It’s been a while since we’ve seen Ja Rule resurface in the hip hop world, but ever since the Murder Inc. spitter snagged himself a win at his VERZUZ battle with Fat Joe on September 14th, he’s been trending on social media as fans reminisce on his glory-day hits.
If the success of the last VERZUZ battle between the Lox and Dipset is any indication, there’s going to be a lot more reminiscing before everything’s said and done. Considering Rule’s resume of popular hits, like “Put It On Me” featuring Ashanti, it’s safe to say that the Queens rapper has had a great ride during his career. With as many great records under his belt, one would think that Rule has made enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life. But how true is that, exactly?
Born Jeffrey Bruce Atkins on February 29th 1976, Rule started his rap career in 1994 as a member of the group Cash Money Click. After putting out a few independent songs, the group later disbanded, leaving Rule to continue pursuing rap as a solo artist.
He got his first big break on fellow New York rapper Mic Geronimo’s song “Time To Build,” which also included Jay-Z and DMX. With two of the biggest stars in hip hop on the same record, the song gained massive attention and gave Rule the exposure he needed to put himself on hip hop’s radar as its newest rising star. For a brief time, the three New York artists were poised to create a collaboration album under the moniker Murder Inc., but unfortunately the collab never came to fruition, as both DMX and Jay-Z had begun to reach their own plateaus of mainstream success.
That didn’t put a stop to Rule’s grind or his connections with the more famous artists. He soon signed to Def Jam in 1998 and was later featured that same year on Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…”
He then released his debut album, Venni Vetty Vecci, in 1999 and reunited with both Jay-Z and DMX for the song “It’s Murda,” which played into the speculation of an upcoming “Murda Inc.” project. The album eventually hit number one on the Billboard 200 with grimy street singles including “Only Begotten Son,” “Holla Holla,” and “Race Against Time.”
Of course, as we all know, that Murder Inc. collaborative album never happened, but it did give Rule an idea. Together, he and his partner Irv Gotti used the concept to create the infamous record label Murder Inc. The label signed a roster of New York artists including Ashanti, Vita, Blackchild, and Cadillac Tah, which eventually led to a compilation album entitled The Murderers.
Rule released his second album, 3.36, in 2000 and once again reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip Hop charts with the singles “Between Me & You” featuring Christina Milan and “Put It On Me” featuring Vita and Lil Mo. Shortly after, he released Pain is Love in 2001, which secured him a third #1 album on the Billboard 200 with the singles “Always On Time” featuring Ashanti and the “I’m Real” remix with Jennifer Lopez. Thanks to his first three albums reaching 3x Platinum, Rule solidified his position in the mainstream and expanded on his success by diving into acting.
Audiences saw Rule play minor parts in films like The Fast and Furious before landing slightly bigger supporting roles in Steven Seagal’s Half Past Dead, Queen Latifah’s The Cookout, and Assault on Precinct 13.
Rule’s fourth studio album, The Last Temptation, was once again verified platinum in 2002, with singles like “Mesmerize” featuring Ashanti keeping him as the one of the industry’s most successful artists. But after his feud with 50 Cent and the Murder Inc. record label had that small issue with the FBI, Rule’s momentum seemed to die down. Despite still releasing hit singles like “New York” with Fat Joe and Jadakiss, he was never able to achieve the same success he did with his previous projects.
With four platinum albums under his belt and a fair share of movies on his resume, it stands to reason that Rule is sitting on a nice pile of money. How much has he accrued over the years?
What Is Ja Rule’s Net Worth?
The answer is actually quite surprising. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Rule is only worth $4 million. This number seems incredibly low given all of his accomplishments, but unfortunately, legal troubles like Murder Inc.’s issues in federal court and his involvement in the disastrous Fyre Festival have eaten a huge chunk of what might have been a sizable fortune. And with his declining stardom hardly producing any new fans, Rule hasn’t had any major paydays since his fall from grace.
Even though he’s not the same star he once was, Ja Rule definitely had enough memorable hits to shake the building during his VERZUZ battle with the Don Cartagena rapper.