Jeffrey Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage
name Ja Rule, is an American rapper, singer, and actor. He began
his career in the group Cash Money Click and debuted in 1999 with
Venni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 2000
to 2004, Ja Rule had several hits that made the top 20 of the US
Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with
Christina Millian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" with Jennifer
Lopez, "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" also
with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti.
During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to The Inc. Records, which was
formerly known as Murder Inc. and was led by Irv Gotti.
Atkins was born in the Queens borough of New York City. He was
raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his mother, health care worker Debra
Atkins, and grandparents. At the age of five his sister died from
breathing complications, leaving him as an only child. He attended
Public School 134 in Hollis, a school he has described as having
a predominantly black student body. He has said got into many fights
at the school because of his small size, so his mother transferred
him to Middle School 172 in Glen Oaks, which he has described as
a "white school".
Atkins began his rap career in 1994 with his hip hop group Cash
Money Click. He told Curtis Waller of MTV News that his stage name "Ja
Rule" came from a friend who addressed him by that name; other
friends called him "Ja". In 1995, he made his first
appearance on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build" which featured
Jay-Z and DMX, who were also in their early stages of their careers.
In 1998, he was a featured guest on Jay-Z's hit single "Can
I Get A..." along with Amil.
 Venni Vetti Vecci (1999)
His debut album Venni Vetti Vecci was released in 1999. Singles
included "Holla Holla" and "It's Murda" with
Jay-Z and DMX. "Holla Holla" reached #35 on the Billboard
Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Venni Vetti
Vecci was certified platinum by the RIAA on July 12, 1999.
 Rule 3:36 (2000)
Ja Rule returned in 2000 with his new single "Between Me and
You", which featured Christina Milian. "Between Me and
You" reached #11 on the Hot 100, and "Put It On Me" reached
#8 on the Hot 100. Ja's second album, Rule 3:36, was released
on October 10, 2000. Rule 3:36 debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200
chart and was certified triple platinum.
 Pain Is Love (2001)
During the late summer of 2001, Ja Rule released his third studio
album, Pain Is Love. "Living It Up", featuring Case, reached
#11 on the Hot 100, and "Always on Time", which featured
Ashanti, reached #1 on the Hot 100. Like its predecessor, Pain
Is Love topped the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum.
By 2007, 3.6 million copies of Pain Is Love had been sold. Ja
Rule could be heard on Artists against aids worldwides single "whats
 The Last Temptation (2002)
The Last Temptation, Ja Rule's fourth album, was released on November
19, 2002. It featured the two Billboard Top 10 singles "Thug
Lovin'" (#8) and "Mesmerize" (#2), another duet with
Ashanti. The Last Temptation debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200.
The Last Temptation was certified platinum in December 2002.
 Blood in My Eye (2003)
Blood in My Eye although intended to be a mixtape, was his fifth
album and the last released under the "Murder Inc." label,
which renamed itself "The Inc." several days after the
album release. It spawned the one and only hit "Clap Back" which
reached #5 on the Top 100 and won him the Source Awards'"Fat
Tape" song of the year. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard 100
and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart selling 139,000 copies
in its first week of release. It has since sold over 468,000 copies
in the U.S. In October 2003, Ja Rule met with Minster Louis Farrakhan,
who wanted to intervene and prevent escalating violence in the feud
between Ja Rule and 50 Cent.
 R.U.L.E. (2004)
Ja Rule's sixth studio album R.U.L.E. was released in November 2004
debuting at number 7 selling 166,000 copies in its first week of
release. Its lead single was "Wonderful" featuring R. Kelly
and Ashanti which peaked on the Billboard Top 100 Singles at #5.
The single was followed by the street anthem New York featuring Fat
Joe and Jadakiss which charted at #27. The third single was the love
song "Caught Up" featuring Lloyd and Ashanti which charted
at #15. The track "The Manual" was also a single in the
UK where it peaked at #9. The RIAA certified R.U.L.E. Gold on January
14, 2005, and by October 2007, the album had sold 658,000 copies,
according to Nielsen SoundScan.
 Hiatus, departure from Def Jam (2005-2009)
Ja Rule performing in Fort Hood, Texas, May 13, 2005
On December 6, 2005, The Inc. released Exodus, a greatest hits album
whose only new tracks were the song "Me" and intro and
outro tracks. Exodus was the last album on Ja Rule's contract with
The Inc. After the release of this compilation, Ja Rule took a hiatus
from recording music.
In 2005, The Inc. Records came under investigation because of drug
trades by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, who was associated
with Irv Gotti. This led to Def Jam Recordings refusing to renew
The Inc.'s contract. From 2005 to 2006, Gotti searched for other
labels until finally reaching a deal with Universal Records (ironically
part of the same company as Def Jam).
