Ja Rule Biography
Born in Hollis, Queens, he debuted in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 1999 to 2005, Ja Rule had several hits that made the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" and Ain't It Funny with Jennifer Lopez, which both topped the US Billboard Hot 100, the Grammy-nominated #1 hit, "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" also with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to The Inc. Records, which was formerly known as Murder Inc. and was led by Irv Gotti. Due from his hits with his fellow collaborators, Ja Rule has earned four Grammy nominations, and has earned six top-ten albums, two of which Rule 3:36 (2000) and Pain Is Love (2001), topped the US Billboard 200. He is also known for some well-publicized feuds with other rappers, in particular 50 Cent and Eminem.
Atkins was born in the Queens borough of New York City. He was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his mother, health care worker Debra Atkins, and grandparents. When Atkins was five, his mother gave birth to a stillborn baby named Kristen, leaving him as an only child. (He talks about Kristen in the song "Daddy's Little Baby.") Atkins attended Public School 134 in Hollis, a school he has described as having a predominantly black student body. He said he got into many fights at the school because of his small size, so his mother transferred him to Middle School 172 in Glen Oaks, which he described as a "white school".Atkins earned his GED in February 2012.
Atkins began his rap career in 1993 with his classic hip hop group Cash Money Click. He told Curtis Waller of MTV News that his stage name "Ja Rule" came from a friend who addressed him by that name; other friends called him "Ja". In 1995, he made his first appearance on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build", which featured Jay-Z and DMX, who were also in their early stages of their careers. In 1998 he had signed with Def Jam, and along with Amil, he was featured on Jay-Z's hit single "Can I Get A...", for which Ja Rule wrote the hook. It was going to be a Ja Rule solo song, until Jay-Z heard the track. Allowing Ja to attend the successful Hard Knock Life Tour alongside Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, Redman, & DJ Clue?.