Ja Rule became a pioneer in the hip-hop industry years ago when he dropped his first album, Veni, Vetti, Vecci back in 1999. During a time when the new millennium was upon us, music had to change to adjust to the times. Ja Rule came prepared. The album debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 and sold 184,000 copies in its first week. This is all the reason why he plans on celebrating its 25th anniversary.
"Next year marks the 25th anniversary of Ja Rule and my first album Veni, Vetti, Vecci," he told Hot 97. "On June 1st, I'm going on a world tour for 25 years of Ja Rule and it's gonna be out of this world."
While he did not specify details, Ja did spend some time focusing on the status of hip-hop 24 years after he first stepped on the scene.
Ja Rule's Impact
Just at the top of the month, The Game appeared on Apple Music's Bars and Nuggets podcast where he acknowledged the rapper's impact on the industry. “You know, Ja was Drake before Drake," he explained. "You know what I’m saying? He had the radio — he had the hits on the radio."
Ja says that although he is flattered by the flowers given to him, he believes every artist is their own individual person with their own skin in the industry.
"I obviously thank Game for the compliment," he began. "But I think everybody has their moment in time and in hip-hop. My time was my time. Drake's time is his time. Everybody has their thing."
With this year being the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Ja Rule knows that there were people before him who influenced his work and that hopefully his work did the same. He says that his influence on the industry was specific to his experience and is grateful he was able to contribute what he could to the next generation.
"It could never be another Drake. Drake is Drake. There could never be another Ja Rule. Ja Rule is Ja Rule. We all, in music, are fans of each other's music and I just hope and pray that my catalog and my contribution to hip hop, if it influenced anybody to do anything dope, I'm more than happy about that," the rapper shared.
Keeping A Legacy Going
Ja Rule's love for hip-hop doesn't stop at his ability to influence a generation. He is now giving artists he has grown to respect when he was coming up, the stage to share their stories as well as help them really make a profit from it.
One of Ja's newest business ventures, ICONN Live App, gives creators the ability to profit from their own content.
"The original thought of the app was really to help content creators monetize their content," he detailed. "We have all these platforms —Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter —and they own all the content. They take advantage of the content creators in ways that I just didn't think was fair."
Therefore, he stepped in to lend a helping hand. The app is a live-streaming entertainment marketplace. There, you can catch one-of-a-kind free live broadcasts and pay-per-view events, including his VIBES concert series.
VIBES concerts are live, in-person events with some of hip-hop's greats. They are only streamed on the ICONN Live App. When discussing the series, Ja says he just wanted to give artists a space to tell their stories.
"I wanted to showcase the legends, man. Some of my heroes that I grew up on. The reason why I rap," he recalled.
"But the real basis of VIBES is to be intimate. It's an intimate concert and it's iconic artists doing their classic albums. Telling the stories behind the music."
The Future Of Ja
Along with ICONN Live and the VIBES concert series, Ja is busy with many other business ventures. He recently launched his own exclusive luxury wine, Rose Vine Cellars in partnership with Wines that Rock and Ross Reedy.
Additionally, he says that he has invested in a few businesses such as Limewire, Big Crunch and is even a partial owner of a Texas pickleball team. However, he is most excited about his philanthropic work.
"I also do a lot of charitable work that doesn't get talked about. I just recently gave money to HBCUs. We did Morgan State, Howard and Spellman. We have a few more that we want to do as well," he shared.
Ja Rule concluded by sharing how important it is to tend to the youth of our nation. "Let's keep, creating great athletes and, and great musicians. But also on the flip side of that, let's also give them the business acumen that they need. Even lower grades of schools like high schools and middle schools because our kids need that."