Murder Inc. front man Ja Rule has emerged from the shadows announcing a forthcoming untitled album he promises will be “f*cking crazy.”
The Queens, New York-bred emcee revealed plans to drop a new album this year, along with a new jewelry line venture.
“New album coming real soon, I ain’t gonna give nobody no dates,” Ja said in an interview. “None of that ‘We pushin’ it back, we pushin’ it back’ so I ain’t giving y’all no motherf*cking date. It’s coming real soon. We finishing it up. It’s f*cking crazy. Y’all n*ggas get ready. We gonna have a good time this year…[I got a] new jewelry line coming real soon. Y’all can go to Itshot.com to check out all the new pieces from the Rule.” (Sub Zero DVD)
Rule’s upcoming project will follow-up his unreleased The Mirror album originally slated to drop in 2007.
From 2005-2007, as Irv Gotti‘s Murder Inc. operation fell into shambles, Ja Rule was quiet; he charted no songs on the Billboard Hot 100 during this time period. Toward the end of 2007, he attempted a comeback, first with “Uh-Ohhh!”; featuring Lil Wayne, who was perhaps the hottest rapper of the moment, the song nonetheless stalled at number 106 on the Billboard 200. A couple other singles (“Body,” “Sunset”) also failed to garner significant airplay, and the planned November 2007 release of The Mirror was pushed back. (All Music)
Rule’s absence from hip-hop’s spotlight was prolonged when the label became subject to an FBI investigation in 2003.
Amid all of this controversy, the FBI decided to investigate. They raided the Murder Inc. office on January 3, 2003, and the investigation made headlines everywhere, from MTV News (“Drugs, Friends & Allegations: Inside the Murder Inc. Raid”) to the New York Times (“Inquiry Into Rap Label Asks if ‘Gangsta’ Is More Than Genre”). More shootings followed throughout New York: The office of 50 Cent‘s management company, Violator, was shot up multiple times, and Gotti’s brother, Chris, was subsequently shot in the leg outside of the Def Jam office. (Billboard)
The rise of 50 Cent, who frequently dissed Rule, also placed a dent in the rapper’s career.
I didn’t start this. I’m an artist who really went out there to make my records while asking myself, “What can I do to elevate myself and do music?” People started making more records that had more feeling. All the artists came into it making records with feeling about different aspects of life beside the criminal aspect. And this is where the whole hatred really started for him and trickled down. I guess when he got his record deal, he felt the need to call my name and disrespect what I am doing, which is crazy. (MTV News)
Check out Ja Rule’s emergence below: