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Murder Inc Online Al Profit Interview

MIO sat down with Al Profit where he talked on his album 'Hard N'B', whats happening with Hoodstock, his upcoming movie projects and his sports programme RosedaleJets Football Organisation. MIO would like to thank Al Profit for this interview which we dedicate to the memory of Al's step son Ricky Williams who was shot dead just days before this interview.

MIO: Whats the current situation with your album 'Hard N'B' are you in the process of finishing it up or is complete ?

ALP: Its nearly finished, actually its about finished a few skits to do thats it.

MIO: Just the small pieces left, polishing it off ?

ALP: I got allot of songs I'm going to narrow it down to about nine songs, I have allot of songs, if somethings not right like Maze(MIO had a small conversation with Hoodstocks Amazen Grace before the interview commenced) was saying some of them I got too confident about everybody likes songs I don't like you know ? It always turns out that way they love the song I just like I don't like the way I sound on it the more i hear it everybody loves it, but i got you know most of the things done, later on we can listen to it.

MIO: When can we expect a release will it be later this year final quarter or the first quarter next year ?

ALP: We haven't even set a date yet but it has to be as soon as possible, thing about is we run a business also so that also sets back dates its independent right here were using our own money we hustling out there we run a graphic design business Reg(Reggie McKenzie CEO InDaStreez Entertainment/Hoodstock Records) we got a studio in the back so thats how we make money to put back into the music you understand what I'm saying ? It's just a grind we don't have the big money behind us I mean we affiliated with The Inc but we not signed at all Black(Blackchild, Murder Inc recording artist and President of InDaStreetz Entertainment/Hoodstock Records) is the only one signed 720(Sekou 720 Hoodstock recording artist and producer) into a producing contract and thats about it everybody else is straight independent... but I like being independent actually I do you got a little buzz.

Read the full interview in our interviews section.

published on November 2 nd, 2007

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Irv Gotti Has A Four Step Plan For Ja Rule's 'The Mirror'

Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo is what we call in the journalism biz a certified "quote monster." The man oversaw one of the most successful record imprints in hip hop history, with Murder Inc - only to witness his musical empire crumble from the weight of the backlash from the antagonizing 2003 emergence of 50 Cent and, more notably. his 2005 trial for federal money laundering charges. Even so, Irv talks without a filter. And while such a verbal affliction may be a nightmare for any publicist, Irv, whose comeback is currently documented in the bare bones VH-1 reality-show Gotti's Way, revels in the controversy. From his thoughts on the roadblocks he faces pushing Murder Inc.'s languishing franchise player Ja Rule back to the top of the charts, his surprising signing of pop piano prodigy Vanessa Carlton, and his rift with publicly disgruntled star Ashanti, Irv Gotti doesn't hold anything back.

VIBE: How did Gotti's Way come about?
Were you afraid that people might not be able to buy into it because there's an influx of reality shows?
IRV GOTTI: I mean, I'm never afraid, you understand? If the show's a success or not a success, I'm not afraid of that. I do what I feel, and if I feel it's good entertainment, I run with it.

It came about with Cris Abrego, the president and CEO of 51 Minds Entertainment. They do shows like "Flavor of Love" and "I Love NY" and "Surreal Life" and "Rock of Love." All of the big shows on VH1. He contacted me after I was on the cover of The Source draped in the American flag. He read the article and he thought [my comeback would] be a great story to follow me around.

At first I was like, "Nah, I don't wanna be no reality TV star." But he stayed on me for like two, three months, just telling me, "It's gonna be a good show" and "You can executive produce the show. We're not trying to clown you or anything, we want it to be real."

The first thing I really noticed in the show is the dynamic between you and Deb, your wife. It's a very interesting relationship you got going on here; one foot out, one foot in. You're there for your kids. You're not really doing the whole marriage thing. I mean, this is some personal shit, dude!
Yeah, yeah. The reason this show could come about is because of me and Deb, and how we're so cool with each other. She's like my best friend. So it was nothing - when I said any of this crazy shit – it was nothing that she ain't heard before. (Laughter) If she sees me talking to a girl on the show, it ain't nothing that she don't know, you know what I'm saying? So, it's all good. But we've gotten to that place - me and Deb's relationship is unique, and it is very special to both of us. We are very cool but yet and still, I'm separated from her. Abrego wanted to shoot the show more when he seen that! (Laughs) 'Cuz he didn't even know he was getting that when he first contacted me. He just wanted the business side and the music side. When he seen the family side, he was like, "Yo, Irv, this is a home run. This type of relationship ain't never been seen on television." It's a great thing and it's very entertaining because we talk about real things that concern relationships.

But you've made some very interesting comments in the past about "Hey, I know I break her heart but she knows what I do." Do you ever look back on those comments and say, "Damn, maybe I shouldn't have said that shit"?
Yeah, yeah. I look back on a lot of things that I say sometimes. I did an article with Rolling Stone and they asked me about Ashanti's record "Foolish" and I said, Well, I told Ashanti to write it, and the story in my head was Deb, because she loves me but she's stuck and I cheat, too. She hurts when I'm mad, but she hurts when I leave, you know what I'm saying? So it's like a fucked-up situation for her when she's caught. And that was how that record came about. And it makes for good records, but maybe I shouldn't have said that.

Yeah, maybe you shouldn't have said it like that.
 (Laughs) Yeah, but see the thing with me is, I say a lot of crazy shit and it's all real! Everything that I say is the realest shit. It's just sometimes it's better to be political and sometimes my political vibe ain't right. I just be sayin' whatever the fuck I wanna say. (Laughs)

It's very interesting to see a cat from our hip hop nation with connections to the streets. Grew up on the streets, did his thing, rose outta the hood to be shown in an environment where, you know, you take care of your kids, you got the wife's daughter from another relationship, you're claiming her. There's a family vibe in this, dude. Did you make it a point to show that to people?
I think it just comes across. When I'm doing business, I'm Irv Gotti. But then when I'm with my kids, I'm Irving Lorenzo. It's two different lives that I care very much about and I wanna see both do well. Juggling the two is hard, it's very hard. I can't be with my kids when I'm out in LA promoting the show. I can't be there to take Sonny and JJ and Angie to school and it's like that part suffers and it's like, what are you gonna do?

It's kinda crazy how hard you are on them.
I love my kids very much, man, and I ride Sonny and JJ a little bit because - I'ma tell you why - when I went through my federal shit, it was like, What if I'm gone for 20 years? I told him, "Sonny, you're gonna have to grow up fast, yo." You know what I'm saying? I'm like, "You're a man." And I said, "Your mommy is a woman and Angie is a woman, and men gotta take care of shit." You know what I'm saying? Men can't have excuses. We gotta get it done. A woman will get a pass because a man will take care of a woman. With men, we gotta get it done, so when all of that shit happened with me I started trying to tell them things earlier, because I think the sooner you know what you wanna do in life, the better you will have a chance at doing that. So I ride 'em a little bit harder, because in the back of my mind, I'm like, Yo, what if I was calling in from jail and I couldn't be there? "Maybe when you turn 15 you gotta go get a job, you gotta man up, you gon' have to do something to help."

Right when we decided to shoot the pilot, Angie, who's 15, called me and said, "Are you my real dad?" Because she's my stepdaughter and we have different last names. So I kinda got pissed at Deb,  'cuz I said, "That's why I wanted you to change your fucking name. I'm Irv Gotti, and I don't want her dealing with that shit because I love her to death." But they captured the conversation that a father would have with his daughter that's his stepdaughter, and how I break it down to her like "I don't care." I said something to the nature of, "I don't care if you came from my balls and shit." (Laughs)
After that conversation, everything is all good.

How bittersweet would it be for you to blast off with a Ja Rule hit on the radio, with Vanessa Carlton hitting the pop charts, after all of the shit you went through with the federal indictment case?
(Laughs) But really, it's already the sweetest thing ever, being found not guilty. It's like, yo, I'm on the right path back to where I need to be. If I looked at where I was two years ago, my mind was scrambling, like, Yo, what the fuck is gonna happen? So I'm already winning. It doesn't even matter.

How are you going to bring Ja back to the masses?
Well, what I'm doing with Ja is like a three- or four-step plan. Forget where Ja Rule is in today's market. Just the music business on the whole is fucked up. Now that said, I also know that Ja was out for ten years, and people question his relevance. So I attacked it first with "Uh Oh," a street record to get him warmed up. After the "Uh Oh" record, here comes the body record - more female friendly, radio friendly and a more classic Ja Rule big record. After that, I got the Sunset record, the feature with Game and it's a whole west coast, L.A. love type record that's a huge record. But I ain't stopping there! Then I got the record with Ja and all the new dudes. It's called "300." And it's got Newz on it for the underground and the mix tapes in New York, so I'm covering that base. Then, for the over the top, I got the "Father Forgive Me" record, which is the Beatles cover of "Eleanor Rigby" which is a huge, huge record where we took the Beatles and made it hip hop. That record to me is limitless, and Ja Rule needs a record like that. That's gonna be insane if Ja Rule was to sell 2-3 million albums again in this climate. That would be the win of all wins.

Everybody talks about how hard it is to get a Beatles sample. You guys are kinda playing it over, right?
Yeah, it's like kind of a cover, but we had to get it cleared. Truth be told, the whole Michael Jackson situation and then with SONY, they own the publishing so if you don't sample the record, it's just clearing it. And in these markets, in these days and times, people just want their money. So they took 100% of the record. We don't own the record. But it's all good. It's still a huge record that could help drive Ja's album sales.

What about with Vanessa Carlton being signed to Murder Inc.? People don't see the connection.
 (Laughs) It's all good. They'll see it over the course of time. They'll see that we're both music people and that basically the approach that we're taking with Vanessa's album is... This is the first album that I don't have any pressures on the first week of her release. The whole thing with albums like that – when you look at Corinne Bailey Rae, Amy Winehouse, Nickelback – all of these albums are albums that you could work for like 18 months or 24 months and that's what I wanted to do and create with Vanessa. It's funny to me. It's the first time where maybe in the 20th week of her release, we'll catch fire. (Laughs) Like, you don't get that in hip hop! You don't get that in R&B! (Laughs) But this is something I can get. She's a singer-songwriter like you wouldn't believe.

I know you was watching the whole 50 Cent-Kanye battle. What were your views on the whole thing?
Actually, I thought it was a huge mistake on 50's part, for two reasons. One reason - the biggest reason - was he didn't have the right record, and he should've known he didn't have the right records in June, when he put out the "Amusement Park" and the "Bank" record, "Money in the Bank" ha ha ha whatever - and the people rejected those deposits. He should've known better to come and fuck around and play with a dude who's making big records. The underdog factor too - 50 lowered himself because he was a bigger artist than Kanye, he was selling more records than Kanye. With Kanye, you look at two of his albums and in the States he sold, like, 2.5 with both of his records. With 50, his first album did, what, 7-8 million? His second album, he did 5-6 million? He's a bigger selling artist, so why pay off with this act? You put yourself in the Goliath role and him in the David role, you understand? And he should've known, out of anybody! Because the underdog won't help him or fuck with us. If he was the one selling all the records and on top of the world, here comes the guy with the slingshot saying "fuck him." He should've known better, being someone who played the role of David, who slayed Goliath. He should've known, like, don't go fucking with this dude, especially when he's dropping "When will I get my money, right" and he's dropping records! And he has the white record, "Stronger," that's crushing radio. He should have known, whoa, don't fuck with that dude, yo. And now you put yourself in the position where they're making a choice.

And now with Kanye, he's made another mistake, 'cuz Kanye got that "Good Life" record which is smashin'. He's burying him right now. 50 is just lookin worse and worse and worse and worse. Anyone who was praying for his downfall, he just lit their torch and now they're running around with it. So there was a few mistakes that I'm shocked that he made. I'm pretty sure that Jimmy Iovine was like, "Yo, don't go fucking with Kanye, yo, leave it alone." But, you know, his ego probably comes into play, which is a huge ego. It all makes sense what happened. I just think he shouldn't have messed with Kanye. He should've left it alone.

published on November 2 nd, 2007

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Ja Rule Confirms 'The Mirror' Push Back

Ja Rule has confirmed what previously reported that his upcoming album 'The Mirror' has been pushed back due to sampling problems check out his interview below.

Check out another Ja Rule interview about 'The Mirror' on our forum.

published on November 1 st, 2007

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Ja Rule tour dates.. (USA)

Ja Rule Promo Tour Dates for the release of 'The Mirror'.

Sunday: November 4th - Houston, TX - Car Show
Sunday: December 2nd - Albaqurque, NM - Radio Show
Tuesday: December 4rd - Columbia, MO - TBD
Wed: December 5th - Ft. Wayne, IN - Club Lost
Thursday: December 6th - Detroid, MI - TBD
Friday: December 7th - Traverse City, MI - Streeters
Saturday: December 8th - Loiusville, KY - Club Villa
Thursday: December 13th - Greensboro, NC - Menage
Friday: December 14th - Raleigh, NC - Long Branch
Saturday: December 15th - Fayetteville, NC - Carolina Live
Sunday: December 16th - Atlanta, GA - Taboo 2
Thursday: December 20th - Allentown, PA - Crocodille Rock
Friday: December 21st - New York, NY - B.B. Kings
Sunday: December 23rd - Harrisburgh, PA - Dragonfly

published on November 1 st, 2007

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Rock Reality Show Recap: Irv’s Quest for Number One Expands to Pee-Wee Football on “Gotti’s Way”

Gotti’s Way tracks Murder Inc. mogul Irv Gotti’s attempts to rebuild his empire and fix his broken home, while our Rock Reality Show Recaps track how many times he breaks out Ja Rule in each episode. Here’s our third report:

Thirty Minutes in Four Sentences: When middle child Sonny gets misty after losing a playoff football game, Irv hits him with some tough love. “You better learn how to man up fast ’cause life gets real,” he tells the eleven-year-old. Deb, rightly critical of Gotti’s parenting techniques, warns him that she will pamper the kids against his will if the “man up” demands continue. Gotti then jets to L.A. to attend the filming of Lloyd’s video for “Get It Shawty”, where he finds out his star crooner’s album got outsold — and he’s apparently in a fight with 50 Cent.

Does Ja Rule Gotti’s Life? This epsiode’s cameo provides us with sixty seconds of a shirtless, tatted-up Ja, muttering obscenities when Gotti reveals that Page Six wants comments on Gotti’s non-existent beef with 50 Cent.
Irv’s Industry Advice: Inc. artist Lloyd competes against Musiq Soulchild and Rich Boy for first-week sales, and when Lloyd loses by a mere 5,000 albums, it prompts one of the most sincere, arrogance-free statements Gotti has said on-air to date: “You can’t be mad not coming in number one if you tried your best … Just reload and go at ‘em again.”

Broken Home: “Are you afraid of daddy?” Deb privately asks her two sons, to which eight-year-old J.J. replies, “He yells at us crazy!” “Blood’s coming out your ears,” Sonny imitates. “Man up!” The last scene of the episode proves just how afraid of Gotti the boys really are, when while shooting hoops, Gotti asks if the boys find him to be too harsh. They both shrug off the question and pretend they’re little men.

published on October 31 st, 2007

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Lloyd On Irv Gotti & Ashanti, "They've Been Going Through Their Own Thing Ever Since I Met Irv"

It's been a busy year for R&B crooner Lloyd, who scored two Top 5 singles with "You" and "Get It Shawty" off his Gold album Street Love, made numerous album guest spots and performed live throughout the country. In this SOHH Soulful Exclusive, we caught up with the Atlanta resident to get the scoop on his next solo project, the Irv Gotti-Ashanti rumors and Gotti's new reality TV show.

As one of the artists on The Inc. roster, Lloyd understands the meaning of family. So when asked about Irv Gotti's recent interview with radio personality Wendy Williams, in which the label boss admitted to having sex with songstress Ashanti, Lloyd maintained a low profile.

"I know those guys have been going through their own thing ever since I first met Irv," Lloyd told SOHH. "That's something that I always chose not to really inquire about. I just always stayed focused on what I was trying to do. I really think that the moment that all the extra stuff becomes so important - like what somebody said about this person, or, you know - I think it should just stay about the music, and it shouldn't really matter."

