Eminem is no stranger to feuding with other celebrities. Since the beginning of his controversial career, the Detroit rapper (real name Marshall Mathers) has antagonised everyone. Whether it’s actors like Will Smith or pop stars such as Christina Aguilera, the artist almost enjoys it. However, Em’s beef with fellow rapper Ja Rule was slightly more complicated.
Unlike most of Eminem’s other feuds, the rapper didn’t directly taunt or disrespect Ja Rule in a track at first. However, the beef was something that he got involuntarily roped into. Queens rapper Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins) initially had a feud with 50 Cent. However, the bad blood began to spill out, and before long, the rappers were calling on their comrades to get involved.
50 Cent was signed to Eminem’s label Shady Records, and the Detroit rapper was his closest friend in the industry. At first the ‘In Da Club’ hit-maker handled his issues with Atkins alone. However, when Ja Rule began involving his crew Murder Inc 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) knew he would have to up the ante. Ja Rule and 50 Cent’s beef originated in the late 1990s when a robbery took place in Queens that saw Jackson lose his chains. Although there is much confusion and varying recollections about what actually happened it didn’t stop the two from developing a mutual resentment going into the 2000s.
Throughout the 2000s, Atkins and Jackson were at loggerheads dissing each other. On one occasion, the two even exchanged physical blows and got into a fight. However, before long, due to simple affiliation, Ja decided to go after Eminem. On the track, ‘Loose Change’ the rapper went for the jugular by calling out Mathers’ family. Talking about Mathers’ mum, ex-girlfriend and daughter, Ja Rule proclaimed, “Em, you claim your mother’s a crackhead/ And Kim is a known slut/ So what’s Hailie gonna be when she grows up?”
With such derogatory slurs directed towards his family, the Detroit rapper did not hesitate to retaliate and did so with a series of diss records like ‘Doe Rae Me (Hailie’s Revenge)’ and a remix of 2pac’s ‘Hail Mary’ featuring 50 and Busta Rhymes. This is where the back and forth began. Diss tracks, including Ja Rule’s, ‘Clap Back’ and Eminem’s ‘Go To Sleep’ from the Cradle 2 the Grave soundtrack, saw tit-for-tat insults escalate.
However, by 2004 Eminem was so exhausted by the feud he saw no point in wasting anymore time engaging with the rapper and put out a track in which he claimed that Shady Records had won the war and that it was over insinuating he would no longer be taking part in what he considered a redundant, unprofitable and childish battle.
Although Mathers didn’t need Ja Rule to maintain his relevancy, by the mid-2000s it seemed as if Atkins was relying on Jackson and Mathers to stay in the spotlight. Appearing on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Ja said perhaps they should end things but negated that statement by declaring that he and 50 were really “sworn enemies” making their feud one of the longest in hip-hop history.
You can hear Ja Rule’s diss directed at Eminem in the video below as well as Eminem’s response in the videos below.