Barring any other factors, the next time Ja Rule can walk the streets of New York City will be the Fall of 2013. Allow that to marinate for a moment. Today, the feds decided to hand down 28 months to run concurrent with his already two year bid for failing to file taxes in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The ruling adds roughly four extra months to his stay behind bars. This marks another melancholy chapter in the life and times for one of Hip-Hop’s (former) most successful heavyweights. Upon learning of the charges, an emotional Ja expressed his sorrows to the judge claiming cheating the government was never his intention. “I was a young man who made a lot of money,” Rule said. “I didn’t have the best people guiding me. I made mistakes. Things fell on hard times for me. Things kind of spun out of control.”
I can’t say for sure seeing as how listening to his music frequently hasn’t been done by myself in God knows how long. Yet, that’s probably the realest sh*t Rule has said in quite some time because it’s how we’ve all felt about him for many, many moons now.
Cracking jokes about Ja in reference to his artistic and business deficiencies has become sort of the status quo. In ways, the manner he was excommunicated from Hip-Hop altogether will ultimately go down as the most fixating aspect of his career. A decade ago, if someone said Ja Rule would fall off the face of the map, become the laughing stock of all has-beens and face close to a half a decade in prison, the response would have been taken as serious as his music is now. Especially since Ja could actually rap when he saw fit. With the one-time face of Murder Inc., it’ll always be the case of what was and what actually became. Maybe he maxed out his potential, or maybe Rule overachieved from the jump. Whatever the case, Ja remains a legend for all the right and wrong reasons.