Ja Rule's 23 Best Collaborations
Take a trip down memory lane.
"Always on Time" featuring Ashanti
First place had to go to a joint with either Ashanti or Jennifer Lopez. Top honors go to Ja Rule's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and first effort with the "Foolish" singer. Sure, Ja had songs with mellow hooks before "Always on Time," but nothing nearly as soft, emotional, and simply good.
"I'm Real (Murder Remix)" by Jennifer Lopez
The "Murder Remix" completely switches up the song's style, turning it into a slower jam instead of a club-ready dance cut. Ja Rule's addition counterintuitively turns this song's mood down and puts him in sing-songy mode to contrast with J. Lo. The lasting legacy might be Ja's rhetorical question to begin things: "WHAT'S MY MOTHERF-----G NAME?"
"Mesmerize" featuring Ashanti
"Mesmerize" is another installment in the musical shipping of JAshanti. The "Grease" inspired video only fuels that campaign. Their back-and-forth on the chorus is nearly perfect.
"Down Ass B---h" featuring Charli Baltimore
Is there a rap love song that's so direct in not only its lyrics, but its name? "21 Questions" by 50 Cent asks his lady to be an unwitting accomplice and to not snitch. Ja explicitly asks for a certain type of companion: Charli Baltimore and her flow insist she's up for the role, signing on as the Bonnie to his Clyde.
"Put It on Me" featuring Lil' Mo & Vita
The way Ja Rule rap-croons "lonely" and "baby" should be taught in vocal classes. Lil' Mo brings the sweet yet pained hook, while Vita stands up to the MC's bars with a sentiment similar to Charli Baltimore's, a promise to be there through sickness, legal troubles, and health.
"What's Luv?" by Fat Joe & Ashanti
The only bad things about "What's Luv?" are that Ja only appears on the chorus of the remix, and it's for the briefest of moments. His elocution of "got to do with it, babe" is enough of a contribution to rank this track highly.
"Between Me and You" featuring Christina Milian
Perhaps more than any other musical cohort, Christina Milian might present the starkest contrast to Ja. Her voice is so delicate. Meanwhile, Ja Rules crashes into the song with verses that inspire DMX comparisons.
"New York" featuring Fat Joe & Jadakiss
People sleep on "New York" in Ja's discography. It differs from his big hits in that there's no R&B hook. Over a growling synth, he, Fat Joe, and Jadakiss form the mid-2000s Avengers and extoll the virtues of their hometown.
"Wonderful" featuring R. Kelly & Ashanti
R. Kelly adds a different element to the power duo, providing his vocals on the chorus. While there's plenty of Ja, the dearth of Ashanti knocks this down a few pegs.
"Can I Get A…" by Jay Z & Amil
Be right back; have to bounce as Jigga demands. Relish the song-closing hook that got Ja Rule signed to Def Jam, all set to 'Rush Hour' scenes.
"Ain't it Funny (Murder Remix)" by Jennifer Lopez
Like "I'm Real," the remix sounds drastically different from the original studio cut. The initial Ja bars are his only ones, but Lopez was impossible to stop in 2001.
"Rainy Dayz" by Mary J. Blige
More Mary/Ja cuts should have been produced. They were an underrated pairing. Here's Exhibit A.
"Girlfriend/Boyfriend" by Blackstreet, Janet Jackson, & Eve
This is an incredible collection of talent, so much so that Ja arguably sits at No. 4 in the quartet's fame power rankings. He and Eve are secondary to Janet and Blackstreet's electric tête-à-tête.
"Livin' It Up" featuring Case
Case and Ja live the Hollywood life to the fullest on a wildly enjoyable song and video. The two stars encourage partiers to turn their unwanted hotel bidet into an ice chest. Along with the next entry, "Livin' It Up" is a rare instance Ja hooks up with a male singer to contribute to the chorus. We need another Case-Ja song, please.
"Too Fine" by Cristian Alexanda
We're now entering the deep cut waters of Ja Rule collaborations. We've also entered "Ja Rule beginning verses by talking about his vacation shoe-packing strategy" waters.
"Fly" by Wanessa
Wanessa brings a J. Lo vibe, which is a positive for "Fly." It was wise to tap Ja for her first U.S. single. The track was well received in Wanessa's native Brazil and was nominated for Hit of the Year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Brazil.
"Old Thing Back" by Matoma & The Notorious B.I.G.
A house reworking of Biggie Smalls more than 18 years after his death seems questionable. Norwegian DJ Matoma does it justice and even earned a complimentary retweet from Ja.
"Thug Lovin'" featuring Bobby Brown
"Thug Lovin'" is a distillation of good times, but the video makes it a winner. Bobby and Ja dance on a helipad while the former sports a Michael Vick jersey. They drive in a Bentley. Dancers flank them. As for the music? Brown primarily sings a dash of brusque, while Ja works the counter of that dynamic.
"Damn (Should've Treated U Right)" by So Plush
So Plush tried to launch their career by having Ja on their first single. It wasn't enough to gain momentum.
"Get Da Money" by Erick Sermon
Throw this on your next mid-2000s throwback party playlist and see who gives love to Erick Sermon. They're an expert Rule-head.
"Body" featuring Ashley Joi
"Body" is a solid addition to Ja's oeuvre; it also holds the distinction of his dirtiest collab. Ashley Joi's contributions are limited to being a sonic complement and for timed soft breathing.
"Streets Raised Me" featuring Mary J. Blige
Exhibit B of the fruitful Blige-Ja pairing.
"Down 4 U" by Irv Gotti, Ashanti, Vita, & Charli Baltimore
All the familiar players are here: Ja, Ashanti, Charli. The result just isn't up to with the names involved — it still exceeds "Uh-Ohhh!" though.
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