Police are probing whether a rap industry feud involving platinum-selling label The Inc. led to a fatal shooting outside a nightclub party hosted by rapper Ja Rule, law enforcement sources said.
Federal authorities are investigating The Inc. founder Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo and notorious crack kingpin Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. Neither Gotti nor McGriff has been charged in the case, but court filings allege the label, formerly known as Murder Inc., laundered more than $1 million in drug money.
The label’s top-selling artist, Ja Rule, hosted a Sunday night party at LQ, a Latin-themed club in midtown Manhattan that had been rented for the night by a team of party promoters, club manager Ruben Rodriguez said. The party featured a crowd of about 300, including minor celebrities and a bevy of rap video models, Rodriguez said.
Around 3:30 a.m., a man in a yellow jacket left the club and waited outside for Troy Moore, 37, and William Clark, 39, according to a police report. The man opened fire, hitting Moore and Clark, police said. Clark died of his injuries, and Moore was hospitalized in stable condition.
Moore is the brother of Tyran “Tah Tah” Moore, an associate of Lorenzo and McGriff. Rapper 50 Cent named Tyran Moore and McGriff as possible suspects in a shooting that left him with nine bullet wounds and helped build his credibility as a gangster rapper.
“Get back to questions like, ’50, who shot ya?'” 50 Cent raps in one lyric. “You think it was ‘Preme, Freeze or Tah Tah?'”
Tyran Moore also was briefly arrested, and later cleared, in the shooting of a police captain in Harlem. He is awaiting sentencing on a weapons charge.
Three law enforcement sources said that investigators are examining whether the nightclub shooting, The Inc. and McGriff are linked. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Troy Moore and Clark had criminal records including drug and weapons convictions, court records show.
An attorney for McGriff, who is in prison on a gun possession charge, said his client knew nothing about the early Monday shooting. “There’s no connection between this shooting and McGriff,” attorney Robert Simels said.
Lorenzo’s lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, did not return a phone call seeking comment. Lefcourt has said The Inc. is a legitimate operation being unfairly targeted by authorities.
A spokesperson for The Inc. did not return a message seeking comment. The label has in the past declined to comment on criminal investigations.
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