Mpire-Online.com caught up with Ja Rule on May 8th 2011 a month before he goes to jail to serve a two year sentence. Ja Rule talked to us about his upcoming album P.ain I.s L.ove 2 his new single ‘Real Life Fantasy’, the Mpire label and what the future holds when Ja Rule goes to prison and also when he comes home. Check it out below leave your comments and join the discussion on our forum.
MIO: So where are you with PIL2 right now?
Ja Rule: It’s coming, I just really gotta put it all together now. Everybody is so caught up on a date, and of course I wanna put it out June 7th, but I don’t wanna put out an album when the people aren’t ready for it. I have to give the single time to manifest and get out in the market properly. I don’t wanna hurt myself chasing a date. June 7th I would love because obviously I’d get the most exposure, going to jail June 8th.
MIO: On the other hand, do you think if the album doesn’t come out before you go to jail, will it still come out while you’re inside?
Rule: Yeah of course, cuz the videos will still be shot. And they (the label) want the project to come out as much as I do.
MIO: Is Fontana a good fit for you?
Rule: Yeah, Fontana’s cool, I mean it’s still the Universal system so it’s still love. And I own all my own music so it’s even better. But I’ve been taking baby steps with this whole situation and my project because I’m not in a rush to fail.
MIO: Have you been premiering a lot of the new material on the tour?
Rule: Not a lot, I do “Parachute” and I do “Real Life Fantasy.” I don’t wanna give them too much because it’s too new. I want to give them a taste but I don’t wanna bore them with new material, because they need to be able to take part as well. You know, you do that for like, an intimate crowd of about 200 people and you can do all your new shit, like “this is just for y’all.”
MIO: Are you going to have a listening party?
Rule: Yeah, I’m gonna do it in New York before I go in.
MIO: So, how are you feeling about that date that is creeping up? (June 8th)
Rule: (Laughing) Oh I can’t WAIT! What do you think? There’ll be a party going on. Shit. Yeah, that’s not gonna be such a fun date, but it’s coming. It’s coming real quick, it’s just around the corner. It’ll go by fast though.
MIO: So you’re planning on doing “The Renaissance Project” as a “living” album, or an app?
Rule: Yeah, well originally I was gonna do PIL2 like that. Put the time frame of these things, with me trying to push my ideas onto people shouting “DO IT, DO IT! I need it now!!” – you’re bugging. An app of that magnitude takes 8 to 16 weeks to make and I’m like “come on man.” A lot of the shit I have in my mind is gonna be incredible for the people but I just don’t have the time to make it happen before I go in, but It’ll happen while I’m gone so that to me is what counts.
MIO: How has the recording process for these albums been?
Rule: I’ve been recording everywhere, In my house, on the road, I’ve even been recording in my hotel room. I mean Ja Rule’s and engineer – “Rule 3000.”
Rule: I’ve been recording with different producers, a lot of new guys. I think this album is important to showcase “me”. And I’m not gonna lie, I put calls out to a few people and the feedback has been “I got you” but they ain’t got me! Like, I’m still waiting! So I get the picture, but that’s just business. And I’ve done my fair share of that shit to people too so I know how it goes, I know how it works.
But I’m a hitmaker, so I have no doubt in my talent and in what I can do when I go in the studio so I have all the elements in place. Beyond that, it works, so that’s what I’m trying to get going. I could go into the studio and make hits all day, but if you don’t have the machine behind you or at least the support network to make that shit work then it’s not gonna work. So Fontana is good, they’re doing a good job with me but I need more, I’m used to more. And realistically the business model of the music industry is not that no more, it’s not. Nobody is shooting million dollar music videos, its different.
MIO: Nor are people moving the same units…
Rule: Yeah, nobody is pushing those kinda records anymore so it’s just a different time. So I’m not trying to live on a business model that’s 5 years old now, because that’s not gonna work either, so I’m trying to compromise with what I’m used to, with what we’re working with now. And it’s a tough compromise. I’m like “ya’ll wanna spend 25-30k on a video? That’s never gonna cut it” and they’re like “That’s what people are doing now” I’m like “I don’t give a FUCK! I need 75k on it!” And I need it, because we’re gonna make the best shit that way!
