When it comes to bitter rap rivals Ja Rule and 50 Cent, there’s no such thing as friendly competition. And while the coronavirus pandemic has provided producers, songwriters and recording artists with the perfect opportunity to entertain the masses by putting their catalogs to the test with Instagram Live battles, Murder Inc.’s former franchise player would rather use it to humiliate the same rapper who ended his career.
On Sunday, Bronx legends Fat Joe and Swizz Beatz were chopping it up on IG Live when the “Always on Time” rapper called in with an open invitation.
“Ja Rule is saying he loves hip-hop, first and foremost, and he wants to do this for the culture,” Fat Joe told the audience. “Jesus Christ. Ja Rule, c’mon, man. You guys want the smoke for real.”
Swizz Beatz then tells Ja to send over 20 songs so that the multi-platinum rapper can participate in the next installment of the #Verzuz battle series, leading Fat Joe to put his phone on speaker so that Ja can be heard loud and clear.
“For the culture, nigga. I want all the smoke!” Ja yells through laughter. “I’ll behave!”
Incredulous, Swizz responds, “That sounds like a devilish behave.”
Fat Joe then claims that a battle of that magnitude would break the internet, leading a thoroughly entertained Ja to reply, “Yes it will. It will break the internet in a bad way. The shit would be fucking broke for real. They may not be able to put it back up for a week or two. My catalog is ridiculous, man.”
In a perfect world, I’d never have to hear Ja Rule howl at the moon ever again, but it’s impossible to deny the headlock he kept the radio in during his heyday. Six of his seven albums went at least gold—four of which sold at least a million copies—and he has 10 singles that cracked the Top 40. And if you count songs he wrote for other artists, or singles he was featured on—like Jennifer Lopez’s “I’m Real” or Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv”—that list gets a lot longer. So while I have no desire whatsoever to hear any of that shit, it’s clear there are millions of people who feel otherwise.
Just please, no more music festivals, bruh.
But does 50 want the smoke?
During his own IG Live with La La Anthony, the rapper-turned-TV exec had a few opponents in mind, but not a single one was Ja Rule.
“Snoop’s catalog would probably do it,” 50 said. “Outside of that, wait…It would be fun to do Ludacris.”
Dammit, Fif. Boo and hiss.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that 50 accepts Ja’s challenge and gives the people want they want.