Ja Rule’s new company Fyre Media recently hosted a fundraiser for the citizens of The Bahamas, an island that was left devastated by Hurricane Matthew in early October.
Ja helped organize a relief concert on December 10, which featured artists like Sean Kingston, Ashanti and others. AllHipHop.com’s Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, who also served as a co-host to the event, sat down and chopped it up about Ja’s new projects, his career and that infamous picture with Jay Z and DMX.
Ja Rule: What’s good, man? What’s happening, Jigs? You good?
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, yeah, I’m good man. I don’t know if you remember, we go way back since-
Ja Rule: I was fixing to ask how you been man?
AllHipHop.com: Yeah. I’m good, man. Trying to be like you, bro. I’m trying to be like you.
Ja Rule: We good man. Young black men out here working, that’s all.
AllHipHop.com: Definitely. What brings you to the Bahamas?
Ja Rule: Man, you know, first of all I love the Bahamas. Always have. It’s always been one of my favorite stops. We wanted to come out here and really just do something special for the people, give back, since this is one of my favorite spots. They was hit really, really hard by Hurricane Matthew.
There was a lot of cities and stuff that was hit hard, but Bahamas is one of those special places to me. We wanted to come back and just do something for the people, entertain them, give them a nice night of fun and entertainment and get they mind off of all the crazy stuff going on and maybe some of the hardships and stuff that they’ve been going through over the past few weeks and months, since the hurricane.
The rebuilding process is coming together. I’m very honored and happy to be here, to be a part of it, and to be able to help and give back a little bit to the community.
AllHipHop.com: That’s what’s up. You brought Ashanti. You brought Sean Kingston. You also brought a bunch of Caribbean artists as well.
Ja Rule: Yeah.
AllHipHop.com: What’s special about that sort of ensemble? Not just trying to step in, like in America or whatever, but you are actually bringing like a real musical-
Ja Rule: I thought it was really important to have a lot of the local talent come out and do their thing and support and represent their people. It’s cool to have the American artists to come out and us do our thing, but it’s nothing like seeing your own people up there rocking.
They come from your hometown or your backyard and to see them up on the same stage as some of your favorite American artists is a good thing. It’s a cool thing. We really wanted to make sure that we had a lot of talent from the area.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, okay. You got classic albums, classic bars as well. You got anything new coming up?
Ja Rule: I’m working on something. I took a break from the music business for a little while to work on some of my business ventures.
Ja Rule: Those are going quite well for me. Right now I’m about to step back in and make my final album. I’m going my last album “Coup de Grace”. It’ll be out next year sometime.
AllHipHop.com: Okay. Okay. We saw you, Jay, and DMX in a picture. We all remember that what was supposed to, or at least, what we thought it was supposed to be.
Ja Rule: Yeah.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any thoughts on that? Why Murder Inc, the original concept, never happened?
Ja Rule: We was just all young and competitive. We all wanted to be number one and I think that just got in the way of us actually putting that project together. It’s one of those things in hip hop that you always think about. We all think about it, woulda, shoulda, coulda, if it was. Those my brothers, man. Much love to both of them.
AllHipHop.com: What do you feel about the state of hip-hop, just in general? It’s a lot of talk right now. Almost like people are in a civil ware. Do you have an opinion on that?
Ja Rule: You know, it’s hip-hop. I can’t remember when it was really any different. Hip-hop has always been about combative beats and lyrics and all that. We were all going through it, the battles and the beats and this, that, and the third. It’s no different right now, hip-hop, and it’s going to continue to be the same. I, personally, would love to see hip-hop in a space where we come together more. Be more together. I think it’s a bigger picture. Like I said, it’s always going to be competitive. It’s Pepsi, it’s Coke. That’s never going to stop, but it doesn’t have to be so to the point where it’s me or you.
Ja Rule: My family or your family.
AllHipHop.com: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.
Ja Rule: We going to eat together. Everybody can get money. It’s friendly competition. The Giants play the Cowboys tomorrow. I guarantee you Dax and Beckham are going to go get a bite to eat afterwards. You understand? It’s just different.
I think us, as young black men in this business … Even the older artists like myself and Jay and the veterans of the game, it’s up to us too to talk to the younger artists. Let them know that there’s a bigger picture than what you’re seeing in front of you. You got to look a little further down the road. I just wish I could see a little more of that in hip-hop too. You know?
AllHipHop.com: You’re doing this massive event and it’s such a positive one. Where do you see yourself heading right now?
Ja Rule: I’m doing this event right now, it’s under my company umbrella Fyre, so this is one of our many events that you’ll be seeing us partake in in the upcoming months and years. We got our Fyre Festival coming up real soon. There’s a lot of things I’m working on. You can go check out Fire app, you know, .com.
AllHipHop.com: You getting in the tech space? What’s going on?
Ja Rule: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Me and my brother and my partner-in-crime, Billy McFarland, man, we started this company called Fyre. It’s been going really good, man. For me, it’s like I said, it’s all about paying it forward to the younger artists. Seeing them empower themselves as young artists. I love what Chance is doing out there. I love seeing those type of artists take control of their careers and buck the establishment in a way. You know? Not even to say, “F### you,” but to say, “There’s room here for me too.”
Ja Rule: There was a time when you couldn’t be independent.
Ja Rule: Or do anything in this business. You had to be with a major label, so I applaud those artists out there doing their thing. Fyre is one of those companies that will look forward to helping those artists push their careers in the right direction and gain more control over them.
AllHipHop.com: All right. You look almost exactly like you did when I first met you. What’s your secret.
Ja Rule: Oh, man, if I tell you I got to kill you Jigs! No, I mean, I try to eat as good as I can. I was in a little preservative jaw for a couple years so that helps too.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah. No doubt. Any last words for the people out there?
Ja Rule: Yo, Fyre Festival coming real soon. Rule! We out.