Ja Rule's proposed six months away from the music biz has lasted a whole two weeks.
Murder Inc.'s biggest record seller resurfaced over the weekend via the mixtape circuit with a freestyle called "The Wrap," which features Tupac's one-time Outlawz clique member Fatal Hussein. No, the title isn't paying homage to one of your favorite MTV shows — it's referring to what Rule perceives to be the status of his foes' careers.
While Ja's wrath is contained to just one freestyle verse, the Queens native manages to once again throw a few barbs at 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes over the instrumental for Mobb Deep's "The Learning (Burn)." Rule also addresses a physical altercation between members of the Inc. and D12's Proof at a Miami strip club a few weeks ago and the accusation that federal agents are investigating his record company for laundering drug money.
"Plus the feds want us bad for cleaning cash," raps Ja, who orders 50 to "pull your skirt down" toward the end of the record. "But what cash is we cleansing?" he continues. "It's all about the Benjamins, what?/ If it's dirty then we rinsing it off."
Earlier this month in Miami, Murder Inc.'s head honcho, Irv Gotti, told MTV News that Ja was taking a six-month hiatus, explaining that after releasing a solo album every year since 1999 and becoming a fixture on radio and video airwaves, the fans may have been getting a little tired of Rule and needed a break. Gotti also revealed plans for a Rule double LP sometime in 2004 (see "Ja Rule To Give Fans A Break From His Music"). There is no further word on the status of that project.
In addition to working with the Outlawz, Fatal Hussein rapped alongside Tupac on various projects including All Eyez on Me before dropping his solo debut, In the Line of Fire, in 1998 and going to jail in 1999. A free man for the past year and a half, Fatal is now signed to Rap-A-Lot Records and says that a joint venture of sorts is being brokered between Gotti and Rap-A-Lot CEO J. Prince to put out his next LP.
"We're doing this little deal with J. and Irv — they talking about a deal, I don't know how it's going down," Fatal said last month inside Black Child's Queens, New York, recording studio. "Before I got locked up in '99, Ja was my man. We used to hook up in the 'hood, I used to come to his shows. We've always been cool. When I came home we was speaking through a mutual friend. I knew all I had to do was see my dog and it was going to be back on."
Fatal also said that he was affronted when 50 Cent used Pac's vocals on "The Realest Killas," incorporating some of his former mentor's rhyme flows and lyrics on the "Hail Mary" freestyle (see "50 Cent Disses Ja Rule On Tupac Joint; New Biggie Material On The Horizon").
"I feel it's a problem, playing with his lyrics like that," Fatal said of "The Realest Killas." "That needs to be addressed. I remember I heard it [and] they [were] trying to say that [Ja] is trying to sound like Pac when [50 is] dead on him. All you did was take 'Ambitionz Az a Ridah' and play it back, wrote a verse and took it to the lab and said 'I'mma be Pac now' and just try to say all this bullsh-- about Rule.
"I'm one of the Outlawz, so my opinion is going to be real critical," he continued. "That 'Hail Mary' was wack, total trash, no creativity. Why rap over certain stuff? You're not making it any doper. To me, it was a slap in the face to anybody that stood for something that Pac was holding down. It was a slap in the face to say you're repping Tupac. You're listening to his lyrics and putting his lyrics back on over his beats. You're not creating, you're biting. You didn't even know him. It's going to be some action taken. It's going to be some stuff coming out."
"The Wrap" can be found on Big Mike's Year of the Rookie Part 2 mixtape.