JA RULE – “Blood In My Eye” Released November 4th 2003
01. Murder Intro (0.25)
02. The Life w/Fatal, Ashanti & Caddillac Tah (4.35)
03. Clap Back (4.56)
04. The Crown w/Sizzla (3.45)
05. Kay Slay- SKIT (0.18)
06. Things Gon’ Change w/Black Child, Young Merc & DO Cannons/2 Punk Ass Quarters(4.01)
07. Race Against Time II (3.53)
08. Bobby Creep- SKIT (0.44)
09. Niggaz & *****es (4.34)
10. The Inc Is Back w/Shadow, Sekou, 720 & Black Child (5.22)
11. Remo- SKIT (1.13)
12. Blood In My Eye w/Fatal (2.25)
13. It’s Murda FREESTYLE w/Fatal (3.36)
14. The Wrap FREESTYLE w/Fatal (5.09)
PRODUCTION: Irv Gotti, Blackout, Ja Rule, Rebel, Jimmy Kendrix, Scott Storch, Chink Santana The Gawd, Sekou & 720.
Born Jeffrey Atkins in Queens NY, Ja Rule as known to the rap community, has once again delivered an album for his fans only this time with a different approach. The year 2003 was very quite for Ja as his beef with new comer 50 Cent had escalated since 50’s debut with Shady/Aftermath Records & artists such as Dr Dre & Eminem were guiding him through the game. With talks for Ja Rule to keep low for six months until his next release it shows how the beef with 50 Cent had gotten to the young rapper & had left him without an option but to release “Blood In My Eye”. As Ja Rules beefs continued other rappers such as Benzino, Busta Rhymes & DMX had all had their share in contributing to the fire.
The fire shot out by Ja Rule in this album takes him back to his 1999 debut “Venni Vetti Vecci” as this new release compares to his early work as the Ja Rule we have heard for the last few years with chart hits with Ashanti, J- LO & Bobby Brown has suddenly disappeared and his gangsta, thuggish street raps have resurfaced. With production line tight as usual and Irv Gotti in control, Murder Inc has released a good but rushed album for revenge on all their disses. Most tracks from this album with out a doubt have at least some kind of diss in the lyrics, whether it is directed to 50 Cent, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Dr Dre, Proof or DMX, Ja has managed to take out his revenge on this album to full extent.
Tracks such as Scott Storch’s produced “Clap Back”, clearly aimed at Shady/Aftermath, have a Neptunes influence beat & Ja actually flows to the rhythm quite well as he usually does with catchy beats. The only downfall on this track is the delay as the song starts Ja tends to do his usual Murder shoutouts which get annoying on most of the album. Other highlight
tracks include “The Crown” which is an excellent beat, produced by Chink Santana The Gawd, followed by ruff rugged Ja Rule flows- show how Ja still has the potential to rap as a gangsta rapper, though the sample is a little messy on the hook.
Majority of tracks on this album such as “The Life” & “Race Against Time 2”, which was taken from the original on “Venni Vetti Vecci”, have good beats and Ja Rule does flow to the beats naturally though the songs are spoilt by his continous attempts to sing the hooks as if he were singing a song with Ashanti or J-Lo. All the beats are gangsta & its the only album since his first Ja has come hard, though he clearly fails on these beats to maintain his reputation for catchy hooks as demonstrated in his past albums. If Ja Rule concentrated on his lyrics and not his singing it would show improvement as his callabos with Fatal & other Inc artists show how the beats should be laced & thats gangsta rhymes to gangsta beats. It seems Ja is finding it hard in this album to control his singing & that is a major problem in this album along with his constant disses which begin to get old very quick.
The album still has tracks which Ja Rule tears to shreds such as “Niggaz & *****es” another Neptunes influenced beat by Blackout. In this track he uses a sample of Junior Mafia’s “Players Anthem” for the hook and his flow is at its best in one of a few bumpin songs, in turn Ja’s rapping does work very well with this style of production. Also “The Inc Is Back” has an excellent beat & features artists such as Shadow, Black Child & 720 who all flow lyrically with straight gangsta shit.
Ja Rule has also used alot of reference to the late Tupac Shakur alot as he clearly uses 2pac as an influence throughout the album with quotes from Pac’s “Hail Mary” on “Race Against Time 2” Ja sings on the hook “Ride Ride-dada Ride-da Ride-da daa” & mentions how 2pac was the greatest & how no one could feel his pain. Ja Rule also associates himself with Fatal, most famous for being a member of 2pac’s Outlawz, he is featured on alot of tracks, though only raps on about three which two were released previously as retailiation to 50 Cent disses, which is also disappointing. Another issue is Ja Rule referring to M.I.B (Murder Inc Boss’) as 2pac referred to M.O.B (Money Over *****es etc) now the album is clearly for revenge on Ja’s disses in the past but he has been critisized about being a so called “2pac bitter” by 50 Cent & others so he has added fuel to his beef with making an album strictly used for disses & reference and lyrics associated with 2pac, which does not make any sense.
The extra freestyle tracks “Its Murda” originally from “Venni Vetti Vecci” with Jay-Z & DMX is used as a diss with Fatal replacing the original line up & “The Wrap” which contains Mobb Deep’s “Learning Burn” instrumental has shown Ja rule has clearly struggled with this album from the very beginning and needs to think about whether he wants to continue the previous chart callabo’s, which were all catchy songs or pursue his gangsta personna.
This album had some quite good production & Ja Rules potential to lyrically flow gangsta was all there. The album is ruined by his habit of singing on hooks, using 2pacs lyrics in certain songs & concentrating on all his beefs. Ja was better off releasing a mix tape than an album as he had more disses to express than his usual music talent, which makes this album very disappointing for all Ja Rule & rap fans. The album has been a combination of gangsta rap & chart singing done by Ja in his last few years, which proved success for him with
hits such as “Thug Lovin” & “Livin It Up”. Ja Rule has great potential to be gangsta when he wants to & his beats are all there for him it is just a matter of getting his mind straight & concentrating on music not solely on dissing & singing hooks as much- isnt that what Ashanti is paid to do. Ja Rule will learn from this album & due to his frustration & fans questioning him about 50 Cent disses & come backs it feels Ja was pushed to rush the album as he has much more talent than this album no doubt.
Rating based on previous albums all aspects from lyrics to production, potential & set backs.