G-Unit–Murder Inc. feud
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The G-Unit–Murder Inc. feud was a hip hop rivalry between 50 Cent (Curtis James Jackson III) and his record label G-Unit, and Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) and his label Murder Inc. Records (now known as The Inc. Records), from 1999 until it slowly dissolved in 2004. The conflict helped 50 Cent gain mainstream and street notoriety for going up against Ja Rule who was a very popular and respected artist during the time. It is one of the most followed feuds in hip hop history, but also one of the most violent feuds as it went far as both artists becoming involved with fights and other physical violence with each other.
Beginning of feud (1999-2001)
The feud was believed to have started for two particular reasons. One being from Ja Rule's perspective in where he believed that 50 Cent was jealous from all of the love he was getting from his neighborhood. From 50 Cent's perspective, it is believed that a friend of his had robbed Ja Rule for his chain. Originally, tensions started when 50 was snubbed by Ramel "Black Child" Gill in the video shoot for Ja's single "Murda 4 Life". The feud would reach out to the public when 50 released a subliminal diss track named 'Life's on the Line'. In March 2000, while at The Hit Factory studio in New York, Jackson had an altercation with Murder Inc. associates. He was treated for three stitches after receiving a stab wound. Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility for the stabbing, saying he acted in self-defense because he thought someone reached for a gun. It is also believed that Irving "Irv Gotti" Lorenzo Jr and his brother Christopher Lorenzo were involved in this altercation. An affidavit by an IRS agent suggested that Murder Inc. had ties to Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a New York drug lord who was suspected of being involved in the murder of Jam Master Jay and the shooting of Jackson. An excerpt of the affidavit read:
The investigation has uncovered a conspiracy involving McGriff and others to murder a rap artist who has released songs containing lyrics regarding McGriff's criminal activities. The rap artist was shot in 2000, survived and thereafter refused to cooperate with law enforcement regarding the shooting. Messages transmitted over the Murder Inc. pager indicate that McGriff is involved in an ongoing plot to kill this rap artist, and that he communicates with Murder Inc. employees concerning the target.
50 Cent had put out a song named "Ghetto Qu'ran" in which he was exposing Supreme's criminal activities. Many people believe that this song was possibly the reason for why 50 Cent had been infamously shot 9 times outside his grandmother's house in 2000.
50 Cent's rise to fame (2002-2004)
Regardless of the physical repercussions, 50 Cent continued to make the rivalry a cornerstone of his music career. He released numerous mixtapes, clowning and insulting Ja Rule and Murder Inc. The most notable of the diss tracks "Wanksta" caused Black Child to diss 50 Cent in the songs "The Real Wanksta" and "You the Wanksta".Before the release of Get Rich Or Die Tryin', Murder, Inc. began a smear campaign against the rapper. A restraining order document began floating around the Internet stating that 50 Cent had filed an order of protection against label CEO, Irv Gotti and Black Child. This helped forge the belief that 50 Cent is a "snitch" or a police informant.
Although 50 Cent dismissed the claims, the bad publicity continues to be a tool used among various rappers who engage in beef with his rap collective G-Unit. In fact, further investigation from New York lawyers found that the document could have been, and was most likely, signed by a judge without 50 Cent's consent or knowledge. The practice is common place in New York for victims of multiple attacks when their assaulters are released from jail.
The rivalry reached a boiling point for Murder Inc., which had remained silent for the most part, when 50 Cent released his second album-length battle rap, entitled "Back Down." In the song 50, who was always known for his hold-no-tongue approach to battling, insulted, joked and dissed Ja Rule and his label into action. In response, Black Child, along with fellow The Inc. rapper Caddillac Tah, countered with their own mix tape disses. Ja Rule, however, remained quiet. 50 Cent continued his barrage, releasing the Tupac assisted "Realest Killas" where he addressed Ja Rule's penchant for imitating the slain rapper. This prompted Ja Rule to finally respond with the songs "War is On," "Guess Who Shot Ya" and "Loose Change." This all culminated into Ja Rule releasing "Blood In My Eye," which was, in effect, a 50 Cent diss album. Ja Rule eventually tried to squash the beef with 50 Cent by using Minister Louis Farrakhan in a televised interview. However, the attempt at peace lost credibility as the interview was scheduled a day before Blood In My Eye was released. As a result most fans, along with 50 Cent dismissed the interview as a blatant publicity stunt.
