Let’s Be Clear: Ja Rule and Fat Joe are legit homies. They have a friendship (at least industry) dating back nearly 15+ years. Big Pun‘s mentor is very fond of Irv Gotti and his “sister”, Ashanti. Ja Rule only speaks of Fat Joe in the highest of lights. I just say that to say, THERE WILL BE NO DISRESPECT.
The temperature here will be a lot lower than Verzuz last event, The LOX Verzuz DipSet. Though, coming off the heels of that “battle”, Ja and Joe may trump up some psuedo-animosity for the moment. However, it won’t come CLOSE to what we all saw August 3rd, 2021 at Madison Square Garden.
The match-up, on paper, seems fair enough. You have Jeffrey Atkins, who had a 3-4 year run of dominating airwaves and video countdown shows alike. Then there’s Joey Crack, who has consistently been either a contender or competitor in Hip-Hop for nearly 30 years.
So, the question becomes does Ja’s relatively short, but explosive burst beat out Joe’s 28 year cruise?
The answer, for us at least, is YES. Going through potential material, Murder Inc‘s flagship artist has entirely too much fire power! The best match for Ja may have really been the most obvious, 50 Cent. Joe Crillz may fair better against a fellow cruiser (none come to mind, actually).
I haven’t fact-checked but Ja has to be the artist with the most DMX and Jay Z songs in history. He also has more and bigger songs with Fat Joe’s wild cards, the aforementioned Ashanti and pop royalty, Jennifer Lopez. “New York” also HAS to be played by Joe and that’s a song by Atkins. He may also be the better performer, if not, in the better shape to go the distance.
No matter how you slice it, from a distance, Ja has the clear advantage entering the contest.
Now, what COULD happen is Fat Joe goes all out while Rule doesn’t take this as serious in pre-game. If the Terror Squad CEO pulls out all the stops like mixing DJ Khaled in somehow, having Remy Ma on full-time backup and bringing out some unexpected special guests, it’s a different ballgame.
Overall, the masses are simply more familiar with Ja’s records. Arguably the streets are even more familiar with his cuts. He’s placed tracks with DJ Clue in Clue’s more commercial era, done the crew cuts, has the cookout jams, ladies joints and even hardcore bangers (see “Dial M For Murder“).
This is not us saying one of the greatest to do it is getting smoked! What we are saying is Mr. Rule will come out on top, barring some catastrophic collapse.
Ultimately Hip-Hop, East Coast rap and “old-school” are the winners here. Here’s to hoping friendships can stay intact and more light is shined on these icons careers than ever before. To quote Crack: “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price!“. Ase’.
Below are 40+ songs you should hear from Ja Rule and Fat Joe Sept 14 Live from MSG:
Joe ~ Ja
What’s Luv ~ Down 4 U
Success ~ We Murderers Baby
Flow Joe ~ I’m Real
All The Way Up ~ I Cry
Holla At Me ~ Put It On Me
John Blaze ~ Down Ass Bitch
I Shot Ya (Remix) ~ Clap Back
Sunshine ~ Mesmerize
Twinz (Deep Cover 98) ~ Between Me & You
Lean Back ~ Livin It Up
Make It Rain ~ Holla Holla
We Thuggin ~ Can I Get A…
New York ~ New York
Feelin So Good ~ Always On Time
Brown Paper Bag ~ Grand Finale
Hold You Down ~ Ain’t It Funny
My Lifestyle ~ Wonderful
Take A Look At My Life ~ Dial M For Murder
Don Cartagena ~ Thug Lovin
Lord Above ~ Gangsta Shit
Envy ~ Murda 4 Life
Slow Down ~ It’s Murda
Money Showers ~ Rainy Dayz
The Crackhouse ~ We Don’t Give A Fuck
Get It Poppin ~ Murdergram
Definition Of A Don ~ Daddy’s Little Baby