Ja Rule with Jaid Barrymore in February 2005
|Birth name||Jeffery Atkins|
February 29, 1976 |
Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Jamaica, Queens, New York, U.S.|
|Occupations||Rapper, Songwriter, Actor|
|Labels||Def Jam, The Inc., Mpire Music Group, Fontana Distribution|
|Associated acts||Irv Gotti, DMX, Jay-Z, Ashanti, Bobby Brown, Memphis Bleek, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Lil' Mo, Christina Milian, Hussein Fatal, R. Kelly, Missy Elliott, Method Man, Nas, Wanessa.|
Jeffery Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage name, Ja Rule or Rule baby, is an American rapper, singer, and actor from Queens, New York. Born in Hollis, Queens, he debuted in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 1999 to 2005, Ja Rule had several hits that made the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" with Jennifer Lopez, "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" also with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to The Inc. Records, which was formerly known as Murder Inc. and was led by Irv Gotti. Ja Rule has sold over 30 million records worldwide and was the best selling rapper in 2001. He is also known for some well-publicized feuds with other rappers (in-particular 50 Cent and Eminem), which would ultimately put a negative effect on future projects, and he would begin to receive poor reception for certifications and sales.
Early life 
Atkins was born in the Queens borough of New York City. He was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his mother, health care worker Debra Atkins, and grandparents. At the age of five his sister died from breathing complications, leaving him as an only child. He attended Public School 134 in Hollis, a school he has described as having a predominantly black student body. He said he got into many fights at the school because of his small size, so his mother transferred him to Middle School 172 in Glen Oaks, which he described as a "white school."
Music career 
Atkins began his rap career in 1993 with his classic hip hop group Cash Money Click. He told Curtis Waller of MTV News that his stage name "Ja Rule" came from a friend who addressed him by that name; other friends called him "Ja". In 1995, he made his first appearance on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build" which featured Jay-Z and DMX, who were also in their early stages of their careers. In 1998 he had signed with Def Jam, and was also featured on Jay-Z's hit single "Can I Get A..." along with Amil which Ja Rule wrote the hook, and was going to be a Ja Rule solo song, until Jay-Z heard the track.
Venni Vetti Vecci (1999) 
Ja Rule's debut album Venni Vetti Vecci was released in 1999, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 with 184,000 copies sold in its first week and eventually reached platinum status in the US due to the popularity of the hit single, "Holla Holla" which reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Rule 3:36 (2000) 
Ja Rule returned in 2000 with his new single "Between Me and You", which featured Christina Milian which would end up getting Top 40 airplay. "Between Me and You" reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the second single "Put It On Me" featuring Vita and Lil' Mo reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for "Put It On Me" had also topped the MTV Video Countdown for a week. The second album, Rule 3:36, was released on October 10, 2000 and had debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 with 276,000 copies in its first week, making it Ja Rule's first number one album. The album would be certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
Pain Is Love (2001) 
Ja Rule released his third studio album, Pain Is Love on October 2, 2001 and is considered to be Ja Rule's most commercially successful album of his career. The album spawned three top ten singles, two of them reaching number 1. The first single, "Livin' It Up", featuring Case, reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the second single "Always on Time", which featured Ashanti ended up being Ja Rule's first number 1 hit topping the Billboard Hot 100. The remix of Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real" which features Ja Rule, also topped the Billboard Hot 100. Like its predecessor, Pain Is Love topped the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 361,000 copies and was certified triple platinum by the RIAA. The album would also receive a Grammy nomination in 2002 for Best Rap Album. By 2007, 3.6 million copies of Pain Is Love had been sold.
The Last Temptation (2002) 
The Last Temptation, Ja Rule's fourth album, was released on November 19, 2002. It featured two hit singles; "Thug Lovin'" (peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100), and "Mesmerize" another duet with Ashanti (peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100). The Last Temptation debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 237,000 copies and was certified Platinum by the RIAA in December 2002.
