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Paranoia Party

Ashanti, Ja Rule Celebrate Irv and Chris Gotti’s getting off by worrying about the Man.

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Hip-hop execs Irv and Chris “Gotti” Lorenzo, recently acquitted for money laundering, think the government’s case against them isn’t truly closed. At last week’s album-release party for Ashanti’s Collectables—a remix compilation the Gottis say they produced mainly to complete their label’s contract with Universal Records—jubilation mixed with paranoia. Private investigator William Sewell, who worked on their case, said he’s still on call: “The government will always try to get something on them.” Ja Rule opined, “There is definitely some racial profiling going on.” Ashanti said she’s wary of text messages, which the prosecution used as evidence. “I mean, everybody has to be careful. All your messages can be read by anyone.” Chris seemed hurt by his corporate partner. “Universal cooperated with the government on this,” he said. “It’s a shame they wasn’t with us the whole time, because we made them damn near billions of dollars. It’s disgusting, really. This is a celebration of Ashanti’s album release, and our release from Universal, which is a beautiful thing.”

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