Rapper Ja Rule‘s future in hip-hop may be in jeopardy after he appeared in a New York court room today and pleaded guilty to a 2007 gun possession charge.
Although he will not be officially sentenced until February, Rule is expected to serve two years behind bars.
Wearing dark-blue jeans and a black sweater, the rapper said “guilty” and answered yes to a judge’s questions in a low voice. “Because of your guilty plea here today, you’ll have a record of having committed a violent felony. This is a very serious matter,” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers told the rapper. Ja Rule’s lawyer, Stacey Richman, had no immediate comment. Specifically, the rapper admitted to a charge that involves attempting to have a loaded gun outside one’s home or workplace. Ja Rule was promised two years in prison when he is sentenced in February. (Wall Street Journal)
Details on the trial hit the Internet Monday (December 13) morning.
Rap star Ja Rule may soon be in the spotlight in a New York City courtroom. A trial could start as soon as this week in a gun-possession case stemming from a July 2007 stop of his luxury sports car. He was scheduled for a court date Monday. Police say they found a loaded semiautomatic gun in a rear door of his $250,000-plus Maybach after it was stopped for speeding following a Manhattan concert. The chauffeured car also had a suspended registration and no insurance, police said. The platinum-selling rapper has pleaded not guilty to criminal weapon possession. His lawyer has said the traffic stop was unjustified and has questioned a type of DNA analysis used in the case. (Associated Press)
Duke University Professor Marc Anthony Neal, who teaches African American culture, has weighed in on Rule’s legal woes and believes the case has kept the rapper relevant.
“That has been a common strategy among folks who need to sell records and sell product,” said Neal. “If the product itself is not going to help them sell anything, they have to find all kinds of ways, shape and form and notoriety. The criminal justice system is one of the best ways to do that…There are many folks who thought that even the gun charge that came up in 2007 was an attempt for him to have some sort of viability or visibility — and I think the delays are directly connected to trying to keep his name out there some way, somehow.” (WYNC News)
Rule’s incident took place in summer 2007 after leaving a Lil Wayne concert he performed at.
Ja Rule was leaving the Beacon Theater when his car was stopped. Police said they smelled marijuana and found a .40-caliber semiautomatic gun in the rear driver’s side door. He wasn’t charged with drug possession, and a judge threw out the rapper’s statement to police that he had “a little bit of weed” in his pocket. (Baltimore Sun)
Last summer, Rule reflected on the seriousness behind his gun case.
“I got a job to do right now so I haven’t really been thinking about it, I’ve been trying to block it out,” Ja said in an interview with DJ Vlad. “You don’t want things like that interfering with your work, so, that is a very serious situation. I’m gonna deal with it accordingly — [I’m facing] four years…[When Lil Wayne took his plea deal], I was a little disappointed because I feel as though there was an injustice being done in this case. It’s the same night of my arrest. We got arrested within hours apart…I felt both parties were innocent. But you know, this is the business we’re in and the things we got to deal with. Sometimes we gotta make a decision — he made one and I made one, now we gotta deal with the consequences.” (Vlad TV)
No further details have been revealed as of now.
Check out some recent Ja Rule footage down below: