Yesterday on the set of RapFix Live, Queens MC Ja Rule graced the couch with Sway to chop it up about his illustrious career, spawning a legion of chorus crooning rappers, and his impending prison sentence due to a 2007 gun charge. The artist born Jeffery Atkins showed humility in regards to his many achievements and also expressed remorse for the happenings that yielded the rapper his upcoming prison stint.
Growing up in the Hollis area of Queens, Ja Rule would come to align himself with Murder Inc. Records honcho Irv Gotti, a local DJ who made it big playing a significant role in the careers of artists Mic Geronimo, Jay-Z and DMX.
Gotti’s close friend Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff was an infamous crime figure in New York City ruling the South Jamaica area of Queens during the crack-riddled 80’s with his ruthless Supreme Team empire. Supreme’s reign of terror, spawned in the notorious Baisley Park housing projects in Southside Queens, resulted in a death penalty conviction on murder conspiracy charges for the killing of Mobb Deep affiliated rapper E-Money Bags. Music executive Irv Gotti had better luck after he was victorious against federal money laundering charges just months prior over his close affiliation to McGriff.
According to Brooklyn prosecutor Carolyn Pokorney who tried Gotti, his brother Chris Gotti, and Supreme, Murder Inc., the “Worlds most dangerous record label,” home of hits to R&B singers Ashanti and Lloyd and flagship artist Ja Rule, was a criminal enterprise laundering McGriff’s dirty money from his ill-gotten gains fronting as a record label.
Over the course of the Inc.’s success, both Irv and Ja made no secret of their close relationship with ’Preme. Gotti remained unscathed in the government’s pursuit to eliminate Supreme and the Supreme Team while ironically Ja found himself entrapped in similar territory as the Team’s fallen leader.
When asked by Sway about his upcoming sentence, Ja Rule revealed to the viewing audience that he received some advice from Supreme on how to handle his time.
“I spoke to ’Preme two weeks ago,” Ja Rule shared. “He let me know about my bid goin’ in, how to bid. I never bidded, so you gotta know how to bid.” Ja continued imitating Supreme’s voice and words of wisdom. ” ’First thing, don’t go in there flashy. Cause that breed jealously and envy right off the rip,’ ” Ja quoted.
In an unfortunate set of events, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule were both locked up in separate incidents on July 22, 2007 on gun possession charges after they departed from a Hot 97 sponsored radio concert, where Weezy had a performance at the Beacon theater in New York. Wayne served a one year sentence on the gun charges and was released late last year from Rikers Island, and has since enjoyed quite a career resurgence and newfound clarity in freedom.
Ja Rule expressed the same hopeful determination as he faces a two year bid, which begins on June 8. “This is something that’s bad, but there’s gotta be some good that comes out of it,” said the Pain Is Love rapper. “Even if there are other kids that look at me and say, ’Let me put my burner down.’ Even if it’s that, then there is something learned from my mistakes.”