No one was hotter than Ja Rule in the early 2000s — and the Grammy nominee proved to Us Weekly that he still has the “It” factor.
The 46-year-old rapper (real name: Jeffrey Atkins) ruled the charts and the radio in the Y2K era with top hit after top hit, including “Always on Time,” “Livin’ It Up,” “Put It on Me,” and many more. Despite his many earworm tracks, the “Holla Holla” artist — known for his distinct, gravelly voice — still gets mistaken for other hip-hop stars from the early 2000s.
The “Mesmerize” rapper doesn’t have that problem himself — he can very much tell the difference between his three favorite celebs. “I was most starstruck when I met the three Mikes,” the New York native shares, listing the stars one by one: “Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan.”
Rule, who shares children Brittany, 27, Jeffrey, 22, and Jordan, 17, with wife Aisha Atkins, is a family man through and through, telling Us that his “favorite single” is 1999’s “Daddy’s Little Baby” — the track he wrote for his daughter.
Still, the hip-hop icon makes it known that Ja Rule is still Ja Rule. When sharing his favorite piece of advice, the “Thug Lovin’” rapper notes, “It’s not about the money, it’s about the MONEYYYY!”
Keep scrolling to learn more about Ja Rule — including his grill master skills, his favorite piece of jewelry and more:
1. The meal I cook the best in the kitchen is pizza, but I am the grill man. Lamb chops, shrimp — you name it, I can grill it.
2. My first job was being a rapper. I didn’t have a real job before that. I’ve been lucky to be able to do what I love.
3. “Daddy’s Little Baby” is my favorite single. It’s a song I wrote for my daughter.
4. I was most starstruck when I met the three Mikes: Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan.
5. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: It’s not about the money, it’s about the MONEYYYY!
6. Sunday is my day to relax and unwind. Typically, you’d find me on my bedroom couch with my wife.
7. My favorite sport to play is golf. My running days are over, so I like to stick with golf.
8. My first concert was New Edition.
9. My favorite book is Freakonomics.
10. I should say my wedding ring is my favorite piece of jewelry, but really, it’s my ICONN chain.
11. The artists who inspired me the most growing up were Run-DMC.
12. The quotes I live by are: “The best way to predict the future is to create it” and “Slow motion is better than no motion.”
13. I’m good at everything, but I’m a master Cee-lo roller.
14. My go-to movies are Kingpin and Friday.
15. I’m mistaken for other celebrities all the time: Ludacris, Sisqó and LL Cool J are a few.
16. I love the ownership that comes with the NFT space. We want to empower the next generation of creators and collectors.
17. The first splurge purchases I made were my homes.
18. My favorite piece from The Painted House’s first NFT project Black is Beautiful collection is “Time Out, Again?” It’s a Black Stewie from Family Guy.
19. My advice for rising rappers is, buy a home first! Just kidding — own your art.
20. So much is happening with [livestreaming entertainment company] ICONN Media. Tune in on November 21 for our next live Vibes concert, with legendary artist Rakim.
21. My Source awards meant the most to me because they were the hip-hop award of that time. Doing it for the culture.
22. One experience I’d like to try is surfing.
23. The best gifts I’ve received are my children from my beautiful wife.
24. My biggest fan is a 13-year-old girl named Ashanti. It’s great when you see your music is still inspiring younger generations.
25. I would’ve loved to do something musically with Prince. He was an icon.