Originally, Murder Inc. was to be the name of a supergroup comprised of Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule. All three were signed to Def Jam (through their own imprints of Roc-A-Fella, Ruff Ryders, and Murder Inc.) and had known one another for years. They appeared in each other’s videos, shouted out one another, and performed on the same stage during the Hard Knock Life tour.
In 1999, when all three were at – or very close to – the peak of their popularity, they appeared on the cover of XXL to announce the formation of Murder Inc. Some believe that the three could’ve become the greatest hip-hop group in history, but it never happened. As Ja Rule said, “We tried to deliver that album. It was a situation where egos all just played a part in its demise.”
We’ll most likely never get a Murder Inc. album so, just as I did with Detox, I have collected the tracks they did record together in various combinations.
Jay-Z, DMX & Ja Rule Collaborations
Cash Money Click f/Ja Rule, Jay-Z, DMX, Infa-Red, Blackchild & Nemesis – “If It’s On It’s On” 
Mic Geronimo f/Jay-Z, Ja Rule & DMX – “Time to Build” off The Natural 
Murder Inc. – “Murdergram” off the Streets is Watching soundtrack 
Ja Rule f/Jay-Z & DMX – “It’s Murda” off Venni Vetti Vecci 
Jay-Z & Ja Rule Collaborations
Jay-Z f/Ja Rule & Amil – “Can I Get A…” off Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life and the Rush Hour soundtrack 
DJ Clue f/Jay-Z & Ja Rule – “Gangsta Shit” off The Professional 
Ja Rule f/Jay-Z – “Kill ‘Em All” off Venni Vetti Vecci 
DMX & Ja Rule Collaborations
“I Shot Ya” Freestyle 
Mic Geronimo f/DMX, Ja Rule, Tragedy Khadafi & The LOX – “Usual Suspects” off Vendetta 
Nas, Method Man, DMX & Ja Rule – “Grand Finale” off the Belly Soundtrack 
Jay-Z & DMX Collaborations
Jay-Z f/DMX – “Money, Cash, Hoes” off Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life 
DMX f/Jay-Z & The LOX – “Blackout” off Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood 
Ja claims there are still a few Murder Inc. songs that haven’t been heard. Maybe one day.
In the meantime, it’s impossible not to wonder what could’ve been…
Photos from XXL issue from Christopher Pierznik’s personal library
Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Connect on Facebook or Twitter. Please feel free to get in touch at CPierznik99@gmail.com.