It’s been nearly six years since Ja Rule has seen any type of success in the music biz, following his highly publicized beef with 50 Cent. Many have contributed the beef to his fall from grace, and it seems plausible, but was it really? Rule doesn’t exactly think so.
He recently caught up with Vibe.com to discuss the situation, as well as reflect on his rise and fall, and rebirth in the music biz. In the new Q&A, Rule discusses everything from his free album The Mirror and the beef with 50, to his upcoming gun trial and Lil Wayne.
Here’s a few of the interesting points of the interview:
VIBE: What’s the last two years been like for you?
On the music side it’s been crazy ’cause I really didn’t have no vehicle to put any music out properly. The [Universal] deal, it blew up… [Irv] Gotti and Sylvia [Rhone] and everybody didn’t see eye-to-eye. So we thought it would be best if we didn’t put the project out over there and just walked with it. Instead of me walking with it, I just put out [The Mirror album] free for the fans. It was like, f*** it. The album is a good album.
Did you see people that were hating on you the last few years start turning in your favor?
Yeah, I’m starting to now see people that may have hated on me in the beginning are not rooting for me and want to see me win. That to me is big. The best part about it is I’m humbled by it all. 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 sh** like, “Yo, [50 Cent] kilt Rule, but he didn’t kill 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 look at sh** like that and… I don’t know, take it how you want to take it. 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, ‘This n**** sh**ted on this n**** for one thing and turned around and did the same thing.” As that thought started to get around to people, it started to change for me. I’m just proud and happy that the people can vibe and f*** with the music.
Lil Wayne is locked up right now based on a case he caught after a show at the Beacon Theater in New York. You performed with him as a guest at that show and you have a case that you’re still dealing with. What’s going on with that?
That was a crazy situation. They locked me and Wayne up the same night. It’s been a crazy three years going through this situation. Wayne will be home in November. I’m still facing… a lot of time. So, I’ve got to mentally put my mind on it and work toward… God will see me through it.
Most people would just look at the music side of everything. It seems the possibility of you going to jail hasn’t been publicized as much. How’s that been weighing on you?
I’ve got a good family, good people around me. I got a lot of mottos I live by, man. ‘Don’t get mad, get money.” ‘Persistence outweighs resistance.” I just try to stay focused throughout all the bullsh** and keep pushing. As long as I’ve been in this business it’s been a struggle. Ain’t nothing been easy. Even when we were doing 3, 4 million, it wasn’t easy. It was a fight to the finish, and this is going to be the same thing. Right now it’s no different.
Read the full interview in its entirety over at Vibe.com. Rule also touches on the motivation of today’s artists, maintaining his music career, Lil Wayne, new artists, TV and more.