Ja Rule Done Lashing Out At 50, Will Be Himself Again On New LP

Rapper currently in the studio, plans to drop new LP early next year.

Irv Gotti says now that Ja Rule is done clapping back at his nemeses, it's time for his homie from Hollis to holla back at the mainstream with his rapping. The duo are currently in the studio banging out a new LP to drop in early 2004.

"Ja's album is coming out at the top of the new year," Irv disclosed Wednesday after a press conference to announce why he dropped the name "Murder" from his label, Murder Inc. (see "Irv Gotti Explains Label's Name Change, Won't Forgive Eminem"). "It was always planned for [Blood in My Eye] to be an album that comes out and hits the streets, and then we drop another one that's back to our basic [album] formula of doing big records and street records. That's the chemistry I like. I like the big records and then I like the records for the streets."

Coming with some of his most angry and rough music for an entire album with Blood in My Eye may have been planned to help solidify Ja's credibility, but the move has done little to uphold his status as a radio darling and SoundScan heavyweight. In four weeks, the LP has moved only 284,000 units, a severe tapering off compared to his last LP, The Last Temptation, which sold 237,000 in just its first week. But Gotti says he and Rule weren't going after the huge sales.

"Blood in My Eye was basically Ja Rule giving the 'hood what he felt it wanted to hear from him," he explained. "It wasn't designed to sell 100 million records. We would've loved it. Of course we would take that, but going in, it wasn't designed for that. Ja was just lashing back after all he had to take from the people, from the enemies, from everybody. That was always our intent — put this album out, let them hear him respond back [to 50 Cent's disses] the way he wants to respond back. So I view Blood in My Eye as a tremendous success 'cause the streets got it and the streets is feeling it."

A spokesperson for the Inc. says that while there are currently no plans to put out another single and video from Blood in My Eye, the lead cut from the 2004 album may be out as early as January. There is still no title for Rule's next project.