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Ja Rule enjoying comeback success from “Black Vodka?”

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Ja Rule enjoying comeback success from “Black Vodka?”

By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Regardless of how things turned out, Ja Rule was going down in hip hop history. Early in his career, Rule crafted a number of hit singles in a short span of time. To date, his “Always on Time” single is the most-successful in Def Jam history. During his run on top of the game, Ja Rule even proved to be a talented songwriter, writing the chorus for Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…” and writing the entire “Rainy Dayz” song, which featured him alongside Mary J. Blige.

Going into 2003, Ja Rule had done the impossible, writing songs for Mary J. Blige, recorded with Mariah Carey, Nate Dogg, and other current superstars. In 1998, Ja Rule’s goal was for his debut album to certify gold, so he could have enough money to provide for his family. Following his fourth album, Ja Rule had more than enough money, it was all about the legacy. Ja Rule had made Murder Inc. the top hip hop record label and even had Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston close to signing with the label.

Despite the growing backlash, Ja Rule appeared poised for another big year in 2003, until his longstanding feud with 50 Cent surfaced. Ja Rule alienated all which made him famous in an attempt to prove himself tougher than 50 Cent. Meanwhile, 50 Cent slowly adapted things which made Ja Rule successful into his own style, while maintaining his street edge. This, paired with unwise decisions from Ja Rule led to fans turning their back on both him and his entire Murder Inc. label.

Following a brief comeback, which included a top five single, a street anthem, and a platinum album, Ja Rule faded into the sunset. Ja Rule had been virtually forgotten, except when his feud with 50 Cent was brought up. Murder Inc. Records’ CEO, Irv Gotti, narrowly beat a racketeering charge and was focused on regaining the top spot in 2006. Soon, Ja Rule revealed he was working on a comeback album. Along the way, Ja Rule mended fences with those he battled during the 50 Cent feud and made new alliances. Among the first to express support for Ja Rule was superstar former G-Unit rapper, Game, then known as The Game.

Had things gone the way Ja Rule and Irv Gotti planned, Ja Rule would have pulled off the biggest comeback in history. The buzz was initially strong, with Ja Rule reaching out to Lil Wayne for the “Uhh Ohhh!” single. While the video appeared to be popular with fans, the video failed to make video countdowns. The follow-up single, “Body,” suffered the same fate, as did Ja Rule’s comeback album, The Mirror. Hoping to build another legacy, this time with Universal Records, Irv Gotti was disappointed in how the label did little to promote the artists signed to his label, eventually shelving Ja Rule’s album.

A comeback, which appeared heroic had been decimated and Ja Rule became a bigger joke to people who were once his biggest fans. Five years have passed since the initial comeback attempt. Currently, Ja Rule is in prison and he has taken his career into his own hands. Always a part of his longtime Murder Inc., Ja Rule is now the head of his own Mpire movement. Despite being behind bars, Ja Rule has plans of releasing his new album, Pain is Love 2, in the coming months. Earlier today, Ja Rule released the full version of his “Black Vodka” single, which was well-received by fans.

Usually, when Ja Rule releases a new song, it is either turned into a joke by websites or simply ignored by fans. Despite several hip hop websites attempting to discredit Ja Rule’s new single, the fans loved it. Now, the former superstar is back in the headlines for his own work, something he has not experienced in nearly ten years. Any time Ja Rule’s name is mentioned, he makes headlines, but it is usually when he comments on a major hip hop situation, 50 Cent, or when his legal issues are mentioned. However, things have been different for Ja Rule today and die-hard fans of the rapper hope this is the beginning of something new for him.

Ja Rule said, back in 2007, he would return and dominate the game again, no matter how long it took him. Eight years have passed since Ja Rule has released a full studio album. The album was a success, but it was clear Ja Rule was on his way out. Now, he is forcing his way back in and his new single is leading the way. Will “Black Vodka” be the single, which rights the terrible wrong which has been Ja Rule’s career, minus his 2004 album, R.U.L.E., over the past nine years?

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