Blood in My Eye (2003) 
Ja Rule's fifth album Blood in My Eye, was released on November 4, 2003 under the "Murder Inc." label, which renamed itself "The Inc." several days after the album release. The album was originally planned to be a mixtape, but Murder Inc. had ordered Ja Rule to release an album each year based on the requirements of his contract. The album was described as a "hate" album, directed at artists on G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath. It spawned one hit single, "Clap Back" which reached number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and had won him a Source Award for "Fat Tape" song of the year. It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 100 chart selling 139,000 copies in its first week of release. It has since sold over 468,000 copies in the U.S. In October 2003, Ja Rule met with Minister Louis Farrakhan, who wanted to intervene and prevent escalating violence in the feud between Ja Rule and 50 Cent.
R.U.L.E. (2004) 
Ja Rule's sixth studio album R.U.L.E. was released in November 2004 debuting at number 7 selling 166,000 copies in its first week of release. Its lead single was "Wonderful" featuring R. Kelly and Ashanti peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was followed by the street anthem "New York" featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss which charted at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single was the love song "Caught Up" featuring Lloyd which had failed to make an impact on the Billboard Hot 100. The RIAA certified R.U.L.E. Gold on January 14, 2005, and by October 2007, the album had sold 658,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Hiatus, departure from Def Jam and leaving The Inc. Records (2005–2009) 
On December 6, 2005, The Inc. released Exodus, a greatest hits album whose only new tracks were the song "Me" and intro and outro tracks. Exodus was the last album on Ja Rule's contract with The Inc. After the release of this compilation, Ja Rule took a hiatus from recording music.
In 2005, The Inc. Records came under investigation because of drug trades by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, who was associated with Irv Gotti. This led to Def Jam Recordings refusing to renew The Inc.'s contract. From 2005 to 2006, Gotti searched for other labels until finally reaching a deal with Universal Records (part of the same company as Def Jam).
The Mirror and Mpire Music Group (2009) 
After leaving Murder Inc. Records in 2009, Ja Rule founded his own independent label, Mpire Music Group and recruited new artists while still maintaining friendship with Irv Gotti. The Mirror was to be Ja Rule's seventh album and set for a 2007 release date, however, due to poor reception to singles partly believed to be due to his beef with 50 Cent it was pushed back. Eventually tracks from the album leaked online leading Ja Rule to re-record the album only afterwards deciding to release it as a free download in 2009.
Pain Is Love 2, Prison and Renaissance Project (2012-Present) 
In February 2011, it was announced that Ja Rule started working on another album called Pain Is Love 2, naming it after the original 2001 triple platinum album (Pain Is Love). It was planned to have production from the producers on the original Pain Is Love album in order to "recreate magic". Most of the production would be done by 7 Aurelius (who co-produced "Down Ass Bitch"), while Irv Gotti was the executive producer of the album. He had planned on releasing it June 7, although later decided to delay the release date in order to allow more time to perfect the "level and quality of the records" and to avoid "doing an injustice to his fans."
Pain Is Love 2 was slated for an October 11, 2011 release date but had been pushed back yet again, this time to February 28, 2012. To make up for the delay Ja Rule released a new track called "Falling to Pieces" which was produced by 7 Aurelius. The song samples The Script's "Breakeven". On October 2, 2011, another track released called "Spun a Web" which was also produced 7 Aurelius and samples Coldplay's "Trouble". The following day a teaser music video premiered on YouTube and the official music video was released on October 11. Pain Is Love 2 was finally released on February 28, 2012, while Ja Rule was serving a two-year sentence in jail for gun possession. Renaissance Project is the upcoming eighth studio album by Ja Rule which has yet to have a confirmed release date. Recording sessions for the album took place primarily at Mpire Studios in NYC Studio during 2008 to 2011. Production was handled by Rule and several others, including Benzino, 7 Aurelius and Buck 3000. Most of the tracks that were meant for the Renaissance were transferred over to Pain Is Love 2. Ja Rule was set to be released from prison on July 28, 2013, but on May 7, 2013, he was released early. He is then set to go out on his tour, "40 Days, 40 Nights" tour.
Acting career 
Aside from rapping, Ja Rule has established a career as an actor, his first film was a buddy movie with Pras, he famously appeared in The Fast and the Furious. In 2004, he appeared in several movies including Back in The Day with Ving Rhames and Pam Grier and Half Past Dead as Steven Seagal's co-star. He also starred in the movies The Cookout with Queen Latifah and Assault on Precinct 13.
