29 February 1976 (age 43)
Queens, New York, New York, United States
Jeffrey Atkins (born February 29, 1976 in Queens, New York), better known by his stage name Ja Rule, is an American rapper, singer and actor signed to his own label Mpire Records. He began his career in the group Cash Money Click and released his debut solo album, Venni Vetti Vecci, in 1999. He has since released 2000's Rule 3:36, 2001's Pain Is Love, 2002's The Last Temptation, 2003's Blood in My Eye and 2004's R.U.L.E. He now plans to release his seventh studio album, Venni Vetti Vecci 2010, sometime later this year.
He is best-known for hits "Put It On Me", "Between Me And You", "Wonderful" and for being associated with Jay-Z as a part of The Murderers. Ja Rule has sold over 20 Million albums worldwide and has released six albums with one on the way. His best-selling albums are Pain Is Love and Rule 3:36. Ja Rule has beefed with rappers DMX, 50 Cent, The Game, Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre, and Eminem.
He attended Junior High School in Floral Park, New York, where he met his future wife Aisha Murray and they graduated in 1991. They attended Martin Van Buren High School together but he did not graduate. When Atkins was five years old, his sister died from respiratory problems. Growing up in a strict religious home, Atkin's family did not celebrate birthdays and Christmas, and as a child, was not allowed to listen to rap music. When he first heard it, he decided to be a rapper. He would sneak the music into his house and played it on his CD player when his mother wasn't around. Atkins is married to his high school sweetheart, Aisha Atkins née Murray.They have three children: Brittney (11), Jeffrey Junior (6) and Jordan (3).He and his family live in a mansion in New Jersey.
Rise to Fame:
At age 15, Atkins appeared with 0-1 and Chris Black as part of Cash Money Click. This would lead to him being signed by TVT Records in 1994. He would end up being heard by a young DJ who called himself DJ Irv, then later Irv Gotti. Gotti, was a friend of Jay-Z's and he was also a DJ for Def Jam Recordings. During the mid 90s his main priority was meeting Ja Rule. He wanted to sign Ja to his new label Murder Inc. Records. He wanted Ja because of his distinct deep voice. After Irv was able to sign Ja along with DMX and Jay-Z to Def Jam. He began to have an idea that they all work together. They formed a group named The Murderers. They recorded many songs together. Friction tore the group apart, DMX, a rapper that sounds very similar to Ja accused him of trying to steal his style with the deep voice, by saying that before the three were signed Ja tried to make his voice sound lighter but heard him embrace the deep voice and tried to imitate it. They had planned to release an album together, but this idea was scrapped and they all made appearances on their respective albums. Still, around this time, Ja Rule was still fairly unknown. Jay-Z, at the time a young star and new to Def Jam, was the most popular rapper in hip hop. Russell Simmons had the idea that in order to build hype around Ja Rule and capitalize on Jay's popularity that Ja Rule do a verse on Jay-Z's 1998 single Can I Get A…, which also featured Amil. Ja's performance of the verse made him a household name and he became an instant star and by the release of his album a year later he was one of Def Jam Recordings premier acts.
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