Ja Rule Talks Iggy Azalea’s Grammy Nominations and Being Scared for His Son’s Life [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Ja Rule has made quite the comeback after serving nearly two years in prison for tax evasion. The Queens, N.Y.-bred rapper returned to the spotlight more mature, family-oriented and prepared to expand his empire.
The Boombox caught up with Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, earlier this month during his performance at Resorts World Casino New York City. He was also shooting his forthcoming MTV reality series, ‘Follow the Rules.’
Before he hit the stage, the 38-year-old shared his feelings about Iggy Azalea’s Grammy nominations and the fear he has for his own son after the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police officers.
“Music is very different these days,” Ja Rule tells The Boombox. “I think she [Iggy Azalea] deserves it because she had the No. 1 record for like 10 weeks… And when you look at the landscape of what’s out there as far as female MC’s, it’s not a lot. It’s basically her and Nicki Minaj and nothing else.”
According to Ja, who has been in the game for nearly two decades, the nominations for female rappers have always been debatable. “I remember a while back in the ‘Pain Is Love’ days, I was nominated for about three or four Grammys and Charlie Baltimore was nominated in one of the categories and didn’t even have an album out. That was just a testament to how hot Murda Inc. was”
While Ja chimed on the Grammy nominee debate -- Iggy competes in categories for Best New Artist and Record of the Year, among others -- he also touched on the Millions March, which took place nationwide on the date as his Queens show. The rhymer has had his fair share of run-ins with the NYPD and as a dad to a teenage son, Jeffery, Jr., he’s scared for his son’s life.
“He [Jeffery, Jr.] told me the other day that he and Irv Gotti’s son were driving and got pulled over by the cops and that scared me a lot,” the 'Put It on Me' creator reveals. “Because they are young black men and they don’t come from the same places that me and Irv come from, so they may not know how to deal with that type of situation… And the way the police are so gung ho these days, ready to shoot first and ask questions later, it scares me.”
However, Ja, like many other hip-hop parents, is trying his best to prepare his child to deal with the law.
“I know a few officers that are friends of mine and they tell me certain procedures you should take when you get pulled over… So I teach them to my sons,” he shares. “But what’s really f---ed up is that as black men we’re scared. If I am driving in my car and chillin' and I see police in my mirror, I still look around like, ‘Oh s---! Am I speeding?’ Just because I am black.”
In addition to working on new music, Ja Rule has a memoir out, ‘Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man,’ and his MTV reality show, ‘Follow the Rules,' will debut in 2015.
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