Ja Rule Interview
|Next Project:||The Mirror (Nov 13th)|
|Twitter:||Ja Rule on Twitter|
|Website:||Ja Rule's Website|
When Ja Rule released his sixth studio album, “R.U.L.E.,” in November of 2004, his popularity began to waver and his album sales took an unexpected dive. After dropping three platinum plus albums between 2000 and 2002, it was hard to imagine that Rule would struggle to remain a fixture at the top of the charts.
Now, three years after his last offering, the Queens native is ready to blaze the ‘comeback’ trail and unleash his new LP, “The Mirror.”
During an interview with DJBooth’s DJ “Z,” Ja makes clear why he needed to release “Blood In My Eye,” how Irv Gotti’s reality show on VH1 has him considering a future on TV and what he sees in the mirror when he takes a good look.
Listen to the Interview
Ja Rule Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an industry veteran who releases his seventh solo album, “The Mirror,” on November the 13th. Please welcome rapper/actor/businessman, Ja Rule.
Ja Rule: Yo, what’s happening? Live from the Empire State – let’s do it, Z!
DJ Booth: Ja, when you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Ja Rule: A miracle! [laughter]
DJ Booth: Humble, I like that.
Ja Rule: Nah, I see, not what everybody else sees – I see a loyal friend, a rider.
DJ Booth: What is it exactly that you think people see?
Ja Rule: I don’t know. I think people see me differently than I see myself, than the person that I am, so with this album I wanted to express who I really am.
DJ Booth: Ja, many fans will look at, “The Mirror” as a quote unquote “comeback album,” because your last album was released three years ago. Do you consider this a comeback album?
Ja Rule: You know, people can call it what they like, dub it whatever they want. I feel as though it’s an album that I made ‘cause I felt I had to just relax, let the smoke clear, the dust settle, and get my career and the juices flowin’ properly, come back and make the craziest album.
DJ Booth: Ja, from 1999 thorough 2002, you released four albums that sold a total of approximately eight million copies. Those are astounding numbers. Aside from the industry itself being far different now than it was during that stretch of time, can Ja Rule still sell albums in that type of mass quantity?
Ja Rule: I mean, nobody is. You’re lookin’ for Ja Rule to be Superman in a time where kryptonite is runnin’ amok! I’m not gonna say that, but Ja Rule will do what Ja Rule does. Ja Rule will do Ja Rule numbers. Not the numbers that Ja Rule has experienced in the past, because the record industry is just not there, but Ja Rule will do good numbers.
DJ Booth: Most of your biggest hits – “I’m Real,” “Always on Time,” “Mesmerize,” - have featured a female accompaniment. Your new single, “Body,” which features the beautiful Ashley Joy – is that an attempt to follow the, “If it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it,” mold?
Ja Rule: I like to get new artists and new voices on my record, and Ashley has a beautiful voice, and we’ve done some records in the past, and “Body” is a record that is real fun, real up-tempo, real fresh. So I wanted to make that my first appearance back into the game after “Uh Oh.”
DJ Booth: How did you and Ashley hook up, Ja?
Ja Rule: She’s a new artist on the Inc. and Seven Aurelius’s cousin.
DJ Booth: You have a song entitled, “Father Forgive Me,” which I understand updates the classic Beatles hit, “Eleanor Rigby.” I read unfortunately youu were unable to receive the rights to sample it, but you were able to use interpolations, correct?
Ja Rule: I did get the rights to use the record – I got it cleared, actually.
DJ Booth: Do you feel like your version, “Father Forgive Me,” does the Beatles’ original version justice?
Ja Rule: Well, I hope so. I think my version is an incredible. It’s hip hop, of course, but it’s very different, very edgy, and it’s dark but relevant, and it has a lot of substance to what I’m saying. It’s a great track – I can’t wait till for people to hear it.
DJ Booth: So many artists in the past have tried their hardest to sample a Beatles song, and have either failed or quit before they were able to get further along in the legal process. What made you decide that A, you wanted to go ahead and attempt something like that, and B, that not only would it be what it is, but bigger than what anybody else would ever think?
Ja Rule: I’ve always been a artist to push the envelope with my records, and try something different. When I came out with my melodic flow, that was something different, for when I was doing it, and for the time I brought it to the arena. And this record is no different. It’s something real different for Rule, but it’s very Ja Rule.
DJ Booth: So not too far away from what people are used to hearing from Ja Rule, but just far enough where its, “All right, he’s pushing the boundaries here – I like it.”
Ja Rule: Yeah!
DJ Booth: The Game is featured on the song, “Sunset.” Did the two of you have any real issues beyond wax from that silly beef with 50 Cent?
Ja Rule: Absolutely not. Me and The Game is cool, that’s my homie.
DJ Booth: You distanced yourself from that beef I just spoke about, and I read in a Rolling Stone interview, you mentioned the best way to end a feud was simply to step back. After watching 50, along with numerous other artists in the industry, start senseless beef on wax, do you wish you’d responded differently when you were involved?
Ja Rule: Not at all. I’m an artist, first and foremost, and what I do – this thing called music is therapeutic for me. So I go in and I record and it’s a release. So, making “Blood in My Eye” was a complete release. I needed that. I had to do that so that I could move on.
DJ Booth: Your man Irv Gotti has got a new reality show on VH1 – is Ja Rule a viewer?
Ja Rule: Yeah, I’m gonna check it out. Of course I’m gonna check it out, it’s my man.
DJ Booth: If VH1 said, “You know what? Irv’s show has done so well, Ja, we wanna offer you your own reality show,” do you say yes or no?
Ja Rule: They spoke to me about certain things, but no, I’m not one hundred percent into the reality show thing. But if they came with the right idea and the right concept, maybe, yeah.
DJ Booth: And the right paycheck?
Ja Rule: I mean, it ain’t about the money – they don’t pay big money to do those shows. It’d have to be something that I was actually feeling, like “This is what I want to do.”
DJ Booth: Do you think VH1 would be the proper cable network to air a Ja Rule reality show, or would it have to be something like an HBO or a Showtime?
Ja Rule: [laughter] Are you trying to say my show would be dirty?
DJ Booth: Oh, no. I was just trying to say that maybe you’d feel more comfortable on a network like that – let Ja Rule be Ja Rule?
Ja Rule: I mean, I don’t know. VH1, they let you push the envelope pretty much, and I got kids, so I don’t think I wanna do nothing too crazy.
DJ Booth: Ja, I know besides music, you’ve kept yourself busy by investing in an online casino. Is Ja Rule a gambling man?
Ja Rule: Yeah, I like to gamble. I love to gamble!
DJ Booth: Would you go all in with your brand new album?
Ja Rule: All in, baby. [laughter]
DJ Booth: Go ahead, give everybody a website, Myspace page, so they can find out more about what you got goin’ on, which is the brand new album, “The Mirror.”
DJ Booth: Ja, I appreciate your time, man. I wish you nothing but the best of luck on this brand new project.
Ja Rule: Thanks a lot, man.