Ja Rule

Feb
28
Ja Rule Checks In from Prison on Album Release Day

Ja Rule

Ja Rule didn’t pop champagne or hit the club to celebrate the release of his new album Pain Is Love 2. Instead, the Queens rapper checked in from behind bars, where he is serving an 18-month sentence on gun possession. Rule called into “Ear Candy Mornings” on SiriusXM’s Hip-Hop Nation to discuss the sequel to 2001’s multi-platinum Pain Is Love, starting a style that Drake and others later adopted, his Pray for the Day foundation, and support for Irv Gotti as the next Def Jam president. He had to step away mid-interview for a mandatory head count, but called back.

Upon his release next year, Ja plans to launch his “40 Days/40 Nights Around the World” tour and spend time with his family.

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb
22
Video: Ja Rule – ‘Believe’

Ja Rule

You can’t fence Ja Rule in. The Queens rapper, who is currently behind bars for gun possession, rises above adversity in the video for “Believe.” Ja raps behind a barbed-wire fence in the clip, which features powerful imagery of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesus. PIL2, the follow-up to his 2001 album Pain Is Love, arrives February 28.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
20
Ashanti Reconciles with Ja Rule: ‘We’ve All Grown’

Ashanti

Ashanti stopped by “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” to discuss her new single “The Woman You Love,” patching things up with her former Murder Inc. family, recording with Busta Rhymes, and launching her own label, Written Entertainment.

On reconciling with Ja Rule: “We had a three-and-a-half hour conversation and we just hashed out years and years and years of stuff. That’s my brother. I love him and I hope he’s doing well. I think he’s in good spirits. We’ve all been through a lot. We’ve all grown. We’ve all learned. We were all young starting out in the industry. We hashed out a lot of stuff and we needed that.”

On recording her single with Busta Rhymes: “We were listening to the playback of the record and [Jerry Wonda] had the speakers knocking crazy, so Busta came in the room like, ‘Yo, what is that?’ So we had to bring the beat back. And he was like, ‘Shuck! My sister, queen. I need to be on that.’”

On launching her own label, Written Entertainment: “I am the first artist on my new record label, so I’m super excited about that, so you know that profit share is big, homie.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
8
Ja Rule Begins Serving Prison Sentence

Ja Rule

Ja Rule will be calling prison home for the next year-and-a-half. The rapper turned himself in today to begin serving his sentence on gun charges.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
7
Exclusive Q&A: Ja Rule on Prison Bid, Lessons from Lil Wayne, & Overcoming Hate

Ja Rule

Since March of this year, Ja Rule has been living out a real-life 25th Hour. After pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon in December 2010, the 35-year-old rapper is set to begin an 18-month prison sentence this week. Despite the upcoming stint behind bars, Ja remained optimistic and upbeat when Rap-Up.com caught up with him, even discussing plans for a world tour beginning on the last day of his sentence.

With two albums in the works, P.ain I.s L.ove 2 and The Renaissance Project, and a clock ticking on his free time, Ja Rule’s main pre-jail priorities, spending time with his family and finishing up his albums, have taken precedence over the intricacies of the court case and any lingering regrets.

Following a string of hits in the late ’90s and early 2000s, years before his sing-rap style would be appropriated by Drake, Lil Wayne, and others, the rapper became 50 Cent’s primary punching bag and, fairly or not, the exemplar for a style of hip-hop—one marked by sleek, sung choruses and radio-friendly staples—that became passé with the increasing popularity of the harder, more militant, G-Unit era.

Second chances in hip-hop are rare, but with the “Always on Time” hitmaker back on good terms with his Murder Inc. associates (He reunited with Lloyd and Ashanti on stage in April and is collaborating with the latter on “LOL”), he is hoping to pull a Lil Wayne and retain, if not increase, his popularity while in prison. On the eve of his sentence, Ja Rule spoke with Rap-Up.com about his new projects, what he learned from Lil Wayne, the ridiculousness of “Twitter beef,” feeling betrayed by Lloyd, and how he’s risen above the hate.

Read the rest of this entry »

May
20
Ja Rule Reunites with Ashanti on New Collaboration ‘LOL’

Ja Rule and Ashanti

Ja Rule and Ashanti had a reunion onstage during Lloyd’s show at Hammerstein Ballroom last month, and now the former Murder Inc. affiliates are sharing laughs on their first collaboration in nearly seven years.

Read the rest of this entry »

May
19
Ja Rule Plans ‘40 Days/40 Nights’ World Tour Following Prison Release

Ja Rule

It’s been a busy year for Ja Rule, who is currently putting the finishing touches on two new albums before beginning his 18-month prison sentence on gun possession charges. The former Murder Inc. rapper hasn’t done much preparation for his bid, but he already knows the first thing he’s going to do upon his release.

Read the rest of this entry »