Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins and Curtis “50 Cent” James Jackson have been at odds since 1999, meaning the rappers’ feud is old enough to legally drink. The animosity between the Queens-born rappers has been fueled by diss tracks, social media shade, and even some acts of alleged violence. And this beef shows no signs of slowing down because in March 2020, 50 Cent used the coronavirus pandemic as a means to mock his enemy on Instagram, yet again, by comparing the year 2020 to the failed Fyre Festival, which Ja Rule was involved with.
Then in April 2020, Ja Rule called in while Swizz Beatz and Fat Joe were in the middle of an Instagram Live session and said that he wanted to go against 50 in a rap battle (via Complex). Although he promised it would be “friendly,” both artists didn’t buy that claim, which makes perfect sense given the storied history between Ja Rule and 50 Cent. There is little chance of a “friendly” anything between these two. Ever.
In response, 50 Cent slammed Ja Rule’s request as a need for “attention,” in not one, but two Instagram posts. On one Instagram, he posted a photoshopped image of Ja Rule begging for money on the street. In the other, he shared a GIF of himself driving away while laughing.
Interestingly enough, the rappers’ resurfaced feud is actually very tame in comparison to everything else they’ve said and done to each other throughout their decades of feuding.
A friend of 50 Cent's allegedly robbed Ja Rule
In October 1999, 50 Cent dropped the song “Your Life’s on the Line,” which dissed Ja Rule and his label, Murder Inc. The backstory behind the track is pretty unclear, although 50 believes “the beef originally started” when his friend allegedly robbed Ja Rule, which he discussed in his 2005 book, From Pieces to Weight. “My man robbed him for a chain, and then this guy named Brown came and he got the chain back for Ja,” he wrote. “Later, Ja saw me in a club with the kid who had robbed him. I went over to say “What’s up” to Ja, and he acted like he had a problem with me. But I’m not the one who robbed him.”
In 2003, Ja Rule denied in an interview with Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan that his issues with 50 Cent have anything to do with a third party, explaining, “If someone does some harm to you, don’t get mad at the person that’s with them, he has nothing to do with it. He’s just an innocent bystander.” Ja Rule clearly stated, “It’s him I have the problem with.” In the same interview, Ja Rule attributed the beef to not including 50 in a music video he supposedly wanted a part in.
Chalk this feud up to a classic case of he said, he said.
50 Cent and Ja Rule's feud got violent
Ja Rule told Hot 97 in 2014 that he and his crew supposedly beat up 50 Cent with a baseball bat at an Atlanta nightclub in 2000 after a mutual friend convinced him and 50 Cent to have a talk. Ja Rule claimed, “We started talking and the talk got heated because I got mad and started screaming at him that he was a ‘b***h,’ and this that, and the third.” In response, 50 allegedly took a swing at Ja Rule and that’s when Ja Rule claims he whipped out the bat.
That same year, 50 Cent got stabbed in the back (literally) at a recording studio in New York City, per Complex. The “In Da Club” rapper needed three stitches from the stabbing. Initially, Irv and Chris Gotti, the CEOs of Ja Rule’s record label Murder Inc., were charged for the incident, but it was eventually dismissed. Black Child, another rapper on Ja Rule’s label, confessed that he stabbed 50, but claimed it out was an act of self-defense. Although Ja Rule wasn’t present for the incident, it didn’t help the feud.
From there, the two released diss tracks aimed at the other, including Ja Rule’s “Race Against Time,” and 50’s “Back Down.” Making matters even more contentious? Both rappers brought up each other’s children at some point during their feud, and Ja Rule referred to 50 as a “bad father” when he appeared on Watch What Happens Live in 2019.
It's unlikely 50 Cent & Ja Rule's feud will end
If you’re wondering whether Ja Rule and 50 Cent’s epic feud will ever end, the answer is probably no. That’s because, in 2018, the Instagram account Baller Alert shared a screenshot of comments between the two enemies, with 50 Cent allegedly writing in one message, “It’s never over. We may take a break, but it ain’t over till one of us gone.” Woah. Talk about a serious grudge.
As for Ja Rule, he said that it was time to “grow past” the feud during his 2019 Watch What Happens Live appearance, but then he proceeded to insult 50 Cent mere seconds later. Go figure.
Although it’s unlikely these two will never be on the same page, there’s one thing they appear to both agree on — this feud is far from over. And who knows, maybe one day they will join the ranks of these celebs that got into fights on live TV.
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