Personal life 
Legal issues 
In 2003, he allegedly punched a man in Toronto, who later sued Ja Rule. The issue was settled out of court.
On July 1, 2004, Ja Rule was arrested with Don Rhys for driving with a suspended license and possessing marijuana.
In July 2007, Ja Rule was arrested for gun and drug possession charges along with Lil Wayne, and Don Rhys who served eight months in prison during 2010 for attempted possession of a weapon stemming from the arrest. New York Supreme Court judge Richard Carruthers rejected Ja Rule's argument that the gun was illegally obtained evidence. On December 13, 2010, Ja Rule received a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon after the aforementioned 2007 concert. On March 8, 2011 Ja Rule's surrender date for his two-year prison sentence was set for June 8. His publicist said that Ja Rule will turn himself in to authorities. He will go to Rikers Island first, then be sent to a state facility in Upstate New York.
In July 2011, Ja Rule received an additional 28-month prison sentence for tax evasion, to run concurrently with his state term, failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million in earnings between 2004–2006. He was released from state prison on February 21, 2013, but was immediately taken into federal custody for the tax case, for which he has less than six months remaining on his sentence. Ja Rule was held in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center and was set be released in July 28, 2013. On May 7, 2013, Ja Rule was released from prison early.
50 Cent/G-Unit Records 
Before signing with Interscope Records, 50 Cent engaged in a well-publicized feud with Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Records. 50 Cent claimed that the feud began in 1999 after Ja Rule spotted him with a man who robbed him of his jewelry and also because of Ja Rule "trying to be Tupac". However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict stemmed from a video shoot in Queens because 50 Cent did not like Ja Rule "getting so much love" from the neighborhood. A confrontation occurred in a New York studio where rapper Black Child, a Murder Inc. artist, stabbed 50 Cent, which resulted in him having three stitches.
In his book, 50 Cent details how Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff tried to resolve the conflict between him and Ja Rule. Allegedly, McGriff asked 50 Cent to leave them alone because of the money involved. 50 Cent insinuated the conflict had something to do with the shooting where he was ambushed and shot.
Since then, Black Child publicly insulted 50 Cent twice in "There's a Snitch in the Club", and "You the Wanksta". In both songs, Black Child details violent actions directed toward 50 Cent The exchange of insult tracks released from both parties culminated in Ja Rule releasing Blood in My Eye, which was an album that returned additional insults to 50 Cent. Ja Rule eventually tried to quash the feud 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. Because of the ongoing feud between the two, 50 Cent's labelmates Eminem, Dr. Dre, Obie Trice, D12, DMX, and Busta Rhymes also became involved and released tracks which insulted Ja Rule.
Ja Rule later released R.U.L.E. with the successful single, "New York", featuring Jadakiss and Fat Joe in which Ja Rule took subliminal shots at 50 Cent. This single prompted 50 Cent to enter a feud with the two featured artists (see article on "Piggy Bank" for details).
Although it seemed that the feud was over, Ja Rule returned with a track entitled "21 Gunz". In response, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent released the track "Return of Ja Fool" on Lloyd Banks' mixtape Mo Money in the Bank Pt. 4, Gang Green Season Starts Now. 50 Cent claimed in 2010 that Ja Rule's beef with him and Shady/Aftermath has ruined Ja's career saying "We just ripped the nigga apart and he hasn't & can't come back from it".
In an interview with MTV He stated that his new album, The Mirror, will not be continuing any past feuds that he has engaged in. He said:
There was a lot of things I wanted to say, and I didn't want there to be any bitter records on the album. Because I'm not bitter about anything that happened [in the past few years].
In May 2011, it was confirmed that both Ja Rule and 50 Cent ended 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."
The conflict escalated when Ja Rule released "Loose Change", in which he insulted 50 Cent, called Eminem by the name "Feminem", called Dr. Dre bisexual, and claimed that Suge Knight knew of Dre "bringing transvestites home". The song also includes lyrics that insulted Eminem's family (most notably his daughter) and acquaintances.
