Ja Rule
Birth Date:
February 29, 1976
Birth Place:
Queens, New York, USA
Famous for:
His album Rule 3:16 (2000)
actor, musician
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Rule 3:16


American rapper/actor Ja Rule, born Jeffery Atkins, first entered the rap scene with the recording of Mic Geronimo’s ”Time To Build” (1995). A former Cash Money Click member who scored an early success with Jay-Z’s hit “Can I Get A...” (1998), Ja Rule later released his own albums, the platinum debut Venni, Vetti, Vecci (1999), the breakthrough album Rule 3:16 (2000), 2001’s Pain Is Love and Last Temptation, 2002, featuring the Source Hip-Hop Music-winning single “Thug Lovin,” a duet with Bobby Brown and the huge hit “Mesmerize,” featuring Ashanti. The Gold album Blood In My Eye (2003) and R.U.L.E. (2004) spawned the collaboration hit single with R. Kelly and Ashanti (“Wonderful”). His latest album is a collection of greatest hits titled Exodus Greatest Hits (2005).

Distinguishing himself from his peers, Ja Rule began a parallel acting career while consistently manufacturing hit records. He could be seen in such films as Robert Adetuyi’s Turn It Up (2000), J. Jesses Smith’s Crime Partners 2000 (2001), the blockbuster smash hit The Fast and the Furious (2001), Don Michael Paul’s Half Past Dead (2002), David Zucker’s smash Scary Movie 3 (2003), The Cookout (2004), Shall We Dance (2004) and Assault on Precinct 13 (2005).

Adding to his music and acting career, Ja Rule is an astute businessman. He co-founded his own label with friend Irv Gotti called Murder Inc. He also co-owns a liquor company named The Mojito and a clothing line called Ervingeoffrey. Besides, the singer is a philanthropist and political activist who is concerned with street life and combats the negative social influences of the street through his L.I.F.E. Foundation.

Ja Ja Binks

Childhood and family:

“I went through a lot of phases and studied many religions. I came to a conclusion: I am not into religion, I am spiritual and have whatever relationship with God, you do not need the middlemen.” Ja Rule

In Queens, New York, Jeffrey Atkins, who is better known as Ja Rule was born on February 29, 1976. Raised in a Jehovah’s Witness home, young Ja never had chance to discover his musical talents until his mother left the religion. Rhyming from the age of 16, Ja had launched his career as a recording singer by the time he was 19.

In April 2001, Ja Rule, whose nickname is Ja Ja Binks, was married to his school sweetheart, Aisha Murray, whom he had been dating since tenth-grade. The happy couple is currently enjoying being the parents of their two children, daughter Britney (born in 1995) and son Jeffrey Atkins, Jr. (born in 2000).

Thug Lovin


Ja Rule began his professional singing career in 1995 when he made a debut vocal appearance on Mic Geronimo’s ”Time To Build,” the B-side of Mic Geronimo’s Masta I.C. His potential soon caught the attention of the track’s producer and fellow Queens neighbor Irv Gotti and he invited Ja Rule to join a group called Cash Money Click. With the group, Ja Rule had his first exposure to signing an album deal with Blunt/TVT Records and released the first and only single, titled “The Fortune” that same year. Again helped by Gotti, Ja Rule secured a record deal with Def Jam and recorded his first smash hit “Can I Get A...” in 1998 with his mentor Jay-Z.

Lured by the initial success, Ja Rule was motivated to work on his solo debut album titled Venni Vetti Vecci (1999), which sadly failed to bring victory to its offered singles “Holla Holla” and “Daddy’s Little Baby.” This disappointment later encouraged Ja Rule to create his own record label named Murder Inc, together with friend Irv Gotti.

