Home » Celebrities » What happened to Ja Rule? (His Rise and FALL and Net Worth)

What happened to Ja Rule? (His Rise and FALL and Net Worth)

Performer Life is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

If you followed closely the hip-hop scene of the late 90s and early 2000s, then you will agree that just like his name suggests, Ja Rule, indeed, “ruled” the airwaves. Ja Rule’s style was unique and eccentric in its own right. 

From energetic hardcore hip-hop flows to fusing elements of smooth and “girlish” R&B into his flows, Ja Rule had a sound that none could replicate at the time. He had amazing features with R&B greats like Ashanti, Christina Milian, and Jennifer Lopez. 

His hip-hop style was a careful and artistic blend of raw energy and spirit. Born February 29, 1976, Jeffrey Bruce Atkins Sr. popularly known by his stage name Ja Rule, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. 

Ja Rule was born and raised in New York City; he made his debut in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci which had the lead single “Holla Holla.” 

During the 2000s, which also happened to be the period of his prime and domination of the hip-hop scene, Ja Rule was signed to Irv Gotti‘s Murder Inc. Records, formerly known as The Inc. 

From as far back as 1999 to around 2005, Ja Rule had multiple hit songs that made it to the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Between Me and You” (featuring Christina Milian), “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” and “Ain’t It Funny” (both featuring Jennifer Lopez).

Both of these songs topped the Hot 100—the number 1 hits were “Always on Time” (featuring Ashanti), “Mesmerize” (featuring Ashanti), and “Wonderful” (featuring R. Kelly and Ashanti).

However, it is quite sad that many hip-hop lovers and admirers of this eccentric rapper are asking the question, “What happened to Ja Rule?” The truth is that a series of events all intertwined together and led to the absolute disappearance of this once-popular rapper. 

It all started when his label Murder Inc. crashed; resultantly, Ja Rules’s career somehow went down the drain with the label. Although he made a brief show-of-face in acting and also tried to start up his label, things got really messy when he was sent to prison in 2011. 

In this article, we will further look into the life and career of Ja Rule and see where things really went wrong. Also, we will take a look at what he is currently doing or up to. Just read on! 

Who Really is Ja Rule?

Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, is an artist whose musical style combines various genres, including hip hop, East Coast hip hop, gangsta rap, hardcore hip hop, political hip hop, and pop rap. 

He gained international success by blending heavy metal, hardcore rap, and R&B music, creating a unique and appealing sound. Ja Rule was raised in Queens, New York, early on. 

He had a strict upbringing due to his family’s affiliation with Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination that initially discouraged his exploration of music. However, when his mother eventually left the church, Ja Rule seized the opportunity to pursue his musical aspirations.

Ja Rule joined Cash Money Click in his early career and recorded his first smash hit, “Can I Get A…,” in 1998. This success led to the release of his debut album, “Venni Vetti Vecci,” in 1999, which quickly achieved multi-platinum status. 

Over the next few years, Ja Rule continued to produce hit songs and collaborated with prominent artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, and others.

Throughout his career, Ja Rule has achieved several notable achievements. He released multiple multi-platinum albums and achieved numerous top 20 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

Some of his most well-known songs include “Always on Time” featuring Ashanti, “Mesmerize” featuring Ashanti, and collaborations with Jennifer Lopez such as “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” and “Ain’t It Funny.” 

His ability to transcend traditional gangsta rap imagery and embrace pop rhythms contributed to his widespread appeal and success.

Apart from his music career, Ja Rule has also ventured into acting, with roles in Hollywood films like “The Fast and the Furious” and “Scary Movie 3.” Additionally, he has gained a significant following on social media.

Ja Rule Talks ICONN, Murder Inc Documentary, Parenting, Harvard Business Degree + More:

Here are all the significant recognitions and awards that Ja Rule received. 


Teen Choice Award2005
Teen Choice Award2003
Teen Choice Award2002
Teen Choice Award2002
Grammy Award2003
Grammy Award2002
World Music Award 2002
BET Award2002
MTV Video Music Award2002
Soul Train Music Award2002
American Music Award2005
American Music Award2003
Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Award2002
GQ Men of the Year Award2002


BET Award2002
GQ Men of the Year Award2002

What Happened to Ja Rule?

Ja Rule has experienced various ups and downs in his career and personal life. Here’s an overview of some notable events and controversies involving Ja Rule:

Beef with 50 Cent 

Ja Rule’s beef, particularly his feud with 50 Cent and the G-Unit, significantly impacted his career. 

It began in 1999 when Ja Rule was robbed at gunpoint in Queens, New York, allegedly by one of 50 Cent’s affiliates. The feud escalated over the years, fueled by diss tracks, interviews, social media jabs, and even physical altercations.

The feud with 50 Cent significantly affected Ja Rule’s career in multiple ways. During the peak of his feud with 50 Cent, Ja Rule’s album sales began to decline, and he faced challenges in maintaining his chart presence.

Moreover, 50 Cent strategically targeted Ja Rule’s image and credibility in his diss tracks and public remarks, portraying him as a soft and commercial rapper, contrasting his street credibility and authenticity. 

This perception shifts in the public eye affected Ja Rule’s reputation and the way fans and the hip-hop community perceived him. It contributed to a decline in his overall popularity and acceptance within the genre.

