Why Ja Rule didn’t mind Jennifer Lopez using the N-word on his track
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Why Ja Rule didn't mind Jennifer Lopez using the N-word on his track

Queens emcee and star of Murder Inc, Ja Rule, was a hip-hop star during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The lyricist (real name Jeffrey Atkins) dominated the charts at the turn of the millennium, and with hits such as ‘Always On Time’ and ‘Mesmerize’, the musician was unstoppable.

In a recent interview, Ja Rule defended the Bronx vocalist Jennifer Lopez for her use of the N-word on the ‘I’m Real’ remix in 2001. However, at the time, the singer received a lot of backlash for it. However, Atkins still stands by his choice to allow Lopez to use the word.

Jennifer Lopez was one of the biggest R’n’B stars of the late-1990s. With hits such as ‘If You Had My Love’ and ‘Waiting For Tonight,’ the Bronx singer and actress was a superstar. However, she had yet to appeal to the urban market and therefore recruited the likes of Ja Rule to feature on her songs.

Rule and Lopez collaborated on two of their biggest hits in 2001. The single ‘I’m Real’ featured on Lopez’s second album, J.Lo, while the ‘I’m Real (Murder Remix)’ featured on Ja Rule’s project, Pain Is Love, as well as Lopez’s LP, J to tha L–O! The Remixes.

The remix, which was written entirely by Atkins, heard Lopez sing, “Now people screaming ‘What the deal with you and so-and-so’ / I tell ’em n*ggas mind their biz but they don’t hear me though.” However, in an interview with DJ Vlad for Vlad TV, Ja Rule unveiled he sees no problem with it, arguing Lopez’s Spanish roots give her a pass to say the N-word.

Opening up about it, Atkins explained, “It’s kind of an unwritten thing that Spanish and Puerto Ricans and n*ggas, we’re all kind of in the same family. So it’s like, why can’t she say n*gga? All of my Spanish n*ggas I know say n*gga. I never looked at them in any way and said, ‘Yo, watch that.'”

He continued, “I think they were upset because they don’t see her as ‘Jenny From The Block’ or Jenny from the Bronx. They see her as this icon. Matter of factly, some people probably see her as white. They don’t understand the dialogue that is used in our hoods.”

At the time of the backlash, Lopez was labelled a racist. by ABC News, at the time she released a statement to The Associated Press, saying the notion that she’s racist is “absurd and hateful.” You can hear the song in the video below