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Pain Is Love

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Album Review

The few rap-R&B hybrids on Rule 3:36 (2000) paid off large dividends by the time of Ja Rule's next album, Pain Is Love. A day didn't pass between the release of the two albums when Ja Rule's voice couldn't be heard on urban radio, and at the time of Pain Is Love's release in October 2001, he had not one but two singles getting nonstop airplay: "Livin' It Up" and "I'm Real," the latter a Jennifer Lopez song featuring him as a guest rapper. It should be no surprise then to discover that Pain Is Love follows the same formula that had made Rule 3:36 such a commercial success: craft some radio-friendly crossover singles, often featuring pretty young female R&B singers as romantic counterpoints, and then fill out the album with hardcore rap, often featuring Murder Inc.'s roster of secondary rappers, to sustain Ja Rule's thug reputation. Actually, this formula is fine-tuned on Pain Is Love to account for some exceptions — for instance, the lead single, "Livin' It Up," interpolates Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do" for its crossover-R&B aspect, while the title track recycles an old, generally unheard 2Pac verse to great effect — and a significantly more balanced album is the result. Plus, there's enough strong material here to encourage full-album listening, as the crossover singles no longer stand out apart from the hardcore rap filler to the degree that they did on Rule 3:36.

Customer Reviews

Ja's my boy

If you don't like him then just don't listen....

Slow your Roll

Ja Rule is one of the more talented rappers out there. Criticism of his work would be a little more convincing if there were valid points to be argued instead of "hes low" or "he sucks". And yes, I am challenging your intelligence. So until you reevaluate your opinions and make them a little easier to understand; stop the whining, keep it to yourself, and just DON'T buy the CD.

Only because of 50

people dont give this guy a chance because of 50 cent, if real music listeners sat down and listened to him they would be amazed. I think pretty much every song on here is great. Now dont get me wrong i love em and 50 cent they rock, but u guys dont know half the crap why they're even in a fight. People are just listenin to what 50 has to say and automatically think ja's the bad guy. If you actually read about it you'll find out ja rule didnt just one day say..."Hey im gonna hate 50," naw it's not like that. 50 brought this all on himself. Just wish people would really realize how much talent this guy has

Biography

Born: February 29, 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...
Full Bio
Pain Is Love, Ja Rule
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