In 2009, Ja Rule recorded a new song with Brazilian singer Wanessa, "Fly",
sung entirely in English despite the singer's nationality. The song
also received a version named "Meu Momento", also featuring
Ja Rule, in which Wanessa sings in Portuguese. "Fly" was
released as a single in Brazil in April. The song was ranked number
#1 on Crowley/Brazil, and it was nominated in the "Hit do
Ano" ("Hit Song of the Year") category at the 2009
MTV Video Music Brasil awards show, where Ja Rule and Wanessa performed
together for the first time.
Ja Rule also ended his long running feud with his former Def Jam
labelmate DMX at VH1's 2009 Hip Hop Honors in September. Ja Rule
announced that he was no longer signed to The Inc. Records, the label
he has been with since its beginnings in 1997.
 The Renaissance Project (2010-present)
It had originally been announced that Ja Rule would release a new
studio album in the summer of 2010. The album was originally going
to be entitled Venni Vetti Vecci 2010, named after his 1999 platinum
selling debut album, but the album is now titled The Renaissance
Project. However, the album may now instead be a double disc
or single disc having 14-15 songs. Ja Rule expects to release
The Renaissance Project in early 2011 before he starts serving his
2 year jail sentence. In November 2010, it was announced that
Ja Rule would be part of the Summerbeatz tour held in Australia,
replacing Soulja Boy.
 Personal life
In April 2001, Ja Rule married Aisha Atkins; whom he met in
junior high school. They have a daughter, Brittany, and two sons,
Jeffrey, Jr. and Jordan.
 Criminal charges
In 2003, he allegedly punched a man in Toronto, who later sued Ja
Rule. The issue was settled out of court. In 2004, police investigated
whether a feud involving The Inc. led to fatal shooting outside a
nightclub party hosted by Ja Rule. Ja Rule was also arrested
that year for driving with a suspended license and possessing marijuana
on July 1.
In July 2007, Ja Rule was arrested for gun and drug possession charges
along with Lil Wayne, who served eight months in prison during 2010
for attempted possession of weapon stemming from the arrest.
New York Supreme Court judge Richard Carruthers rejected Ja Rule's
argument that the gun was illegally obtained evidence. On
December 13, 2010, Ja Rule received a two-year jail sentence after
pleading guilty to attempted possession of a weapon after the aforementioned
2007 concert. His next court date is on February 9, 2011.
Main article: Ja Rule discography
* Venni Vetti Vecci (1999)
* Rule 3:36 (2000)
* Pain Is Love (2001)
* The Last Temptation (2002)
* Blood in My Eye (2003)
* R.U.L.E. (2004)
* The Renaissance Project (2011)
 Awards and nominations
2001 Source Hip-Hop Music Award Won for Single of the Year - "Put
It on Me"
MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Rap Video - "Put
It on Me"
2002 MTV Video Music Awards Won for Best Hip-Hop Video - "I'm
Real (Murder Remix)"
MTV Video Music Awards nominated for Best Hip-Hop Video - "Always
American Music Award nominated for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
- "Put It on Me"
Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap Album - Pain Is Love
Grammy Awards nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - "Livin'
World Music Awards Won for World's Best-Selling Rap Artist
BET Awards Won for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist Artist
GQ Men of the Year Award Won for Musician of the Year
Teen Choice Awards Won for Male Artist of the Year
NAACP Image Awards Won for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best Rap/Soul or Rap Album
of the Year - Pain Is Love
2003 Source Award Won for R&B/Rap Collboration of the Year - "Thug
American Music Award nomination for Favorite Hip-Hop/R&B Male
Grammy Awards nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - "Always
2004 Source Award Won for Phat Tape Song of the Year - "Clap
2009 MTV Video Music Brasil nomination for Hit do Ano (Song of the
Year) - "Fly"
 Acting career
During his break from rapping, Ja Rule had an appearance as another
street racer in The Fast and the Furious with Vin Diesel. In 2004
He appeared in several movies including Back in The Day with Ving
Rhames and Pam Grier and Half Past Dead' as Steven Segal's Co-Star.
He also starred in the movie The Cookout with Queen Latifah.
Year Title Role
2000 Turn It Up David "Gage" Williams
2001 Crime Partners Hitman
The Fast and the Furious Edwin
2002 Half Past Dead Nicolas 'Nick' Frazier
2003 Scary Movie 3 Agent Thompson
Pauly Shore Is Dead Himself
2004 The Cookout Bling Bling
Shall We Dance? Hip Hop Bar Performer
2005 Back in the Day Reggie Cooper
Assault on Precinct 13 Smiley
2006 Furnace Terrence Dufresne
2009 Don't Fade Away Foster
2010 Wrong Side of Town Razor
2011 I'm in Love with a Church Girl Miles Montego