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50 Cent and Ja Rule’s beef is officially old enough to vote. Few hip-hop feuds are as bitter as this rivalry between Queens music legends, which has spanned nearly two decades, powered by savage diss tracks, spiteful interviews that stoked the fires, social media bashing and physical altercations
Over fifteen years later, Eminem and 50 Cent aren’t quite done with Murda Inc.
In the year 2003, 50 Cent was at the height of his artistic peak. Coming off the release of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, an album many still tout among the greatest debuts of all time, Fif was the closest thing to “untouchable” a man can possibly achieve. Behind him stood Eminem, steadily alternating between marveling at 50’s talent, pulling his musical strings, or goading his brash impulses. On that note, it didn’t take long for Eminem to inherit 50’s long-running and occasionally violent beef with Murda Inc, a challenge he willingly accepted.
After all, Em had developed a reputation as a storied competitor and diss-track auteur, previously having dealt with Whitey Ford, Everlast, various pop stars, Limp Bizkit, and as rumor has it, an unreleased warning to Suge Knight. Of course, his track record didn’t exactly include many prominent rappers, though feuds with Benzino and Canibus would certainly pad his arsenal (the former earned a pair of Em’s most incendiary tracks in personal history). Yet Em’s beef with Ja Rule would go on to intensify past the point of palpable tension, with 50 Cent’s villainous laugh ringing out all the while.
Ja Rule Robbed at Gunpoint in Queens
In 1999, Ja Rule was robbed at gunpoint for his chain in Southside Jamaica, Queens. 50 Cent alleges that Ja Rule witnessing him hanging in the club with the culprit weeks after the incident sparked the bad blood between them. However, Ja, who would later confirm the robbery, denies that he ever witnessed Fif with the man in question. He says that 50’s ire stems from being snubbed by the Murder Inc. camp during a shoot for his single, “Murda 4 Life.”
50 Cent Releases “Life’s on the Line”
In October 1999, 50 Cent released “Life’s on the Line,” a single from his shelved debut studio album Power of the Dollar and a blatant diss record directed towards Ja Rule and Murder Inc. While the record doesn’t name Ja Rule directly, 50’s mockery of his label’s signature “Murda” chant throughout the song was enough to give fans a clue of the intended targets. “Life’s on the Line” would be a minor street hit, peaking at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, but was ultimately a blip on the radar in comparison to Ja Rule’s debut album Venni Vetti Vecci, which would sell more than one million units and establish Ja as one of rap’s brightest young stars.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Fight in Atlanta
Following the release of “Life’s on the Line,” 50 Cent and Ja Rule bumped heads while at an Atlanta nightclub at which the two were booked to perform. They got into a heated argument that turned into a physical altercation, during which the two rappers’ necklaces popped. A member of 50’s crew recovered Ja’s pendant. According to Fif, a deal was brokered for Ja Rule to receive his pendant back in exchange for a Movado watch, a claim that Ja Rule vehemently denies. The incident escalated the beef between the two artists and was a catalyst for the chain of events to come.
50 Cent Gets Stabbed At Hit Factory
The G-Unit and Murder Inc. crews crossed paths once again in March 2000 at the Hit Factory studios in New York City. After getting word that 50 Cent was there recording, Ja and his crew paid the rapper a visit, leading to an altercation during which Fif suffered a stab wound and led to the arrest of Ja Rule and Murder Inc. rapper Black Child, who has taken credit for the stabbing on record. Still, 50 would later downplay the attack in interviews.
50 Cent Releases “Wanksta”
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50 Cent and G-Unit released No Mercy, No Fear—Fif’s first mixtape after inking a million-dollar deal with Shady/Aftermath Records—in August 2002. One of the more popular songs from the tape was “Wanksta,” a track 50 Cent credited as being inspired by Ja Rule. It became Fif’s first hit single, peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and beginning to level the playing field between him and his Murder Inc. counterpart.
50 Cent Accused of Filing for an Order of Protection
In November 2002, Irv Gotti alleged that 50 Cent had signed an order of protection against him and Ja Rule in the aftermath of the brawl at the Hit Factory. Gotti, who made the claims during a visit to The Star & Buc Wild Morning Show, revealed the information to put 50’s street credibility in question and paint him as an informant. Yet Fif denied the allegations, which did little to temper his buzz. While the validity of the order of protection was initially questioned, it has since been confirmed that it does exist but was issued on 50’s behalf as a formality by the NYPD.
50 Cent Releases “I Smell Pussy”
Following Irv Gotti claims of 50 Cent being a snitch and signing an order of protection against him and Ja Rule, the G-Unit general returned fire quickly on the mixtape G-Unit – The Future Is Now, which contained multiple attacks on Murder Inc (including a series of hilarious skits that satirized Ja’s singing). One track in particular, the Sam Sneed-produced “I Smell Pussy,” was especially scathing, with 50 calling out Ja Rule, Irv Gott, Black Child and Cadillac Tah by name on yet another verbal assault against his rivals.
Ja Rule Releases “Loose Change”
After remaining relatively silent in the face of 50 Cent’s smear campaign, Ja Rule returned fire in April 2003 with the diss track “Loose Change,” taking aim at 50 Cent and G-Unit, as well as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and Chris Lighty. He even threw a shot at Em’s daughter, Hailie, showing that he had no intention of throwing in the towel and was willing to go toe-to-toe with his adversary.
Ja Rule Releases “Guess Who Shot Ya”
Continuin where he left off on “Loose Change,” Ja Rule unleashed another verbal assault on 50 Cent and G-Unit with the oft-forgotten “Guess Who Shot Ya,” which finds the chart-topping rapper throwing jabs at his competition with a nimble flow over a classic Biggie instrumental.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Diss Each Other on Twitter
In 2011, Ja Rule plead guilty to federal tax evasion, a charge that would cause him to serve two years in prison. 50 Cent found it a perfect opportunity to poke fun at his arch-nemesis on Twitter. Ja didn’t find Fif’s comments humorous at all, so he quickly fired back with posts disparaging the G-Unit boss, who continued to go on the offense, deeming Ja Rule irrelevant and making light of his impending prison sentence.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Cross Paths
In November 2013, Ja Rule and 50 Cent crossed paths for the first time in years while the two were taking a flight. Ja Rule, who shared the experience with his fans on social media, noted that there were no issues between the two and no altercations while chiding fans for egging on the bitter feud between the two.
50 Cents Taunts Ja Rule After a Cancelled Show
After one of Ja Rule’s shows in Syracuse, N.Y. was cancelled, 50 Cent took the opportunity to take a jab at his nemesis once again.
In a tweet, 50 wrote: “only 10 tickets sold don’t nobody want to see that shit, you talking about wait we get a lot a people on the walk up.”
A few hours later, Ja Rule tweeted event promotion company Live Nation and asked them to set up “the Ja Rule vs. @50cent tour” so he could “tear his ass up on stage every fucking night.”
Fans will likely recall Em threatening to engage in a similar act of forced penetration on “Do Rae Mi,” in which he vowed to “shove his Oscar up Ja Rule’s ass.” Hearing Slim once again allude to his old war stories is certainly nostalgic, but one has to wonder about the motivation. Is he actively looking for a new sparring partner, following Machine Gun Kelly’s post-“Killshot” disinterest? Or is he simply flexing as a reminder to the doubters? Either way, the idea that both Em and 50 would single out Ja Rule on the same day is likely the closest we’ll come to seeing 2003 again short of an actual time machine.