The publications named JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, 2Pac, Eminem, The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop Dogg and Nicki Minaj as their top 10 picks on Wednesday (February 8), but Ja Rule didn’t make it into the top 50.
The Murder Inc. hitmaker came across the list and was surprised he didn’t make the cut based on his résumé. Despite that, he still congratulated everyone else who did.
“There ain’t 50 rappers dead, alive or waiting to be born better than me… #ICONN #Vibes,” he tweeted on Thursday (February 9). “@billboard congrats to everyone on the list well deserved but check my resume… #ICONN #Vibes.”
— Ja Rule (@jarule) February 9, 2023
In putting together the list, Billboard and VIBE took into account body of work/achievements (charted singles/albums, gold/platinum certifications), cultural impact/influence (how the artist’s work fostered the genre’s evolution), longevity (years at the mic), lyrics (storytelling skills) and flow (vocal prowess).
In terms of charting, Ja Rule’s debut album Venni Vetti Vecci peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in 1999, with his next two albums Rule 3:36 and Pain Is Love reaching No. 1. His next three albums, The Last Redemption, Blood in My Eye and R.U.L.E. also cracked the top 10.
Ja only has one No. 1 single of his own in “Always on Time” featuring Ashanti, but “Mesmerize,” “Wonderful,” “Livin’ It Up,” “Put It on Me” all made the Billboard Hot 100 top 10.
In addition, he’s had other No. 1 singles as a featured artist on Jennifer Lopez‘s “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” and “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix).” Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” also reached No. 2, while his “Down 4 U” collaboration with Charli Baltimore, Vita and Ashanti peaked at No. 6.
Many fans replied to Ja Rule’s tweet, supporting his claim that he should have made it into the top 50.
“you are one of the most influential artists of all time,” one fan said.
Another wrote: “No Ja, Nelly or The Game, it’s insane none of them not in top 50, Ja resume is unreal, Nelly has a diamond album, transcended hip hop and Game brought the west coast back and has numerous classic albums, the list is trash, the fact JAY-Z is number 1 says it all & Ye not top 10.”
“All good @jarule The Real Ones know you are amongst the greatest,” another person said.
Further down Billboard and VIBE‘s list, Kanye West came in at No. 11, followed by André 3000, Rakim, LL COOL J, J. Cole, Scarface, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Missy Elliott and Big Daddy Kane rounding out the top 20.