Ja Rule and 50 Cent have been beefing for ages at this point, so when Hip-Hop fans floated the idea of the longtime enemies going head-to-head in a Verzuz battle, we knew that probably wasn’t going to fly. Hosted by Swizz Beats and Timbaland, Verzuz is an Instagram Live series that sees some of music’s most prominent names go up against one another. For the most part, the battles have been friendly and I think we can all agree that 50 vs. Ja would be anything but.
In a series of since-deleted tweets, however, Ja seemed to want to set the record straight and let overzealous fans know he could win in a hypothetical battle against the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ rapper. “Y’all gone STOP with this false narrative that 50 killed me lmao when I went up against 50, Em, G-Unit, D-12, Busta, DMX, Dr. Dre, and FBI at the same time,” he wrote according to screenshots, adding “Lmao let’s talk about it… I speak NOTHING but truth… Never no cap.”
Prior to these tweets, Ja let it be known he’s against the idea of battling 50, saying he didn’t want to disrespect Timbaland and Swizz’s Verzuz platform, which we can understand.
But all that being said, I don’t think there’s one Hip-Hop lover who would agree with his opinion that 50 didn’t kill him musically back in the early ’00s. In an old interview with Hot 97, Ja talked about the downfall of Murder Inc., and dealing with the Feds and beef with 50 Cent simultaneously. He and Irv admitted to “taking an L,” regardless of the reason.
“We took the L. But you know what, people take Ls,” Irv said. “It’s not the L. It’s what you do and if you keep swinging and keep fighting.”
“It was a lot going on in that time frame,” Ja added when Angie Martinez asked why it went down how it did. “You got the federal indictment. Here’s what it is — it was orchestrated very well. He was a part of the juggernauts at that moment… Eminem, Dre, they were very, very big in what they were doing as well. So, as we were big over on our side they were also big on their side. And, as everything started to crumble for us as far as we didn’t have a label as a home anymore, you understand? There was a lot of things that were falling apart for us. It was easy for him to get people to turn on… and there was things that were behind the scenes that y’all don’t see that also made us seem more irrelevant — like, we couldn’t go to awards shows.”
Revisit that moment below and let us know who you think won back in the early ’00s. Ultimately, are y’all trying to watch Ja and 50 go at it on IG Live? Chime in.