Über Ja Rule
A gravel-throated emcee hailing from Queens, Ja Rule has been receiving attention since his verse on Jay-Z's "Can I Get A..." His debut album Venni Vetti Vecci dropped in 1999, powered by the runaway smash "Holla Holla," which flooded the airwaves and had legions of listeners exclaiming "it's murdaaaa!" A hit-making machine, he mastered the art of the crossover, coming with both roughneck homicide stories and R&B love jams alike. He is alternately gruff and mellow, spitting semi-shouted and smooth rhymes backed by bouncy, club-oriented production from Irv Gotti. 2000's Rule 3:36 featured several huge hits, while his 2001 LP Pain Is Love sported radio-ready singles like "I'm Real" and "Always On Time," furthering his success as a platinum player. While 2002's The Last Temptation yielded hits like "Thug Lovin'" and "Mesmerize," Ja's beef with 50 Cent did irreparable damage to his career, as 50's unrelenting attacks made a mockery of Ja and the Murder Inc. brand. His subsequent albums, Blood In My Eye and R.U.L.E., failed to match his previous success.