Back in the late '90s to mid-2000s, Ja Rule was one of the biggest artists in rap music. In 1999, he released his debut single, "Holla Holla," and fans were starting to discover his gritty sound as a rap artist. He was also featured on Jay-Z's single, "Can I Get A….", with rapper Amil since he wrote the hook to the song. Even though he was working and touring with elite rappers, Ja's music wasn't receiving adequate airplay on radio stations. Critics often compared the rapper to DMX and the late Tupac Shakur.
However, in 2000, Ja started to make his mark as an artist when he released his second studio album, Rule 3:36. He began working with several R&B artists and from that point on, Ja was known for his smash hits with talented vocalists for the next five years. Each single he was featured on received commercial success.
Singersroom decided to highlight six R&B singers who have worked with the rapper and have contributed to his success. The singers that are on the list contributed more gloss to the hardcore rapper's records.
Check out our list.
Ja Rule collaborated with R&B singer Case on the song, "Livin' It Up," which was featured on his third studio album, Pain is Love. "Livin It Up" was also featured on the soundtrack to the 2002 film, Friday after Next, starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. The single was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Ja and Case sampled Stevie Wonder's 1982 hit, "Do I Do," and it turned out to be one of the best summer rap songs in 2001.
In 2000, Ja Rule worked with Christina Milian on the song, "Between Me and You." The song was a crossover hit for the rapper, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Most importantly, at the time, fans wanted to know more about this pretty, young, and attractive singer because she had a beautiful voice. Milian's voice blended well with the song's beat, and it was so sultry. 15 years later, you can still jam to this song in the club.
Mary J. Blige
Ja Rule's collaboration with the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was magical. The two delivered handsomely on "Rainy Dayz," an anthem about overcoming trials, taking from the re-release of Blige's fifth studio album, No More Drama. MJB brought passion and pain to the hook to couple Rule's emotional lyrics. The song was a hit, peaking at number 12 on Billboard's Hot 100.
Before Ja began working with Ashanti, the Godmother of R&B and Hip-Hop was featured on two of his biggest hits. The songs were "Put It On Me," with rapper Vita, and "I Cry," in 2000. Lil' Mo was added on the "Put It On Me' remix version of the song, and it was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was also a top five hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. Ja was inspired to write the song over a disagreement he had with his wife. He wanted to show the queen in his life that he appreciates her and that she means the world to him. Meanwhile, the song, "I Cry," was a mournful record but it was a song you can play when you're going through trials and tribulations in your life. It sampled The O'Jays' classic hit, "We Cry Together." Even though Ja and Lil' Mo haven't worked together since 2000, these records changed their careers for the better.
Latin superstar Jennifer Lopez recorded the album version of the songs, "I'm Real," and "Ain't It Funny," for her second studio album, J.LO. The singles were well-received from critics, but when she collaborated with Ja on the remixes, her records became more popular. The Murda Remix to both songs were edgier but still sexy. Once those two records were released, Ja and J.LO were the urbanized version of Sonny & Cher — their musical chemistry was undeniable.
Murder Inc records introduced Ashanti to the world when she was featured on Ja's song "Always on Time." Before the single was released, Ashanti was writing hooks and songs for other R&B and Hip-Hop artists. "Always on Time" was an international hit and Ashanti's claim to fame was launched from this song. The song was also Ja's first number one single on the Billboard Top 100. Ashanti continued to work with her "big brother" on many records including, "What's Luv," featuring Fat Joe, "Down For You," featuring Charli Baltimore and Vita, "Wonderful," ft. R. Kelly, "Mesmerize," and "Leaving (Always on Time Part II)," from her self-titled debut album.