Ja Rule, 1998 onyx (miami, FL) PHOTO BY j lash
People with a good memory remember that Ja Rule’s career dates back to at least 1994 when he emerged as a member of the Cash Money Click, a Irv Gotti-produced group that enjoyed a very brief stint at the now-defunct TVT Records. Though they only managed to put out two singles, Ja Rule’s undeniable presence led to him getting a deal at Def Jam years later. While he enjoyed immense success during the early part of his career, Ja was often vilified along the way. First he was called DMX-imposter, then a 2Pac-biter, then a fake R&B singer. In hindsight, he probably didn’t help matters by constantly screaming “It’s murdaaaa!” over tracks that resembled love ballads. In perhaps the best display of rap fans’ fickleness, most of the rap world turned their backs on Ja when his neighborhood-turned-industry rival 50 Cent led an all-out attack against Ja and his accomplishments. Ja fought back but eventually faded into near-irrelevance, instead focusing his energies on his family and entrepreneurial endeavors.
OZONE MAG // 85