I recently was watching Irv Gotti’s new reality show Gotti’s Way, and saw a scene with a frustrated Ja Rule ranting about putting out new music and figting for his spot in Rap. Should he be frustrated? Well, maybe. In the past year, we’ve seen Ja Rule try and try again to get back to relevancy to no avail. He’s gotten co-signed, been featured on big remixes, and still no one gives a damn. Even though I was never a big Ja Rule fan, I still think the Rap world “MC Hammer’d” him. What does “MC Hammer’d” mean? You remember about 17 years ago when MC Hammer was on top of the music world and everybody started calling him a sellout because of the dancing, the endorsements, and pop appeal? Everybody from 3rd Bass to Ice Cube was shitting on Hammer and damaged his standing forever. Fast forward to 1997 and Puff Daddy is praised for doing the exact same thing. With Ja Rule, it’s too similar. Around 2000/2001, Ja Rule was killing it, love it or hate it, but when 50 Cent told the world that all Ja does is sing, makes songs for the ladies, and should be categorized a pop music, the public bought into. Now since 50 Cent is doing songs with Justin Timberlake and Pussycat Dolls, making a lot of songs catered to women, and singing on almost every track he’s on, I think it’s safe to say the fans “MC Hammer’d” Ja Rule. Now let’s look at some of Ja Rule’s attempt to get back in the running:
The Game featuring Hip-Hop – “One Blood (remix)” [Ja Rule’s verse only] – (LISTEN)
On November 7th 2006, The Game released his super remix of “One Blood”. It had some of Hip-Hop’s elite on there too: Nas, Snoop, T.I., Lil’ Wayne, etc. The surprise at the end was that Ja Rule, The Game’s former enemy, was to end the track. Think about it, that remix was about 20 minutes long, had almost every Rap heavyweight on there, and Ja Rule got the last verse. Did anybody care? For about a day or so. I don’t even think people remember that Ja Rule was even on the remix.
Ja Rule featuring Lil’ Wayne – “Uh-Ohhh!”
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On August 1st 2007, Ja Rule went and got the hottest rapper around to be on his first single for his new album, The Mirror. Now I know a Weezy feature isn’t that hard to come by these days (Didn’t 50 call Wayne a whore?), but come on, I at least thought it would get some buzz. I might of saw the video for this song like…what a minute, I never seen this video on TV before. Not saying it wasn’t; the only thing I saw was a behind the scenes look on a MTV podcast. Another funning thing about Wayne and Ja. You remember when Wayne got arrested in July for gun possession? Ja Rule got arrested the same day and that was not even reported on some news sources. You know it’s bad when you can’t even get bad press.
Ja Rule featuring Ashley Joi – “Body”
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Okay, I gotta admit Ja got some small buzz on this one. While I haven’t really heard of this song tearing up radio stations, the video premiered on BET’s Access Granted and was “Jam of The Week” on MTV Jams until the week of October 9. Still, a lot of people have not heard this song. You couple that with that he got Hype Williams to direct it and that it has an “uncensored version”, you’d think it’d make a bigger splash. But naw, I think it’s back to the drawing board again Jeffery Atkins.
Ja Rule vs. Homosexualtiy
In the September 2007 issue of Complex magazine, Ja Rule expressed that homosexuals are to be blamed for the problems and destruction in the United States, and was disgusted at MTV’s promotion of gay themed television shows. He also spoke out about how Hip-Hop is being blamed for more issues then homosexuality, and perpetuated the belief that gays are evil and corrupting music and television. Ja Rule went on the say; “Lets talk about all these fucking shows that they have on MTV that is promoting homosexuality, that my kids can’t watch this shit.” It’s sad to say that these statements have gotten Ja more publicity that any song he has released in the past year or so. Yea, GLAAD got on his ass about the statements, but to most people’s reaction was like, “Okay, so what, it’s Ja Rule who cares”.
So, is that it for Ja Rule. With his new album The Mirror set to be released on November 13th, it seems that way. Even though Ja Rule has sold over 20 million records worldwide, he can’t seem to stop from falling closer to being on a XXL milk carton and becoming a trivia question. Maybe he still can turn it around, maybe not, only time will tell.