"What I can say is that I kind of don't agree with anything that would have been said," he added. "I'm not sure what was said. But If anything was said about her, I definitely don't agree with it because I feel like it's definitely not cool for us to ever kind of put each other's business out in the street or just pull each other down kind of thing. I think that with us all being on the same team what's most valuable to us right now is each other, and I think we really should cherish that before it's too late and you don't really have that anymore."

Lloyd's bond with the Inc. family is now being caught on camera with Gotti's new reality show on VH-1, "Gotti's Way," which airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. The singer appeared in the last episode.

"I think it's cool because it gives you a different perception of my life behind the camera," he said. "It's like when the music stops playing, the camera stops rolling, and all the fans go home, what do you have? And we have each other. So it kind of shows you how we really interact with each other, it shows you how we kind of even question each other. And we always use our friends to tell us what's hot, what's not. We always keep positive influences around."

After a self-described "big year for Team Lloyd," the 21-year-old artist said he's currently in the studio working on his third solo LP. In the meantime, he has kept himself busy doing guest spots for several rap artists including Huey, Fabolous, Chamillionaire, Yung Berg and Pitbull.

"I've always been involved in hip-hop," he said. "And we always have these conversations about 'Is hip-hop really alive?' 'Is the youth really into hip-hop, or is it all just rap, commercial rap? So for me, I try to stay involved in hip-hop as much as I can, as a young person."

published on October 31 st, 2007

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Defend Its Existence Vanessa Carlton 'Heroes & Theives' Review

Vanessa Carlton
Heroes & Thieves (Inc.)

Pop music’s all about extremes. Extreme countercultural frenzy pitted against extreme peanut-butter-for-brains conformity. This imagined dichotomy is fetishized, leaving most middle-of-the-roaders to fend for themselves when it comes to music that speaks to their well-adjustedness.

Like, what about all those poor, deprived white girls who are not only educated, financially stable and attractive, but also happy and in love? Where do they turn for music that speaks to their longing for freedom from picket fences that were never really impermeable in the first place?

Vanessa Carlton, of course.

The ivory-tickler, most identifiable for the Grammy-nominated “A Thousand Miles,” is back with her third album—her first for Irv Gotti’s the Inc. Records (formerly Murder Inc.), which seems as unlikely a home for the singer/songwriter as an apartment more than five minutes from a Starbucks.

Heroes & Thieves is a totally suburban white chick record, and I mean “suburban” more geopolitically than as a judgment of gracelessness. Look, that “A Thousand Miles” video was basically Vanessa traversing the world with her baby grand, then returning to her two-car garage, at peace with the cul-de-sac calm. Even if she’s relocated to Manhattan and a hip-hop label, Vanessa’s still a suburban chick, just one who rubs elbows with Ja Rule.

Produced by hit-maker Linda Perry and Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins (Vanessa’s ex-BF), Heroes & Thieves is confessional in that safe, ambiguously poetic way I perfected in my high school journal. Though her lyrics can come across as mall-girl musings gorged on Sylvia Plath and Pinkberry, it’s easy to get swept away in Carlton’s orchestral and choral crescendos, which dominate “More Than This” and “My Best.” Lead single “Nolita Fairytale” is no sloucher either, as a rhythmic slice-of-life anthem.

And what is Carlton’s life? A rent-controlled flat, a puppy dog and a late lunch in the ’hood. Just like any other poor, deprived, educated, wealthy white girl.

Isn’t it comforting to know you’re not alone in your privilege?

published on October 31 st, 2007

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Vanessa Carlton Releases 'Heroes and Thieves' on Gotti's The Inc. Records

After her breakup with her long-term boyfriend and the loss of her record deal, 27-year-old pop star Vanessa Carlton starts anew with the release of her third album, "Heroes and Thieves."

The album lacks any hip-hop flavor despite her ties with hip-hop entrepreneur and The Inc. Records label head Irv Gotti.
Instead, the album has a very pop and punk-like style to it. Gotti was astounded by Carlton's talent and Carlton was taken by his passion, and their partnership formed.

For this album, Carlton teamed up with music artist Stevie Nicks, the two haved toured together and have became good friends.

