Ja Rule's upcoming prison sentence for weapons possession has been delayed until June 8, after a ruling from a New York City judge on Wednesday (Mar. 9).

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers agreed to extend Ja Rule's time in the free world, despite objections from the district attorney's office. Ja Rule's lawyer, Stacy Richman, says that the extra time will allow the rapper to complete his upcoming album and to settle his outstanding tax troubles with the IRS. "We want to finish the album, and there's also a tax issue," Richman said. "Somebody, an accountant, had filed an incorrect form, and this is to correct what was done in the past."

Ja Rule -- real name, Jeffrey Atkins-- plead guilty to attempted gun possession in December, in connection to a 2007 arrest. The 34-year-old was pulled over following a show at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, where police found a loaded semiautomatic gun in his car. Ja Rule accepted a two-year prison term for the gun charge.

"Directly from court he left to the airport as he has shows in Australia this week," Richman told The BoomBox of Ja Rule's current whereabouts. "These performances had been contemplated previously and were not the reason for the delay. Mr. Atkins has some matters to clear up before stepping into custody. It is hoped that his next record will be complete prior to his surrender."

Additional reporting by Latifah Muhammad

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