In 1995, the ‘Livin’ It Up’ rapper joined forces with Jay and X to form the group Murder Inc. – a name which was later used for the Ja’s record label. The trio made their debut on Mic Geronimo’s ‘Time To Build’, taken from the New York rapper’s debut album, ‘The Natural’.
The group would go on to connect, in variations, on several tracks throughout the 90s (most notably ‘It’s Murda’ and ‘Murdagram’), but they never fully realised their potential or released an official project.
Speaking in a new interview, Ja talked about why the group never managed to get off the ground, even with all the hype surrounding them, explaining that there was never a real conversation about an album.
“We knew what was going on, but it was kind of like pulling teeth to get it done,” Ja told HipHopDX, after being asked if they knew record executive Irv Gotti was trying to put a group together officially.
“Jay and X, you couldn’t get them in the same room together,” Ja continued, referring to the the pair’s once-complicated relationship, adding that the reason for the group not developing was more to do with ego than money.
“I was the new artist, so that was an honour for me to be able to walk with those dudes,” he added. “I’d known them before they were who they were and it was like, ‘Okay, I’m rhyming with my partners. My homies.’”
Watch Ja Rule’s interview about Murder Inc. below:
Meanwhile, Jay-Z has continued his foray into the marijuana industry, becoming the Chief Visionary Officer of a new cannabis company.
Last month, the rapper revealed his new new cannabis brand called Monogram, and was named Chief Brand Strategist for California-based cannabis company Caliva last year.
The deal comes as the SPAC have acquired Caliva and another company called Left Coast Ventures, a cannabis and hemp producer. They will all come under the umbrella of the TPCO Holding Corp, of which Jay-Z will be Chief Visionary Officer.
Billboard describe the new deal, which also extends to artists that work with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management company, as “a corporate venture fund that will invest in Black and minority-owned cannabis businesses and contribute to progressive criminal justice initiatives”.