Busta Rhymes joined the conflict when he was featured on the track "Hail Mary 2003", with Eminem and 50 Cent. The song, a remake of Tupac Shakur's song "Hail Mary", was done partially as a response to Ja Rule's remake of another Tupac song, "Pain" (retitled "So Much Pain"). The rappers felt that Rule could never amount to Tupac, and so they made the track, mocking him for trying to "imitate" the deceased rap icon. Eminem prevented Ja Rule from appearing on any of the "new" Tupac songs he produced, including those on Loyal to the Game.
- Studio albums
- 1999: Venni Vetti Vecci
- 2000: Rule 3:36
- 2001: Pain Is Love
- 2002: The Last Temptation
- 2003: Blood in My Eye
- 2004: R.U.L.E.
- 2012: Pain Is Love 2
- TBA: Renaissance Project
- Independent album
- 2009: The Mirror
- Compilation albums
Awards and nominations 
|2001||Source Hip-Hop Music Award Won for Single of the Year – "Put It on Me"|
|MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Rap Video – "Put It on Me"|
|2002||MTV Video Music Awards Won for Best Hip-Hop Video – "I'm Real (Murder Remix)"|
|MTV Video Music Awards nominated for Best Hip-Hop Video – "Always on Time"|
|American Music Award nominated for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist|
|Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group – "Put It on Me"|
|Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap Album – Pain Is Love|
|Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap/Song Collaboration – "Livin' It Up"|
|World Music Awards Won for World's Best-Selling Rap Artist|
|BET Awards Won for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist Artist|
|GQ Men of the Year Award Won for Musician of the Year|
|Teen Choice Awards Won for Male Artist of the Year|
|NAACP Image Awards Won for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist|
|Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best Rap/Soul or Rap Album of the Year – Pain Is Love|
|2003||Source Award Won for R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year – "Thug Lovin'"|
|American Music Award nomination for Favorite Hip-Hop/R&B Male Artist|
|Grammy Awards nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration – "Always on Time"|
|2004||Source Award Won for Phat Tape Song of the Year – "Clap Back"|
|2009||MTV Video Music Brasil nomination for Hit do Ano (Song of the Year) – "Fly"|
|2000||Turn it up||David 'Gage' Williams||Alongside Jason Statham & Pras|
|2001||The Fast and the Furious||Edwin||Plays a supporting role as a street racer.|
|2002||Half Past Dead||Nicolas 'Nick' Frazier||Though a sequel was launched; Ja Rule did not star in it|
|2003||Pauly Shore Is Dead||Himself|
|2003||Scary Movie 3||Agent Thompson||Minor role|
|2004||The Cookout||Bling Bling/Percival Assmackey|
|2004||Shall We Dance||Hip Hop bar performer|
|2005||Back in the Day||Reggie||Alongside Ving Rhames|
|2005||Assault on Precinct 13||Smiley||Supporting role|
|2006||South Beach||Donnie Fox||T.V. Series "The S.B."(episode 7)|
|2008||Ja Rule:2005||Himself||A concert from his 2005 European tour, plus bonus tracks and interviews.|
|2009||Just Another Day||Himself|
|2009||Don't Fade Away||Foster|
|2009||Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff||Himself |
|2010||Wrong Side of Town||Razor||Alongside wrestlers; Batista & Rob Van Dam|
|2011||I'm in Love with a Church Girl||Miles Montego||His real son plays the younger version of himself, Miles.|
|2012||The Cookout 2||Bling Bling||Sequel to The Cookout|
- Birchmeier, Jason (2007). "AllMusic Biography". allmusic. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- Hughes, Zondra (2002-04). "Ja Rule: rap star rules hearts & charts – Jeffrey Atkins". Ebony. p. 140
- Farrakhan, Louis. "Ja Rule on 50 Cent, God and Hip-Hop". MTV. Retrieved 2008-12-01. "The first school I went to was all-black, PS 134. I used to fight every day, and got my ass kicked every time, so my mom figured I should be bused out — you know the busing thing in Boston? So they bused me on out to a white school, MS 172, where it was a little bit better. I didn't have any black friends there, but I learned how to deal with that situation and get along."
- Waller, Curtis (2001-02-17). "Ja Rule: Rules of the Game". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- "Ja Rule: Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- "Gold & Platinum: Ja Rule". RIAA. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- Mitchell, Gail (October 7, 2007). "Rapper Ja Rule releasing first album in 3 years". Reuters. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- "Ja Rule – Charts & Awards (Billboard Albums)". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- "Farrakhan warns hip-hop artists: Clap-back will only lead to coffins". The Final Call. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2008-04-150.
