Ja Rule continued
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles leaving Def Jam?
Ja Rule: It’s business. That’s what they have to do to continue their business. I still speak to Kev, I still speak to Lyor, and they’re still my friends.
AllHipHop.com: Has L.A. Reid been behind you since he got in there?
Ja Rule: Yeah, we sat down a few times. L.A. has been great. It’s tough for him, because everybody that was with the original system is gone, so it’s hard for him to work in a brand new system and not have one person from the old system to walk him through it. We got his back – I’m with him, Gotti’s with him. We’ll definitely be there for him if he needs us to help.
AllHipHop.com: Would you ever consider working with artists like Talib Kweli, Mos Def, or Common?
Ja Rule: Yeah, I like them dudes. Common is hot. Mos Def, I like what he’s doing. I watch him on Def Poetry Jam.
AllHipHop.com: What can people expect from your new album? Any collaborations?
Ja Rule: A lot of passion. I ain’t holding no punches on this album. I get out a lot of inner emotions and s**t. This album is definitely going to take people on a lot of highs and lows. It’s not just partying and dancing. Every record you listen to has meaning, it has feeling, it has passion, it has value. I have Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Trick Daddy, R. Kelly, Ciara, Ashanti, Cadillac [Tah], Blackchild – my family.
AllHipHop.com: With the election coming right around the time your album drops, would you actively get involved with getting people to vote?
Ja Rule: I’ve been involved with Rock The Vote, and Russell [Simmons] whole [Hip Hop Summit Action Network]. It’s all good, to get the kids out there to vote. I don’t believe in just telling them to just go vote. I believe in telling them to go vote, but have an agenda. You’ve got to know the issues. Know why you‘re doing what you’re doing. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to drive home.
AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about your upcoming movies. I have to say, some of your earlier films weren’t so great, but you stuck with it. What do you have coming up?
Ja Rule: [laughs] I’ve got a new movie I just finished called Assault On Precinct 13. It’ll be in theaters in January, with Lawrence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, we got a nice cast.
AllHipHop.com: Wow, that sounds hot! Lawrence Fishburne AND John Leguizamo? That’s no joke!
Ja Rule: Yeah, it was great working with them.
AllHipHop.com: If your children a few years from now say ‘Dad, I want to be an emcee’, what advice would you give them?
Ja Rule: Don’t cup the mic. [laughs] I would obviously manage and take care of their whole situation for them. They’d be straight. I’d tell them to watch out for the sharks, protect your money, get good people around you. Make smart moves. That’s just straight business. Be the best artist you can be. Besides that, everything else, let the chips fall where they may. You can’t guarantee anything, just give it your hardest.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel there are any lessons, life or career wise, with all the things that you’ve been through, that would help any artist coming up?
Ja Rule: Yeah, the s**t I’ve been through… I should write a book. I’m not the only artist to go through it. I think you kind of need these bumps to make you great. It’s the great artists that come out of these situations. They’re strong. They’re successful, and people love them even more for dealing with adversity. It’s a beautiful thing to have a humbling experience in life, because you know how to go on. It’s a blessing in disguise.