Carlton's breakup, the struggles of life, and how to overcome heartbreak are the major themes of Carlton's lastest endeavor.
The first song, titled "Nolita Fairytale," begins with a steady drumming beat and then is accompanied by Carlton's piano improvisations.

It describes her comeback as being a fairytale. The song falls in the same high-pitched pop sound as singer Hilary Duff.
This song was not a great way to begin the album and was a big disappoining compared to her big hit "A Thousand Miles" from her "Be Not Nobody" album, which received three Grammy nominations.

"Heroes and Thieves" has a very screechy Shakira-like feel to it, and the pitches seemed out of tune at times.

The track "The One" is a pretty song that many women can relate to because it deals with loving someone who is unaware of this love and in turn does not appreciate it.

The best song on the album is "More Than This." It is very inspirational and her vocal range proves very effective.
The song provides great closure for the album except for the unnecessary and random barks at the end of the song.

Overall, the CD is for the punk audience, but all audiences can relate to the themes of heartbreak.

Carlton's musical talents are evident in her creative usage of the piano in each of her songs.

It could have been better, but most of the songs are heartfelt. Again, "Heroes and Thieves" emphasizes the rock and pop style and there is no soulful appeal.

Grade: B-

published on October 31 st, 2007

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New Interview with MPire Artist D.Gift

Mpire's rookie D.Gift and MIO recently came together to discuss his upcoming debut album 'Amerikas Middle Child' touring with Ja Rule and conceptual records.

What projects are you working on at the moment ? Your working on your album and anything else ?

D.Gift: Yea its more like an EP 'America's Middle Child' is suppose to drop December 16th which is my birthday but that was the first time I ever performed on stage, on my birthday Ja(Ja Rule) took me out to Africa so I got to perform in front of 30,000 people the first night and the next night was like 80,000 you know.... so like for kind of like a thank you and like to me really spitting to the world now I get to drop it on my birthday and I'm going to have a nice little party for it and everything so its just like you know good looking out Ja type of thing.

What's it like going on tour with Ja ?

D.Gift: Its amazing kid its like when he gets on stage crowd goes crazy they just go bananas and its like there's no performer in the game like him he does his thing every time out the gate. I don't know why people would want to go on stage after him cause once he gets on stage he tairs it down so crazy its like the building is just like the building is just like “oopphhh” it don't even make sense getting on stage ha ha.

What places in Africa where you on tour ?

D.Gift: We went to East and West Africa the first time we went out there we went to Nigeria and Gabon and the second time we went to Tanzania, Kenya, we went to one other place I can't even think right now at the moment Tanzania Kenya and ah man i can't even think yo I forget where we went there was one other spot tough. It was real nice real nice people were very nice to you they appreciate music more out there. They don't really care about the beefs and stuff they just happy that you there, I remember one thing that made the trip so special was that when we were in Gabon our last day there in the hotel lobby all the kids came to the hotel and their was a mob of kids outside the hotel me and my man N Ron D Life and Glen(Glen Williams Director of Video Promotions & Digital Strategy On The Inc.) we just gave away all our clothes inside our suitcases it was amazing because its like the kids were like this is the best thing you could ever do for them. I gave away brand new sneakers, t-shirts, everything I just emptied my suitcase I came home with nothing in my suitcase but souvenirs it made them so happy like the look on their faces was amazing.

'America's Middle Child' will 'Junie's Song' and old tracks like that make it ?

D.Gift: I think im going to put 'Junie's Song' on their, 'America's Middle Child' is basically like with all the madness going on in the world today I just don't want to deal with it I'm just out there im doing me you know ? I'm not with it that's basically what its about its like sometimes you gotta find your own path and just go and not worry about what everybody else is doing.

Read the full interview here and leave your comments on our forum.

published on October 30 th, 2007

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Ja Rule Interview With BBC's Semtex

Here is the video of Ja's recent interview with BBC 1Xtra's Dj Semtex. Ja addresses issues such as the Feds, 50 Cent, The Mirror and his ups and downs throughout his career. This interview was done before the news of  The Mirror 2008 push back.

Ja Rule Finally Has His Say

published on October 30 th, 2007

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