ja rule*Rapper Ja Rule was released from prison early four months ago after serving time for tax evasion and gun possession charges and is working his way back into the spotlight.

Rule and his friend/executive producer Irv Gotti sat down for a candid interview with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez to discuss his time in prison, the fall of their record label Murder Inc, and his faith-based film, “I’m In Love With A Church Girl.”

On Prison…
“In some weird way I think I needed a break….I grew up a lot in prison. I read a lot of books…It was love. That was weird to me, being that I went through so much. I was very physically ready to be aggressive and angry…but when I went to state prison they put you in PC, they call it IPC, I was in IPC (involuntary protective custody) because I’m a celebrity…But the FEDS don’t’ care,  they put you in population. I got a chance to feel both sides. When I was in the State I called it the polo club. We was eating good. I got a lot of packages in, we got Turkeys on Thanksgiving.  But when I went to the FEDS it was a different ride. When I went to MDC they automatically put me in PC situation, but it’s not protective custody, you’re locked down 23 hours a day. So I said get me outta here. Then they said the only place to put you is in population and said that’s cool with me. I’m in my city. Put me in population. I’ll be alright. It was a lot of love.”

The Decline of Murder Inc..
“It was a roller coaster because everything was happening so fast. There was no dip, it was a straight (drop). I’m a fan driven artist. I take all pictures, I sign all autographs. So for me it was like wow. A lot of people think I was angry at the fans. I wasn’t as angry as I was hurt…I went into a dark place. Everything was angry, my music, the way I moved in the streets. It was like when LeBron left Cleveland, they hated LeBron…”

On 50 Cent…
“When we was in the office and Flex was about to play “In The Club” the record was so dope and I looked at Rule and I said ‘we have a major problem. Yeah, we took the L, it’s what you do if you keep swinging and keep fighting. We was winning and dominating. I was watching diddy’s reign of terror but I wanted that spot. That’s what hip-hop is. When we came with the DMX record and said “let’s take it back to the streets” that was me saying “look at us.”  -Irv Gotti

“There was a lot going on during that time frame. He was the part of the juggernauts at that moment, Eminem and Dre. As everything started to crumble for us and not having a label home, it was easy for [50 Cent] to get people to turn on [us]. There were things going on behind the scenes that made us seem more irrelevant. We couldn’t’ go to awards shows. We would get calls from BET and MTV that we love you guys but we don’t’ want you guys in the building. So the fans are thinking “you don’t see these guys anymore.”  – Ja Rule

Watch the videos below:
Part 1

Part 2