50 Cent and Ja Rule's beef is officially old enough to vote. Few hip-hop feuds are as bitter as this rivalry between Queens music legends, which has spanned nearly two decades, powered by savage diss tracks, spiteful interviews that stoked the fires, social media bashing and physical altercations.
Prior to becoming one of hip-hop's biggest success stories with his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin', 50 Cent was an up-and-coming rapper looking to make his way in the game. He quickly became known for calling rappers out by name on songs like his infamous 1999 single "How to Rob," which included jabs at heavyweights like JAY-Z, Ma$e, DMX and Big Pun. While 50 Cent was considered a buzzworthy prospect, at the time, he was a relative unknown in comparison to Ja Rule, who's own debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci, was certified platinum off the strength of the lead single "Holla Holla," making him one of New York City's leaders of the new school.
Although the circumstances are murky, somewhere along the line, the two artists bumped heads, resulting in 50 Cent throwing down the gauntlet and waging war with Ja Rule and Murder Inc. as a staff, record label and as a crew. What ensued was one of hip-hop's longest-lasting, most-heated beefs—a conflict that's still simmering to this day.
With the battle between the two artists having heated back up, XXL looks back on the history of the beef from its onset, compiling the key run-ins, diss tracks, interviews and clashes that have added to this age-old clash.
Ja Rule Robbed at Gunpoint in Queens
In 1999, Ja Rule was robbed at gunpoint for his chain in Southside Jamaica, Queens. 50 Cent alleges that Ja Rule witnessing him hanging in the club with the culprit weeks after the incident sparked the bad blood between them. However, Ja, who would later confirm the robbery, denies that he ever witnessed Fif with the man in question. He says that 50's ire stems from being snubbed by the Murder Inc. camp during a shoot for his single, "Murda 4 Life."
50 Cent Releases "Life's on the Line"
In October 1999, 50 Cent released "Life's on the Line," a single from his shelved debut studio album Power of the Dollar and a blatant diss record directed towards Ja Rule and Murder Inc. While the record doesn't name Ja Rule directly, 50's mockery of his label's signature "Murda" chant throughout the song was enough to give fans a clue of the intended targets. "Life's on the Line" would be a minor street hit, peaking at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, but was ultimately a blip on the radar in comparison to Ja Rule's debut album Venni Vetti Vecci, which would sell more than one million units and establish Ja as one of rap's brightest young stars.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Fight in Atlanta
Following the release of "Life's on the Line," 50 Cent and Ja Rule bumped heads while at an Atlanta nightclub at which the two were booked to perform. They got into a heated argument that turned into a physical altercation, during which the two rappers' necklaces popped. A member of 50's crew recovered Ja's pendant. According to Fif, a deal was brokered for Ja Rule to receive his pendant back in exchange for a Movado watch, a claim that Ja Rule vehemently denies. The incident escalated the beef between the two artists and was a catalyst for the chain of events to come.
50 Cent Gets Stabbed At Hit Factory
The G-Unit and Murder Inc. crews crossed paths once again in March 2000 at the Hit Factory studios in New York City. After getting word that 50 Cent was there recording, Ja and his crew paid the rapper a visit, leading to an altercation during which Fif suffered a stab wound and led to the arrest of Ja Rule and Murder Inc. rapper Black Child, who has taken credit for the stabbing on record. Still, 50 would later downplay the attack in interviews.
50 Cent Releases "Wanksta"
50 Cent and G-Unit released No Mercy, No Fear—Fif's first mixtape after inking a million-dollar deal with Shady/Aftermath Records—in August 2002. One of the more popular songs from the tape was "Wanksta," a track 50 Cent credited as being inspired by Ja Rule. It became Fif's first hit single, peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and beginning to level the playing field between him and his Murder Inc. counterpart.
50 Cent Accused of Filing for an Order of Protection
In November 2002, Irv Gotti alleged that 50 Cent had signed an order of protection against him and Ja Rule in the aftermath of the brawl at the Hit Factory. Gotti, who made the claims during a visit to The Star & Buc Wild Morning Show, revealed the information to put 50's street credibility in question and paint him as an informant. Yet Fif denied the allegations, which did little to temper his buzz. While the validity of the order of protection was initially questioned, it has since been confirmed that it does exist but was issued on 50's behalf as a formality by the NYPD.
