Ja Rule: Reclaiming What's Mine
This is the life and time of Ja Rule.
Sit back, relax and learn. Learn the lessons, listen to details and indulge in his honesty, remarkable courage and passionate dedication. Please leave all questions and comments for the end of the show.
And noCurtis Jackson, Earl Simmons or Marshall Mathers are featured in this episode. Please turn off your cell phones, grab a snack and enjoy.
HipHopDX: Lets talk about the beginning of your commercial career, in 1997 where did you think you were going to be by the year 2007 as opposed to where you are?
Ja: Um, I think Im in a nice position. I think Im in a good place. A lot of people may not know that Im in as good as a place Im in, but Im in a good space.
HipHopDX: Cool. This is your seventh solo project. What have you learned since Venni, Vetti, Vecci and how has your music shifted then?
Ja: I think Ive elevated as an artist in many ways. As an artist you gotta be able to be different- you have to push the envelope. I think Ive done that throughout my career. Whether its been records like, Put It On Me, that catered to the ladies or making an all out war album, like Blood In My Eye. I think I pushed the envelope (laughs).
HipHopDX: Aight, cool. How was it making that transition from being one of the biggest emcees out to almost being forgotten? Did you ever think you would be starting from the bottom again? How do you feel having to build that whole connection back again or do you even feel like you have to?
Ja: Its a big misconception of that- what you just said. For me, I never stopped making good music. Its like the hate bus pulled up and somebody kicked me in my ass on it and now Im on the hate bus. But, I dont think I ever stopped making good music. My last album, my records off that were wonderful (with R. Kelly and New York). Those were two great records, so I never stopped making good music. I just think I was a victim to a lot of hatred, due to making so many big records and being so out there. At that time and in anybodys career when youre doing things in the public eye at such a high level, people start to hate - its natural.
Its like right now if fuckinwell let me give you an example of what I kinda went through. Its like Beyonce when she does her fuckin thing and you cant deny what she does. People hate on her anyway. They just love to hate on her, for no reason. Now imagine, somebody came out right around the time when people are throwing their stones at Beyonce (just because they want to) and just start killin Beyonce. Theyre sayin all these crazy type of foul things about her people might gravitate towards that because theyre on a rise because if they were part of such a big conglomerate like Dr. Dre and Eminemsomething that people can gravitate to in a real big way.
I was a victim of something new and something that was on a rise. Something thats been crushing the game for the last three or four years that people were (kinda) ready to hate on anyway. I was a victim of something that was really weird- a real funny type of situation in Hip Hop. I dont think its happened before. You know what Im sayin? Now that people have gotten a chance to eye witness the whole situation. Its turned around and its different now.
HipHopDX: Im glad you said that. I had a question prepared. Since you brought up hatred, I wanted to ask you something, A couple of my people said, that it wasnt 50 that destroyed your career, it was you letting 50s words get to you. Do you blame yourself for feeding into 50, which ultimately led to a transition in your career?
Ja: Nah, because Im an artist first. You see what Im sayin? Sometimes when youre an artist and you push the envelope and you do things and you dare to be differentsometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesnt. You understand? When I put out Blood In My Eye, thats what I wanted to do as an artist. I didnt care about what my label said. Really, I didnt want it to be an album; I wanted it to be a mixtape. That wasnt happening with the label. They said no, were going to make money off of this shit- so it came out as an EP or album (or whatever it was). It was never meant to be that. It was Ja Rules artistry, what I wanted to do as an artist; how I felt I wanted to attack the situation at hand. You know what Im sayin? So, I made Blood In My Eye, and put that album out there and didnt really care what was going to be the outcome of it. Thats why I didnt do any pictures, theres no photos - theres nothing for that album. I put it out there because thats what I wanted to do as an artist. Sometimes when that happens you get grand results and sometimes you get not so grand results. How I feel about Blood In My Eye? I still deem that as one of my favorite albums (laughs).
HipHopDX: Word (laughs). Since youre bringing out a new album, how would you feel if 50 Cent came at you again? Would you respond to his words or look pass him and keep it moving?