MIO: You’ve been very creative with your samples, and bringing in a lot of different genres lately.
Rule: Yeah, but I’m not gonna lie – 7 has some gems in the motherfuckin’ cut! He’s got some serious beats. So we go into the studio one day and the first thing he played me is “Real Life Fantasy” and I’m like “Yo, what the fuck!? I need that! Gimme that!” So I did that record like, the next day and shit. Next thing he plays me “parachute” and these records already had the hook on them so I was ready to go, all I needed to do was rap on them so I was like “gimme that shit, let’s go!”
7 has been working, and working with different artists on different albums so he’s been in the kitchen cooking up a lot of shit trying to make placements on albums, and whenever you’re doing that, running around making beats for different artists, big artists, you’ve got some gems in the cut. Just like me, when I’m writing and writing for other artists because such and such needs songs, I’ve got some gems in the cut! So it works for both of us, he’s pulling up shit and I’m pulling up shit that maybe I wrote for somebody else so I’m like “fuck that I’m taking it” cuz it goes great for this. Or I’ll be in the studio with 7 and we’ll be talking and suddenly “oh shit, that’s a hot name for a record” and I’ll start humming the hook and he’ll be tapping the beat. It’s some real Simon and Garfunkle type shit, it’s some real fly creative shit going on. And I like that about me and sev’s relationship. It’s give and take, he ain’t scared to say “Yo Rule, I got an idea!” And I ain’t scared to say “yo sev, I hear some shit!” That kind of creative intertwining works.
MIO: Do you have a favourite track on either of the new projects?
Rule: ummm I like a lot of records, I like “Black Vodka” *long pause* I like “Strange days” I like a lot of joints, just because we’re pushing the envelope there are a lot of joints on there I like. I think I’m not done, I think I still have a few more in me and I might come up with something real crazy while I’m out here, before I leave. Atmosphere gives you atmosphere.
Rule: That was fun. It felt natural, that’s just how it is.
MIO: Are you glad to have made amends, so to speak, after everything that was said in the media and all that?
Rule: There was a lot of tension, but I say it all the time, we’ve had more good times than we’ve had bad and I think that tends to heal as you start to think about it, and you start to think “I’ve had a lot of good times with these people” and can these one or two records that they had ruin everything, like are we serious, and the records weren’t even that big of an issue, it was just egos.
MIO: Can we expect any familiar faces on the new record besides 7?
Rule: Maybe so, I’ve reached out to a few people with a couple of tracks I heard, so you know, we’ll see. And I’ve got some great new talent on there that sounds just like em but better! (laughs) So it’ll be fine! ( MIO: Mentions Anita Louise)
MIO: Real Life Fantasy is Incredible by the way….
Rule: That’s what we strive for, to shake things up.
MIO: What are the plans for when you come out? You’d better drop a couple more records!
Rule: Yeah, I’m gonna come out and smash, I don’t know about a couple of records, but I’ll probably come out and do 1 or 2. I’ll definitely drop an album straight after I come out and I may do 1 or 2 more after that. But, you know, I wanna do films and I got my kids and they wanna get into the business. My daughter sings, so they wanna do everything so I’m gonna have to fall back and manage my company and my kids.
MIO: Will we get some other Mpire releases while you’re in jail?
Rule: Yeah, I have a couple of artists, a few new ones like Anita Louise. So I’ve got a lot of things going on.
MIO: You had your sentence pushed back to facilitate a movie, can you tell us about that?
Rule: Oh, I never shot the movie, well they pushed back their schedule too so it was conflicting and I couldn’t push back any further.
MIO: You also have your reality TV show coming out soon?
Rule: Yeah but I don’t want to do it. I’m not a reality star, I’m not into reality shit.
MIO: So right now, you’re not going to do it? It was based around the time leading up to going into jail, right?
Rule: Yeah, I think I might let them do a 1 hour special. Just do that and let it rock. It looks good though. My story is really different (to Irv’s) and it’s really good. I’ve seen it, they sent over footage of stuff.
MIO: will it be touching on your family life?
Rule: Yeah, but not too much. It shows how they feel about my situation and also with me recording and some of my artists. It’s touching, and it shows me as me, a person.