- Rashbaum, Matthew; Sweeney (2005-12-03). "Hip-Hop Producers Get Acquittal, Then Hugs, From Jurors". The New York Times.
- "Ja Rule Working On ‘Pain Is Love Pt. 2′ « GetWrite Gossip | New Hip Hop Music, Hip Hop News, Sports, Entertainment Blog". Getwritegossip.com. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Ja Rule working on "Pain is Love 2″". Hip-hopvibe.com. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- Horowitz, Steven J. (2011-12-09). "Ja Rule Reveals Tracklist For "Pain Is Love 2," Due In 2012 | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Pil 2: Ja Rule: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- September 23, 2011 (2011-09-23). "Ja Rule - "Falling 2 Pieces" | New Music". SoulCulture. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- » by September 23, 2011, 14:24pm (2011-09-23). "Ja Rule Releases "Falling To Pieces" [Audio". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- [dead link]
- "JA RULE RELEASED From Prison". http://www.tmz.com/. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Hughes, Zondra (2002-04). "Ja Rule: rap star rules hearts & charts – Jeffrey Atkins". Ebony. p. 142
- Borow, Zev. "33 Things You Should Know About Ja Rule". Blender. August 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- Hughes, Zondra (2002-04). "Ja Rule: rap star rules hearts & charts – Jeffrey Atkins". Ebony. p. 142
- "Life with Rapper Ja Rule, Wife, and Kids". BlackCelebrityKids. 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- "Rapper Ja Rule's Wife Aisha Murray (Photos - Pictures)". BallerWives.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Ja Rule". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Ja Rule apologizes for punching the man". USA Today. 2005-03-07. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "Police probing nightclub shooting". USA Today. 2004-12-29. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Weiss, Murray (2005-07-18). "Ja Rule Target of Shooting Investigation". New York Post. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Tavernise, Sabrina (2004-07-02). "Rapper and Tap Dancer Arrested". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Shepherd, Julianne (July 23, 2007). "Lil Wayne, Ja Rule Arrested After NY Performance". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008.
- Brunswick, Deborah (July 23, 2007). "2 hip-hop stars arrested in New York after concert". CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Grace, Melissa (December 13, 2010). "Rapper Ja Rule gets two year jail sentence after pleading guilty to weapon possession". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- "Judge: Gun Stays as Evidence in Ja Rule's NYC Case". ABCNews.com. Associated Press. January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Grace, Melissa (January 20, 2010). "Judge tosses rapper Ja Rule's 'weed' plea in gun case". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- "Ja Rule to go to prison in June in NYC gun case - Entertainment - Music - TODAY.com". Today.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Rapper Ja Rule to turn himself in for prison sentence Wednesday". CNN.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- Theo Bark (19 July 2011). "Ja Rule Receives Additional Jail Time for Tax Evasion". Theboombox.com/. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "JA RULE RELEASED From Prison". http://www.tmz.com/. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "BREAKING NEWS: JA RULE HAS BEEN RELEASED!". http://www.ruleyork.com/. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- MTV News (3 November 2003). "Ja Rule on 50 Cent, God and Hip-Hop". MTV. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
- "Hip-Hop Rumors: Kay Slay Doll, Ja Rule, Happy 1,000Th To Illseed!". Allhiphop. April 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-05-04. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
- Rodriguez, Jayson (12 July 2007). "Ja Rule Leaves Bitterness — and 50 Cent Beef — Behind on New Album". MTV. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
- "Ja Rule and 50 Cent Squash Beef". Inquisitr.com. 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Ja Rule - Eminem's Enemies". Eminemlab.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Eminem's Enemies, Rivals and Beefs: Ja Rule". EminemLab.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Kuperstein, Slava (2011-03-19). "DX News Bits: Lil Wayne Signs Porcelain Black, Ja Rule Plans 2 Albums In 1 Day, Rev. Run Signs Watch Deal | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff (Video 2009)". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ja Rule|
- Official website
- The Inc. artist website (archived)
- Ja Rule on Myspace
- Ja Rule at MTV
- Ja Rule at the Internet Movie Database