The Queens rapper is set to begin a two-year prison sentence for gun possession but the former Murder Inc. artist and this Wednesday's "RapFix Live" guest plans on dropping two albums — P.ain I.s L.ove 2 and The Renaissance Project — that he hopes will keep his music on the airwaves until he finishes his bid.
Ja recently invited MTV News to preview a handful of tracks from P.ain I.s L.ove 2, a sequel to the triple-platinum Pain Is Love. An upbeat Ja Rule and his longtime producer/collaborator 7 Aurelius excitedly played the tracks for us at Sean "Diddy" Combs' Daddy's House Studios. Lucky fans got a little taste of what he's been up to when opening act Lloyd brought out Ja Rule at the New York City stop of Diddy's Coming Home Tour last Friday.
While Ja performed a medley of his past hits (along with Ashanti), he also performed the Queen-sampling "Real Life Fantasy" from P.ain I.s L.ove 2, one of the tracks RapFix got to preview in full.
Another standout track Rule played for us was "To the Top," which features Diddy-Dirty Money's Kalenna Harper on vocals. The song features solid drums and sounds huge, a reflection of Ja's desire to create stadium-worthy records. Another joint, called "Wake Me," has a mean wah-wah guitar over swelling percussion as Ja takes his critics and naysayers to task. A more lighthearted record is "College Girl," which features a pots-and-pans-like groove over thunderous drums as Ja goes on a lyrical campus crawl.
Ja held off on revealing any of the P.ain I.s L.ove 2 features (he plans to keep them minimal, if any), but he did speak on his plans for The Renaissance Project. Fans will purchase what Ja called a "living album" in the form of an app that comes with an initial set of songs; after a designated period more songs will be added to it. If all goes according to the rapper's plan, purchasers of the app will continue to receive music, photos, video, etc. — even while he's serving his bid. "An application album is right where we need to be," Ja told us. "You can never get that [just] buying an album, you get all this content."
The two albums are set to drop on June 7, a day before the "Always on Time" rapper is scheduled to start his prison term. According to Ja Rule, the albums will be released on his Empire imprint via Universal Motown Records.
Tune in Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to watch Ja Rule on "RapFix Live."