted up the drama for no good reason, threatened to walk off the show and take his kids with him.
“I told production, ‘Don’t do that with us. That’s not who we are and I’m not going to perpetuate that type of s–t,’ ” Gotti says. “All that stuff at SOB’s … the producers of the show perpetuate some bulls–t … I went into the deal more concerned with the producers and production of [the show] and how they are going to spin the reality because there’s no real drama here. We’re not boring — we’re just not fighting anybody. You’re not going to see Angie put somebody in a headlock [and] you’re not going to see JJ beefing with somebody.
“I felt super-betrayed,” he says. “I felt that I wanted to be violent I wanted to hurt people and I’m like, ‘Don’t do this.’ My life could have been over. I got all this positive stuff and happy stuff with my family. What if someone would’ve punched JJ or Angie in the face [after the incident]? If someone touches my kids … I’m not playing about that.”
After a week of back-and-forth phone calls, Gotti decided not to leave the show. He was supposed to appear in four episodes but ended up in 10. “If I left I would be taking away opportunities from my kids,” he says.
Angie, 27, says she hopes that “Growing Up Hip Hop: New York” — which features the children of hip hop legends navigating their personal and professional lives outside of their parents’ shadows — will show another side of her. The Art Institute of New York City graduate works in corporate marketing and social media for Steve Madden.
“I have my own blog and podcast on the side called ‘Collective Shades’ and my podcast ‘Girls We Know’ is on iTunes and Spotify,” she says. “I’ve been working since I was 17, so when somebody says that I have a safety net [in my father], that gets me really mad because it’s like they’re diminishing my success and accomplishments.”
JJ says he wants to go into the entertainment business. “I’m a producer on [the BET series] ‘Tails,’ ” he says. “I also came up with this TV series idea which I wrote and created myself called ‘Melting Pot,’ about hip-hop in high schools and how it brings cultures together.”
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