The contrast between Ja Rule‘s career in 2001 and his place in the music industry now is striking. Once on top of the music charts with his third album Pain Is Love moving 6.1 million units, Rule’s fall from grace arguably had much to do with his beef with 50 Cent. Ja Rule recently talked to Vibe magazine about his entry back into the music industry and how he had the disadvantage against 50 Cent.
“I feel like everybody deserves a second chance to do whatever. Really, I feel that my situation was an unfair situation. A very unique, very odd situation. Nobody ever seen anything like that in Hip Hop, you know? I laugh when I see people say shit like, ‘Yo, [50 Cent] killed Rule, but he didn’t kill [Rick] Ross.’ No disrespect to Ross, but he did 180-something [first week sales of Teflon Don]. I went platinum with R.U.L.E. after I made Blood In My Eye…I was a much bigger selling artist than just platinum so I guess that’s why people felt I took a hit. But the music industry was taking a hit at that time, too. You can’t really judge it or try to make an issue out of it, or an excuse. It just is what it is. To me it’s just one of the weirdest moments in Hip Hop. It’s to where the fans feel like they were duped almost like, ‘[50 Cent] shitted on this nigga for one thing and turned around and did the same thing.'”
Although it’s been years since he garnered the commercial success as he did in ’01, he says he’s still maintained the support of his peers in the music industry.
“Real talk, I’ve been getting support from basically everybody in the industry. Nobody has really been unsupportive of me at all. I think a lot of people may not openly be around and vouch for me, but nobody has not taken my calls. While I was feeling on the outside, I still felt like I was on the inside, you feel me? A lot of artists out there made me feel real warm and let me know, ‘Nigga, you still that nigga. You put it down.’ A lot of artists are good with me.”
Ja Rule also expressed that, while he feels some new artists are entering Hip Hop for the wrong reasons, there are still a few that he likes.
“I like Drake. I like Nicki [Minaj]. I like the dude Tyga that’s on the Chris Brown mixtape. I like J. Cole, he doing his thing. I even like Soulja Boy. The little nigga smart, man. He make his records and do his thing, ain’t bothering nobody. It’s too much hate in this game. Hate is for suckas, man.”
Ja Rule’s latest album is titled The Renaissance Project, and is scheduled to release by the end of 2010.