Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Bruce Atkins, is an actor and entrepreneur, but he is best known for being a successful rapper in the late 1990s and early 2000s who released platinum hits with artists like Missy Elliot and Tupac Shakur. Despite recent negative news related to the backlash against the Fyre Festival, which he co-founded, the rapper continues to invest in successful businesses, act in blockbuster films, and release listened-to songs.
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Ja Rule was given the name Jeffrey Bruce Atkins on February 29, 1976, in the neighborhood of Hollis in the Queens borough of New York City. His parents were Debra and Will. When Jeffrey was very young, his father abandoned the family. As his younger sister Kristen passed away in the womb when Atkins was 5 years old, Atkins was raised as an only child.
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Ja Rule was primarily raised as a Jehovah’s Witness by his grandparents because his mother, Debra, was a healthcare professional and spent so much time at work. When Atkins was 12 years old, his mother quit the Jehovah’s Witness faith. Atkins soon started selling drugs in Hollis.
As a member of the group Cash Money Click, he began his career in 1994. Shortly after, he changed his stage name to “Ja Rule.” The trio separately created several songs, including their first single “Get Tha Fortune” in 1994. After just one year of being signed by TVT Records, they were released from their contract and split up as a result of the arrest and incarceration of band member Chris Black.
Ja Rule had his debut solo appearance on the Mic Geronimo song “Time to Build,” which also included Jay-Z and DMX. In 1998, Rule joined Def Jam and appeared on the Jay-Z song “Can I Get A…” When Venni Vetti Vecci, his debut album, was published in 1999, it eventually peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
His second and third albums both reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts and were both awarded the 3x Platinum certification. On November 19, 2002, his fourth album was published. It opened at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and produced two top-charting singles.
He released his fifth and sixth albums in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Ja Rule left his contract with Def Jam in 2005 after releasing a sixth studio album and a greatest hits collection. He took a break until February 2011 when he said he had begun production on a new album called “Pain is Love 2.” He was already serving a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion and gun possession when it was published a year later. In May 2013, the man was freed.
Ja Rule and Gotti started Murder Inc Records after Gotti’s release from jail. 2014 saw the publication of his autobiography, Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man. Shortly after, he announced his eighth studio album, but it was postponed indefinitely.
Ja Rule rapped Hamilton’s part in the song Helpless by Ashanti when he made an appearance on The Hamilton Mixtape in December 2016. In June 2018, Ashanti announced that she and Ja Rule are working together on a new album.
“Holla Holla,” “Between Me and You,” “I’m Real (Murder Remix”),” “Ain’t It Funny,” “Always on Time,” “Mesmerize,” and “Wonderful” are some of Ja Rule’s best-known tracks. He has collaborated with R. Kelly, Ashanti, Christina Milian, and Jennifer Lopez. He is also a well-known actor who has acted in The Fast and the Furious, Scary Movie 3, and The Cookout (2004) with Queen Latifah.
Business and Entrepreneurship
In 2004, Ja Rule and Gotti introduced the ErvinGeoffrey urban wear brand. Ja Rule established The Mojito, a beverage business, in 2006.
Ja Rule joined forces with Billy McFarland, the CEO of the credit card processing business Magnises, in May 2015 to serve as the organization’s creative director and spokesperson. Ja Rule and shoe entrepreneur Steve Madden teamed up in August 2015 to create the Maven x Madden collection of men’s sneakers, which went on sale that fall.
Ja Rule and Billy McFarland created the talent agency Fyre Media, Inc. in 2016. The company advertised its Fyre Festival in Hamilton, Bahamas, in April 2017 as a high-end event, but it was fake and disappointed hundreds of ticket holders. A $100 million class action lawsuit was filed against Rule and McFarland.
Flip kick, a platform that specializes in the sale of real-world artwork as non-fungible tokens, was introduced in 2021 by Ja Rule in collaboration with a group of software experts. As “the first startup to provide cryptographic authentication of physical pieces of art marketed as and linked to NFTs,” Flipkick claims to be.
Ja Rule put a painting of the Fyre Media Inc logo that he had ordered from artist Tripp Derrick Barnes in 2012 up for sale to launch the site. The painting had a price range of $600,000 on the listing.
