Ja Rule had a minor role as Edwin in the original "The Fast and the Furious" and, as he told MTV News in 2002, he was about to be a star in "2 Fast 2 Furious." But not only was he not in the sequel, he was also not involved in any other Furious films.
So, what really happened with Ja and how did this impact Ludacris' life?
Well, it seems Rule thought he was “too big” for the franchise, according to John Singleton, who directed "2 Fast 2 Furious."
“Ja got too big for himself,” Singleton told Grantland in an article that was published online on Friday (Apr. 3). "He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars. He got 15 grand to be in the first movie.”
So, why would Rule turn down the "Furious" sequel? Singleton said Ja's success as a rapper may have had something to do with it.
"He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel,” Singleton added. "He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him...He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, ‘What? What is this sh-t?’ This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris.”
Singleton went on to say that Ludacris was humble, excited and ready to do anything in the film. "That’s how Ludacris got in '2 Fast 2 Furious' [as Tej Parker] and the rest is history,” he added.
Ja had his own reasons. In 2002, he told MTV News that he declined a starring role in the "Furious" sequel because it wasn’t what he wanted out of his film career.
“Me and Vin [Diesel] talked after he turned it down,” Ja explained. “He hollered at me ’cause they still wanted me to do the film and they bumped up my role as a starring role and everything. And you know, we talked about it. I just felt it wasn’t the best move for me as far as what I want to do in Hollywood right now.”
Still, Ja's move ended up helping Ludacris greatly, Singleton explained.
“Ja Rule not doing '2 Fast 2 Furious' changed Ludacris’s life,” Singleton said. “Years later I saw Ja Rule at the Source Awards and we joked about it. I took him under my arm and said, ‘Man, when I call you, you listen. I ain’t calling you for no bullshit.’ He said, ‘Yeah, man, I’m sorry about that.’ He apologized. I love Ja. I still think Ja has a lot of personality and can come back in a different way."
Ludacris does appear in Furious 7, which is in theaters Friday (April 3).