He was born in Hollis, Queens, New York.
After his auspicious start on "Can I Get A...", Ja wasted little time preparing and releasing his debut album. It spawned the singles "Holla Holla" and "Daddy's Little Baby", which only achieved moderate success compared to his later singles.
In late 2000, Rule released his sophomore album, which spawned the huge hits "Between Me And You", featuring young newcomer Christina Milian on vocals, and "Put It On Me", featuring his label-mates Vita and Lil Mo. The album's third single, "I Cry", also featured singing from Lil Mo, but the song failed to blow up as the two prior singles had, even despite getting respectable video play on MTV2.
In the fall of 2001, after "I Cry" had run its course, Ja Rule released "Livin' It Up", the first single from his third album, Pain Is Love. The song, which featured guest vocals by R&B singer Case, went on to become another smash hit for the rapper thanks in part to its familiar Stevie Wonder sample. The followup single, "Always On Time", was released in early winter and was even bigger than "Livin' It Up", becoming Ja Rule's biggest pop radio hit to date. The song and video were also notable because they provided MTV viewers and listeners of mainstream radio the first introduction to singer Ashanti, who was the featured singer on the single.
The next single from Pain Is Love, "Down Ass Chick", was a moderate hit at pop radio in spring of 2002 and it featured the return of Charli Baltimore. Following this, Ja Rule featured Bobby Brown, who was then Murda Inc's most recently signed artist, in "Thug Lovin'", the first single from his fourth album, The Last Temptation, in the fall of 2002. It was also not a mainstream hit on the same level as some of his previous singles had been, and Bobby Brown's supposed return to mainstream music with the single has thus far not been a success.
The album's second single, "Mesmerize", once again featured Ashanti on vocals and was another smash pop and urban radio hit--and an enormous MTV and VH1 video hit--for the duo. In late 2002 and early 2003, as Ja Rule ruled mainstream radio with "Mesmerize", another single of his, which featured Ashanti and Nas, "The Pledge", became a sizeable urban radio hit, but failed to gain pop support. The album's final single, "Murder Reigns" also failed to become a huge hit, especially at pop radio, most likely due to controversial song title. MTV and other music video channels only played the video with the censored title of "The Reign", and with the word "murder" removed from the chorus' lyrics. The chorus' female vocalist for "Murder Reigns" was not credited as a "featured" artist.
Despite culling a gangsta image, Ja Rule's biggest hits were hip-hop inspired ballads. "Always On Time" feat Ashanti and "Between Me And You" feat. Christina Milian were two of such songs that married his thuggish image with more sensitive, relationship-minded topics.
In 2003 Ja Rule and fellow MC 50 Cent exchanged insults and disses in a series of singles and underground mixtapes. The fued eventually escalated to such a level that Ja Rule mocked Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lil Mo, Truth Hurts, and Eminem's 6-year-old daughter, Hailie, along with 50 Cent on a single track. He referred to Lil Mo as an ungrateful bitch who has never had a hit single without Ja Rule's help; alluded that Dr. Dre and Eminem were gay lovers and suggested Dre's newest protege, Truth Hurts, might be a transsexual; and even claimed that Eminem's young daughter would end up a prostitute. It remains to be seen whether this 'dispute' will elevate to the level of Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur.
Most recently, Ja Rule has returned in November of 2003 with the new single "Clap Back".