Ja Rule has received four Grammy nominations and has also been recognized with three Source Awards, one MTV Video Music Award, one World Music Award, one BET Award, one GQ Men of the Year Award, and one Teen Choice Award, and one NAACP Image Award.
In February 2012, Atkins completed his GED in incarcerated. Atkins finished a Harvard Business School online course in February 2021 and posted a picture of his graduation certificate on Twitter.
Ja Rule wed Aisha Murray in April of that year. Brittney Asja Atkins, born in 1995, Jeffrey Jr., born in 2000, and Jordan, born in 2005, is the couple’s three children.
Ja Rule, who spent the majority of his infancy as a Jehovah’s Witness, considers himself to be a Christian. In 2013, while promoting the film I’m in Love with a Church Girl, he “reconnected with God.” Along with his wife, he underwent baptism in 2013.
Ja Rule allegedly assaulted a man in Toronto in 2003, and the victim filed a lawsuit. He admitted assault and was given a $1,200 fine.
Police looked into whether a dispute involving Murder Inc. contributed to a fatal shooting outside a nightclub party that Ja Rule and Leon Richardson were throwing in 2004.
Ja Rule was detained on July 1, 2004, for marijuana possession and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.
Ja Rule, Lil Wayne, and Don Rhys were all arrested in July 2007 on suspicion of possessing firearms and illegal drugs. Don Rhys was sentenced to eight months in prison in 2010 for attempting to possess a firearm as a result of the arrest. Ja Rule’s claim that the gun was obtained unlawfully was denied by the court.
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Ja Rule was arrested in 2007, and after pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon, he was given a two-year prison sentence on December 13, 2010. The surrender deadline for Ja Rule’s two-year prison term was set for June 8 on March 8, 2011. Before being transferred to a state facility in Upstate New York, he was originally sent to Rikers Island.
Ja Rule received a second 28-month jail sentence for tax evasion in July 2011 that would run concurrently with his existing sentence. Between 2004 and 2006, he earned more than $3 million in earnings but failed to pay the required taxes. On February 21, 2013, he was granted parole from a state jail, but he was immediately detained by federal authorities in connection with the tax case, for which he had less than six months left to serve his term. On July 28, 2013, Ja Rule was scheduled for release from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. On May 7, 2013, Ja Rule was released from prison early.
By July 1, 2017, Ja Rule was facing more than a dozen lawsuits brought by investors and ticket buyers from the ill-fated Fyre Festival, and his business partner Billy McFarland had been charged with fraud.
With 50 Cent and G-Unit Records, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Shady Records, Aftermath, Foxy Brown, and Lil’ Mo, to name a few, Ja Rule has engaged in feuds. The most well-known dispute included 50 Cent in 1999 after Ja Rule shot a music video in Queens because, according to rumors, 50 Cent did not enjoy Ja Rule “receiving so much love” from the locals of Hollis.
When the two clashed in Atlanta, Ja Rule alleges he hit 50 Cent with a baseball bat. Another altercation took place in New York City, where 50 Cent was stabbed by rapper Black Child, one of Ja Rule’s Murder Inc. musicians, and required stitches. Both rappers acknowledged that their rivalry was over in May 2011.
Ja Rule was a co-organizer of the music festival “Fyre Festival,” which was scheduled to take place on a private island in the Bahamas in late April 2017. The situation ended up becoming a major catastrophe. Some of the attendees spent hundreds of dollars for their tickets, yet they were still left stranded on a gravel lot with little food and just FEMA disaster tents as lodging.
By the time visitors arrived on the island, the majority of the planned musical performances had already been canceled after becoming aware of the festival’s circumstances. A festival goer filed a $100 million class-action lawsuit against Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, who co-founded the event, on May 1st, 2017.
Ja Rule’s Net Worth
Ja Rule’s career as a well-known rapper, record producer, record executive, and actor has made him wealthy he has a net worth of $4 million.
His roles in films like Turn it Up (with Pras), Back in the Day (with Pam Grier and Ving Rhames), Half Past Dead (with Steven Seagal), The Cookout (with fellow rapper Queen Latifah), and even the hugely successful The Fast and the Furious have helped him earn some excellent money as an actor.
Through the 2004 introduction of his own urban-inspired clothing line, ErvinGeoffrey, he has also been successful as an entrepreneur. In addition, he established The Mojito, a liquor business, in 2006.