Ja Looks to Settle 50 Beef

Rapper speaks with Farrakhan about violent dispute

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Ja Rule addressed his long-standing feud with rival rapper 50 Cent in an exclusive interview with Minister Louis Farrakhan last week and pledged to do what he could to bury the hatchet. The interview was the only one Ja granted to plug his new album, Blood in My Eye, which was released today.

After Ja discussed his childhood in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, New York, the conversation turned to a rhyming feud with 50 Cent that he admitted had turned violent, with fist fights in Atlanta and a New York City studio. Ja Rule traced the root of the ill feelings back to a video shoot he did in the neighborhood that didn't sit well with 50 Cent. "I think he didn't like the fact that I was getting so much love," he said. "I didn't even know the dude." Soon after, Ja was targeted in song, referenced in the 50 Cent track "Murder, I Don't Believe You." "I didn't start this," Ja said. "It was really no beef with me with him. It was always him with me."

The rapper said that he tried to ignore the onslaught of barbs. "When I first heard the records, I said, 'Come on, I'm bigger than that,'" he said. "But the public started to give me ridicule."

Farrakhan had harsh words for the media's sensationalism of hip-hop beefs and urged Ja Rule to settle the feud for the benefit of hip-hop and the youth who emulate rap stars. "I never want to see anything happen to you, Ja," he said, "and I never want to see anything happen to 50. I want to see peace. And if you want to dis each other in the culture, that's fine. But once we go past the line, when we're talking about killing one another, they print it and put it out."

"I see the bigger picture that you're talking about," Ja said. "It's not about me and 50's personal beef. It's about the overall state of hip-hop and the children that are coming up watching and learning and pitting themselves against each other because one rapper says he doesn't like the other. I'd be crazy and disrespectful to say I wouldn't sit down at the table and try to help hip-hop."