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Ja Rule ‘Believe’ Video: Rapper Takes Backlash in Stride — Exclusive

Mpire, Fontana

Before he “went upstate,” as they say, in June, to begin serving a two-year prison sentence for gun possession and tax evasion, Ja Rule finished recording vocals for ‘Pain Is Love 2′ — or ‘PIL2′ — the long-awaited comeback record he’ll drop Feb. 28. He also shot a video for the single ‘Believe,’ and The BoomBox has the exclusive premiere.

“You can lock my body, contract my mind/ My thoughts keep escaping,” the Queens MC raps, seemingly anticipating his incarceration.

In the clip — a fast-paced montage interspersed with vintage performance footage and religious imagery — Ja is a free man, but he appears hemmed in by chain-link fences and his oppressive urban environment.

Produced by lauded beatmaker 7 Aurelius, Rule’s collaborator on some of his biggest early-’00s hits, ‘PIL2′ is a sequel of sorts to ‘Pain Is Love,’ the rapper’s multi-platinum 2001 third album. This time out, Ja and Seven have created a concept record — the story of an artist who takes one pill and becomes massively successful but then swallows another and experiences the downside to fame.

Ja is no stranger to such rap-game pitfalls, having fought a public battle with 50 Cent, and on ‘Believe,’ he takes it all in stride.

“What’s progression if you’ve never been through backlash?” he raps.

Watch Ja Rule’s ‘Believe’ Video

Watch ‘Ja Rule Speaks from Prison’

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EXCLUSIVE: Ja Rule Speaks from Prison

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