Ja Rule

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.

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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.

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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.

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May
7
New Music: Ja Rule – ‘Superstar’

Ja Rule

With a month to go before he starts serving his prison sentence, Ja Rule toasts to the good life on “Superstar,” a cut off his forthcoming album P.ain I.s L.ove 2, due June 7. The Queens MC grapples with fame over the haunting beat produced by former Murder Inc. affiliate 7 Aurelius.

“Dear heavenly father, this devil wore a blue dress, Angelina, Madonna/ Fame monster, no relation to Gaga/ Bitch got a lot of problems/ Money ain’t one of them, promise,” raps Rule before the breathy hook kicks in.

Listen to a two-minute snippet below.

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Apr
28
Ja Rule Sounds Off on Drake and Other Singing Rappers

Ja Rule

At the height of his reign, Ja Rule took the formula of a rapper singing his own hooks to the mainstream stratosphere. With MCs like Kanye West, Drake, and Diddy making hits with the signature style, Ja doesn’t hold any hard feelings.

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Apr
23
New Music: Ja Rule – ‘Real Life Fantasy’

Ja Rule

Ja Rule asks “Is this my life?” on the reflective first single from his new album P.ain I.s L.ove 2. Produced by longtime collaborator 7 Aurelius, “Real Life Fantasy” addresses the former Murder Inc. rapper’s recent troubles.

“Get high, go to prison, and evade taxes/ This is not what I envisioned when I started rapping,” he confesses, adding, “If this was ’03, then I’da told ya you was crazy if you told me that is what it’d be/ I miss Vita, Caddie, Black Child, Charli/ I thought we was tighter than the Marley family.”

PIL2 and The Renaissance Project drop June 7, the day before Rule is scheduled to start serving his two-year jail sentence.

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Apr
23
Video: Lloyd, Ashanti, and Ja Rule Reunite at New York Show

Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Lloyd

It’s Murder! The Murder Inc. camp, including Lloyd, Ashanti, and Ja Rule, reunited onstage at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday night (April 22) during Lloyd’s opening set on Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Coming Home” tour. The love was palpable as Lloyd brought Ashanti to the stage to duet on their 2004 collaboration “Southside” before the R&B princess joined Ja Rule on their No. 1 smash “Always on Time.” Rule, who will start serving a two-year jail sentence in June, also debuted his new single “Real Life Fantasy.”

“The REUNION was epic,” tweeted Ja after coming offstage. Reminisce on their glory days below.

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