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Blood in My Eye

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Album Review

The year 2003 wasn't a good one for Ja Rule, who had been blasted over and over that year by 50 Cent, the rap industry's latest upstart darling. 50 had blasted Ja Rule for blasphemously impersonating 2Pac and for making pseudo-gangsta pop-rap music — and by and large, Ja was left speechless. It was simply a matter of fact: Ja Rule had indeed aped 2Pac's persona to an extent, he had indeed made pop-rap duets with Ashanti his stock-in-trade, and he was thus an easy target who was bound to be clapped at some point. So by late 2003, the year of 50 Cent (who had sold millions and millions of records, racked up hit after hit, and saturated the media with his omnipresence), Ja Rule and his camp, Murder Inc, were in a desperate state of damage control. They kept quiet throughout most of the year, waiting for 50 Cent's moment in the sun to pass, yet by the end of the year Ja Rule had readied his inevitable return, Blood in My Eye — a rushed 45-minute release with a pair of good singles ("Clap Back," "The Crown") and a lot of vengeful return shots at 50 Cent and his camp (notably including Eminem among the targeted). Relative to what Ja Rule had been doing the past couple years, Blood in My Eye is a very focused and heartfelt album, and certainly much more gangsta than anything he'd done since his DMX-modeled debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci, although Ja is much better making catchy pop-rap tracks with grimy posturing and singalong hooks. Still, there's something to be said for pride, particularly in the rap world, so perhaps it was best that Ja Rule vent his frustration here and put this predicament behind him so that he could move on with his career and once again start making the sort of pop-rap singles that he'd experienced so much success with.


Born: 29 February 1976 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As the flagship artist for producer Irv Gotti's Def Jam-affiliated Murder Inc. label, Ja Rule became one of the rap industry's most commercially successful artists during the early 2000s, working closely with the hitmaking producer and his stable of talent. Born Jeffrey Atkins on February 29, 1976, in Queens, New York, Ja Rule established himself with Venni Vetti Vecci (1999), a hardcore debut album similar in style to the rugged thug rap then popularized by DMX and the Ruff Ryder collective. On...
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Blood in My Eye, Ja Rule
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