50's popularity helped him take control on the beef and would eventually gain support from his rap crew G-Unit, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and even DMX, who used to be a close associate and friend of Ja Rule.
The involvement of Eminem and others
Ja Rule had a small rivalry with 50's label-mate, Eminem. Ja Rule insulted Eminem's ex-wife and daughter in a song titled "Loose Change" in which he raps "So em your mums a crackhead and Kim's a known slut/So What's Hailie going to be when she grows up". Eminem responded on a mix tape by DJ Kay Slay with a freestyle collaboration with 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes in a Tupac parody titled "Hail Mary 2003" - a remake of "Hail Mary" by Tupac (another motivation for this song was "So Much Pain", Ja Rule's remake of the Tupac song "Pain") - "Doe Ray Me (Hailie's Revenge)" also was made in response to "Loose Change". Although they exchanged heated words, most fans did not take it seriously in the shadow of 50 vs. Ja Rule. Eminem also dissed him with another underground song with G-unit entitled "Bump Heads" (and various other songs with out the G-Unit). Eminem would also feud with other rappers such as Benzino.
Ja Rule was also beefing with DMX. DMX claimed his one-time ally Ja Rule had copied his rap style, and gotten very rich as a result. Ja Rule responded by bringing up DMX's drug abuse and questioning his sexuality by calling him 'Crack Man X'. He also noted that DMX was being jealous of artists like him and Nelly, and brought out the fact that his albums were selling more than X's albums. Despite this, DMX has sold more albums than Ja Rule during the same period of both artists prime years. DMX had brought the fact that Ja was being very ungrateful and mention a past experience in where he saved Ja's life in Chicago. DMX jumped on bandwagon when Shady Records artist were having feud with Ja Rule, releasing few diss tracks on Cradle to the Grave OST and his fifth studio album Grand Champ, most notably on the songs, "Go To Sleep" (Feat. Eminem and Obie Trice) and "Shot Down" (Feat. 50 Cent & Styles P).
Along with Ja Rule 50 Cent had dissed Fat Joe, Nas and Jadakiss on the song "Piggy Bank". This was because Fat Joe and Jadakiss appeared on Ja's single "New York" and Nas said that he would most likely support Ja Rule when he was asked about the rappers' feud in an interview. The started a publicised feud between the three rappers beside Ja. Fat Joe would respond back with "My Fofo", and Nas would diss 50 in "Don't Body Ya Self". Jadakiss would strike 50 with "Checkmate", but also gained support from his LOX peers Styles P and Sheek Louch, most notably in the tracks "I Run New York" and "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye". However 50 eventually squashed his beef with Nas and Jadakiss.
Ja Rule's popularity decrease and feud continuance
Because of the support 50 got from his fans and other artists (due to his rising fame and popularity), Ja Rule's album sales and popularity decreased. Ja's 2009 album The Mirror would eventually receive poor album sales, despite two moderate hits, "Uh Ohh" and "Body". Still the feud didn't end, in 2010, 50 and Ja got in a twitter beef due to Ja going in prison and not paying taxes, among that, the fans on social networks have continually insulted each other over new songs. In May 2011, it was confirmed that both Ja Rule and 50 cent squashed the feud. Ja Rule said "I’m cool. We ain’t beefing no more. We’ll never collaborate. That’s just what it is. You don’t have to be at war with somebody, but it’s also kind of like U.S. and another country that they may not get along with. We don’t gotta go to war, but we’re not friends either. But we can coincide inside of a world. He’s doing him, and he’s not thinking about me, and I’m doing me and I’m not thinking about him."