Ja: Theres no need to. You see what I sayin? I said all that I had to say on Blood In My Eye. Theres nothing more that I can say to change the peoples hearts and minds or how they feel about him at this point in time anyway.
HipHopDX: Aiight, cool. Lets take it back. I was under the assumption that Murder Inc. was initially supposed to be you, DMX and Jay-Z. Yall had a track back in the days called, Murdergram. Today all three of you guys are at different places in your careers. What do you think things wouldve been like if you three would have stuck together?
Ja: Oh man, you never know. It was only going to be one project that we were going to do, if it ever came to be. We were just going to do one album (probably). I really dont know, you know?
HipHopDX: Is it possible to ever see that collaboration with you three again? I think itll be crazy.
Ja: Anythings possible.
HipHopDX: Word (laughs).
HipHopDX: So what can we expect form Murder Inc. this time around? Where the hell is Vita? Is Ashanti coming back? Um, Black Child, Tah murda-
Ja: Me and Vita gotta track on the new album called, Something New. Ashanti, shes doing her thing. She just finished her new album. Shell be coming out sometime this year, too.
HipHopDX: What about Black Child and Tah?
Ja: Theyre finishing up their projects right now and theyll be coming out this year as well.
HipHopDX: Aiight. You mentioned Blood In My Eye several times and speaking of, Fatal Hussein was on that album. One of the most slept on emcees out here. He is sick! Whats up with dude?
Ja: Hes doing his thing right now. Hes in Dirty Jerz. I get up with him form time to time. I havent spoke to him in a minute though. Fatal you know what it is, homie. Holla at me. We gone get it in, again! (Laughs).
HipHopDX: (Laughs). Let me know about the new album, The Mirror. Where did you come up with the title and what is it all about?
Ja: The Mirror, its kinda self-explanatory. Its a reflection of ones self. The only place you can go and get the truth. You know? The only place you cant lie. I cant lie to me. I can lie to anybody else (at times try with God). Not myself. I have to be truthful with me. This album is like my confessions. I answer some of those questions that people ask like, "how did I feel about the public and do I feel like they abandoned me?" some of the very same questions that you just asked me. I answer that on this album. Its not just a serious album; its a real fun album.
I want Hip Hop to get back to its high when it was fun. We was all poppin bottles, having a good time, throwing parties. Its not like that anymore, its real dark. Everybody got beef with everybody. Its really put a damp on our music as a whole. I really want to bring back some of that good shit. You know?
HipHopDX: Speaking of mirrors, youve always been known for your passionate delivery, even compared to Tupac at times. Do you think thats going to be your niche, when being successful in the Hip Hop industry? You know some people are known for their lyricism, theyre club jointz, etc. Do you think its going to be your passionate delivery that people remember the most?
Ja: Absolutely. I think thats one of the things, Im be remembered for. I definitely feel the music. Im passionate about the music. I love what I do and you can hear it in the music. I rhyme with conviction and everybody doesnt do that. I dont think they feel what theyre saying...they just say it.
HipHopDX: Last question: If you could do it over, would you be a songwriter (playing background) or still be the Super Star, rapper that everybody knows?
Ja: I love who I am (ya mean?) and the steps that Ive taken in life, to get where Im at. Theres a saying and its real true to me right now and I say it a lot. The saying goes, greatness sometimes isnt what you accomplish but what you overcome. When you go through a lot, it builds character. I think Ive been through a lot in my life from my early childhood to my celebrity stardom. Going through the drama and the beefs, to the federal investigations onto now, where Im now in my life. Been through a lot, came through a lot and got over a lot and thats what lifes about-overcoming obstacles, still standing strong and being number one.
HipHopDX: Well, you seem like you matured quite a bit just a lil bit (laughs).
HipHopDX: We got through all the questions and thats hot. Is there anything else you want the people to know in regards to Ja Rule, or anything you think I might have left out?
Ja: I think they know a lot about me. (Laughs) I think they know pretty much everything about me.
HipHopDX: Well, what color are your drawers (laughs)?
Ja: Let me seeblue baby (laughs).
HipHopDX: (Laughs,) Im fucking with you.
Ja: Not to much, album in stores November 13th. We coming with it. The album is the truth!