A year later, in 2000, the rapper’s big break arrived with his sophomore effort, Rule 3:36, which reached No. 1 on the U.S. chart. The album’s first single “Between Me and You,” featuring Christina Milian, was a cross over smash hit and its next track, “Put It On Me” (featuring Lil’ Mo & Vita), even received more success than the previous. Rule 3:36 also produced the top forty hit “I Cry,” also featuring Lil’ Mo. The album finally earned triple platinum certification and helped Ja Rule make a reputation for himself as a flourishing recording artist. Also in 2000, Ja Rule branched out into acting when director Robert Adetuyi tapped him to star as Pras’ untrustworthy friend David ‘Gage’ Williams in Turn It Up, a film based on Pras’ solo debut record Ghetto Superstar.

Ja Rule’s music career continued to rise in the following year when he released his next studio album, the triple platinum Pain Is Love (2001). His mounting star status was further confirmed when his first single from the album, “Livin’ It Up,” which featured guest vocals by R&B singer Case, became a huge hit, and it was followed by the even more booming “Always On Time,” featuring Ashanti. The latter song successfully topped the US Hot 100 and peaked at No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart. Inspired by the victorious collaboration, in early 2002, Ja Rule used the same formula, this time with the sexy Latino Jennifer Lopez, in the hit “Ain’t it Funny” (2002). These led to Ja Rule being invited by the R&B and soul singer Mary J. Blige to collaborate on the successful song “Rainy Dayz,” which was added in Blige’s 2002 re-release of her 2001’s No More Drama. In the spring of 2002, the third single from Pain Is Love, “Down Ass Chick,” failed to achieve the same success as its predecessors.

Last Temptation, Ja Rule’s forth album, hit the music shelves in November 2002. Though it only sold 1,875,000 copies, the album spawned the big hit “Mesmerize,” a smash pop and urban radio hit featuring Ashanti. In addition, the video was on heavy rotation on MTV and VH1. Aside from a glorious collaboration with Ashanti, the singer also scored a success with Bobby Brown, which was featured on Ja Rule’s first single, “Thug Lovin’.” Due to the brilliant effort, Ja Rule netted a 2003 Source Hip-Hop Music award for Best R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year. Unfortunately, the follow-up singles “The Pledge” (featuring Ashanti and Nas) and “Murder Reigns,” failed to become massive hits.

On November 2003, Ja Rule launched his new single “Cap Black,” taken from his Gold album Blood In My Eye (2003). Displaying a different style from his previous singles and videos, Cap Black somehow represents the dark side of him. The song’s video, which was dark and simple and featured a bulked-up Ja Rule, contrasted deeply to the colorful, happier scenes in videos such as “Always On Time” and “Mesmerize.” In November the following year, Ja Rule released R.U.L.E., a fifth album which contained several guest appearances, including New York rapper Fat Joe and Jadakiss on the album’s second single “New York,” while the album’s lead single, “Wonderful,” featured R. Kelly and Ashanti. The latter song was a chart-toping hit in the U.K and ranked # 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Aside from his singing career, 2001-2004 also saw Ja Rule carve out a prolific acting career. After being featured in J. Jesses Smith’s Crime Partners 2000 (2001), he stepped into the blockbuster realm with the smash hit The Fast and the Furious (2001), which was helmed by Rob Cohan and starred Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. He next costarred opposite Steven Segal and Morris Chestnut in Don Michael Paul’s Half Past Dead (2002), appeared as Agent Thompson in David Zucker’s smash Scary Movie 3 (2003), and was cast in the back-to-back hits The Cookout (2004, starred with Queen Latifah) and Shall We Dance (2004, starred Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez). In addition to film, Ja Rule also appeared on TV, making guest performance on an episode of “SNL” (2001) and hosting the MTV Movie Awards 2002 Pre-Show (2002).

In the beginning of 2005, rapper-turned-actor Ja Rule was teamed with Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Drea de Matteo and Gabriel Byrne to play small role Smiley on Jean-François Richet’s Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) and took part in the reality-TV show “Inked” (2005). He maintained his presence in the music industry by releasing a collection of greatest hits titled Exodus Greatest Hits on December 6 that same year. Recently, Ja Rule was seen acting in an episode of the television series “South Beach” (2006).


  • Source Hip-Hop Music: Best R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year, Thug Lovin (featuring Bobby Brown), 2003
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