The feud with 50 Cent also had financial implications for Ja Rule. In one instance, 50 Cent claimed to have purchased 200 tickets to Ja Rule’s concert to intentionally create empty seats, undermining his performance and affecting ticket sales. 

Such tactics further added to the negative impact on Ja Rule’s career and public perception.

Beef with Eminem, DMX, and Lil Mo

Ja Rule stayed in trouble after bringing up Eminem’s seven-year-old daughter in a song, after which Eminem dissed him. This was primarily because Dr Dre signed Eminem when he was still a new artist, which didn’t sit well with Jeffrey. 

Further, DMX accused Ja Rule of biting his rap style, voice texture, and flow. Lastly, Lil Mo, a collaborator with Ja Rule on “Put It on Me,” accused him of not compensating her well for the song in terms of credits and financial payoff. 

All of this must have led to a bad reputation for the rapper and made fans lose respect for him. 

Legal Issues and Imprisonment 

In 2011, Ja Rule was sentenced to prison for charges related to illegally possessing a firearm. He served a two-year sentence and was released in 2013. His time in prison interrupted his career and impacted his public image.

In addition, he’s also been arrested for tax evasion and pleaded guilty to owing the government $3 million. 

Involvement in the Fyre Festival

Ja Rule co-founded the Fyre Festival, which was intended to be a luxurious music festival in the Bahamas. However, the event became a disaster, leaving attendees needing more accommodations and services. 

Ja Rule faced legal action from festival-goers but was ultimately cleared of legal wrongdoing. Further, credit card scams and fraudulent transactions have been reported with Ja Rule. 

Murder Inc Records

Ja Rule’s record label, Murder Inc. Records, experienced a significant decline and eventual failure. The label, founded by brothers Irv and Chris Gotti in 1998, was initially a music powerhouse in the early 2000s, boasting successful artists such as Ja Rule and Ashanti.

However, several factors contributed to the downfall of Murder Inc. Records. One significant event was a federal case involving the label’s founders, Irv and Chris Gotti, who were charged with money laundering. 

Although they were eventually found not guilty, the case hurt the label’s reputation and finances. Another factor that contributed to the label’s failure was the rise of rapper 50 Cent and his G-Unit collective, who became fierce competitors and rivals of Murder Inc. Records. 

Overall, the combination of legal issues, intense competition, and the decline of Ja Rule’s career contributed to the failure of Murder Inc. Records.

What is Ja Rule’s Net Worth?

Ja Rule’s net worth is estimated to be over $4 million. That could be attributed to his years of musical success between 1998 and 2003. His debut album, “Venni Vetti Vecci,” reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1999. 

He followed up with two successful albums, certified 3x Platinum, and topped various charts. In 2002, his fourth album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, producing two hit singles.

In 2021, Ja Rule ventured into the NFT market, auctioning off artwork on the Flipkick platform. His notable singles include “Holla Holla,” “Always on Time,” and “Mesmerize.” Apart from music, Ja Rule has pursued business ventures, including a clothing line and a liquor company.

Ja Rule’s Autobiography

Ja Rule’s autobiography is titled “Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man.” In this memoir, the rapper provides insights into his life and career, offering a comprehensive picture of himself beyond his public persona as a rapper. 

The book delves into his struggles during his adolescence in New York City, his rise to fame in the music industry, and the challenges he faced along the way, including his infamous beef with 50 Cent and Eminem’s camp. 

Ja Rule reflects on his experiences, touching on topics such as fatherhood and his two-year prison sentence. “Unruly” also sheds light on lesser-known aspects of Ja Rule’s life, including his upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness.

While the book received mixed reviews, it provides an opportunity for readers to gain a deeper understanding of Ja Rule’s journey and the highs and lows he encountered throughout his life. 

What is Ja Rule Currently Doing?

After his prison release in 2013, Ja Rule made multiple attempts to mark his comeback in music and business. In 2014, Ja Rule launched a reality TV show called “Follow The Rules” on MTV. However, it lasted for only an episode.

Then, in 2016, Ja Rule announced his retirement from music and mentioned an album titled “Coup de Grace.” However, it appears that the album was never released
Further, he was involved in the infamous Fyre Festival, which was scheduled in 2017 but ultimately failed. The event faced numerous issues, including false advertising and logistical problems.

After that, he appeared in a commercial for a Greek restaurant that he shot on a green screen, which led to negative attention in the public eye. 

As of 2023, Jeffery has been doing live performances and shows, and he has often appeared in public talking about his current life. Many fans still respect him, his art form, and his contribution to music and the hip-hop culture.

What’s admirable about him is that even after so many ups and downs and failures, the man has kept his fighting spirit alive and says, “To beat him, one would have to kill him.”


Everyone makes their fair share of mistakes, but very few admit to those mistakes and hold their stand. Ja Rule has tremendously impacted the music industry and the early 2000s hip-hop scene. 

He brought a fresh sound to the industry blending R&B, pop, and hip-hop genres in a way that resonated with many millennials and Gen-z’s growing up then. The rapper deserves his success and failures equally. 

Lastly, for upcoming artists, one takeaway could be to be mindful of their public image. The music business is a perception business; any artist who ruins their perception has paid for it, no matter how talented they are.