Rapper Ja Rule was able to escape the dangerous streets of Hollis, Queens, thanks to the help of his trademark raspy raps. And as he tells me on this week’s “Renaissance Man,” it was also the love of some truly remarkable ladies.
Brittany, his daughter, was born in 1995, making her his first child. Ja was straddling two worlds at the time: the music industry and his previous poor decisions.
A lot of things became clear to him after the birth of his daughter. “At that time, I apprehended a gun and narcotics case… and it served as a rude awakening. That’s when I started to wonder, “What are you actually planning to do?” The question is, “What are you making of your life right now?”
He devoted his entire life to music, and his work with female singers made him famous. With J.Lo, he created the megahits “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny.”
And Ashanti: “We got a lot of hot tracks together.” My collaboration was not an isolated incident; we scored a total of five top ten singles. that’s one of a kind.
Also, there’s Mary J. Blige.
One of my favorite songs I ever composed is called “Rainy Dayz,” Ja Rule explains. Then, “Mary is my favorite. When I think of soulful vocalists from my generation, one of my favorites is Mary. What I’m trying to say is…
The “yin-yang” of the songs, says Ja, is what made the collaboration between these three megastars so effective.
My voice is gravelly, you know… and it mixes well with the ladies’ sweet vocals,” he stated.
Ja Rule also attributes his interest in music to the Hollis legends Run-DMC. It was those men, he claimed, who had a profound impact on his life and work.
As a youngster, “it was a lovely thing, a blessing to see that part of success, you know, street success, and to have these amazing young brothers, young black brothers doing something very positive, but also having the swag and the coolness, you know, to make me want to pursue that road as well.”
Ja is currently at the pinnacle of his career and he wants to pay it forward. He organized a series of NFTs created by black artists and gave the proceeds to five HBCUs.
That is, in my opinion, a crucial factor. He urged the young men of color to “pay it forward” by helping the next generation of black Americans. It was great that I was able to achieve that, by the way. In modern society, education plays a crucial role.
He warned that while financial stability was possible, “if uninformed, the money will go fast.” “And I want our black children to be proud to attend these HBCUs. Donations were really helpful, as I’m sure you can imagine. That’s the initial jolt. It all begins with this.
Jalen Rose, a native of Detroit, is one of the controversial Fab Five from the University of Michigan. These players caused a stir in college basketball in the early 1990s. He spent 13 years as a professional player in the NBA before becoming a public figure.
Rose presently works as a co-host for “Jalen & Jacoby” as an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up.” He is a fashion tastemaker, author of the best-selling book “Got to Give the People What They Want,” and co-founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown. He also executive produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.