50 Cent Releases "I Smell Pussy"
Following Irv Gotti claims of 50 Cent being a snitch and signing an order of protection against him and Ja Rule, the G-Unit general returned fire quickly on the mixtape G-Unit - The Future Is Now, which contained multiple attacks on Murder Inc (including a series of hilarious skits that satirized Ja's singing). One track in particular, the Sam Sneed-produced "I Smell Pussy," was especially scathing, with 50 calling out Ja Rule, Irv Gott, Black Child and Cadillac Tah by name on yet another verbal assault against his rivals.
Violator Management Offices Gets Shot Up
On January 16, 2003, an unknown gunman opened fire in the offices of Violator Records and Violator Management, which handled the career of 50 Cent at the time. Although no employees or artists were injured in the shooting and no arrests were made, early reports tied the incident to the beef between Fif and Ja Rule and was the latest indication that the issues between the two had escalated to a point of no return.
50 Cent Releases "Back Down"
50 Cent dropped his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' on Feb. 6, 2003, taking the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 and earning nearly universal acclaim. One of the most anticipated tracks was the Dr. Dre-produced "Back Down," which takes Ja Rule and Murder Inc. to task, questioning their authenticity and street credibility throughout. Despite not being released as a single, "Back Down" was one of the most popular tacks on the classic album—it applied even more pressure on Ja Rule and Murder Inc.
Ja Rule Releases "Loose Change"
After remaining relatively silent in the face of 50 Cent's smear campaign, Ja Rule returned fire in April 2003 with the diss track "Loose Change," taking aim at 50 Cent and G-Unit, as well as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and Chris Lighty. He even threw a shot at Em's daughter, Hailie, showing that he had no intention of throwing in the towel and was willing to go toe-to-toe with his adversary.
50 Cent, Eminem and Busta Rhymes Diss Ja Rule on "Hail Mary"
One week after Ja Rule's "Loose Change" diss, 50 Cent, Eminem and Busta Rhymes' response "Hail Mary" dropped via DJ Kay Slay. The incendiary retort poked fun at the Murder Inc. rapper's infatuation with Tupac Shakur by revamping one of the slain rapper's biggest songs. The trio went all out in an attempt to assassinate Rule's character in one of the more memorable diss tracks from its era.
Ja Rule Releases "Guess Who Shot Ya"
Continuing where he left off on "Loose Change," Ja Rule unleashed another verbal assault on 50 Cent and G-Unit with the oft-forgotten "Guess Who Shot Ya," which finds the chart-topping rapper throwing jabs at his competition with a nimble flow over a classic Biggie instrumental.
Ja Rule Releases 'Blood In My Eye' Album
Ja Rule's fifth studio album Blood in My Eye dropped in November 2003 and it plays like a 50 Cent dedication. Much of the album's content focused on the conflict with 50 Cent and G-Unit, led by the modestly successful single "Clap Back." It was a stark contrast to Ja's more melodic material—especially the more aggressive records like the title track and "Things Gon' Change"—yet the album was critically-panned and fell short of the success of previous multi-platinum releases Rule 3:36, Pain Is Love and The Last Temptation. It was Ja Rule's first quantifiable L in the battle.
Ja Rule Accuses 50 Cent of Copying His Style
In 2007, Ja Rule stopped by Hot 97 for an interview on the Angie Martinez Show. During the conversation, the topic turned to his long-standing beef with 50 Cent. Ja touched on the similarity in his music and 50's after Fif signed his deal with Shady/Aftermath and the double-standard in the realm of public perception.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Diss Each Other on Twitter
In 2011, Ja Rule plead guilty to federal tax evasion, a charge that would cause him to serve two years in prison. 50 Cent found it a perfect opportunity to poke fun at his arch-nemesis on Twitter. Ja didn't find Fif's comments humorous at all, so he quickly fired back with posts disparaging the G-Unit boss, who continued to go on the offense, deeming Ja Rule irrelevant and making light of his impending prison sentence.
Later, Ja declared that he would not engage in social media beef with 50 and that their beef was over in his eyes. Or so he thought...
Ja Rule Admits Defeat in 50 Cent Battle
In September 2013, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti stopped by Hot 97 for an interview with Angie Martinez about their recent endeavors and future plans. When the conversation turned to the feud between Murder Inc. and G-Unit, Ja Rule admitted that he felt that he and Murder Inc. lost the war, for a myriad of reasons, including the federal investigation into the label.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Cross Paths
In November 2013, Ja Rule and 50 Cent crossed paths for the first time in years while the two were taking a flight. Ja Rule, who shared the experience with his fans on social media, noted that there were no issues between the two and no altercations while chiding fans for egging on the bitter feud between the two.
50 Cent Disses Ja Rule Hot 97 Summer Jam
50 Cent was one of the headliners of Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert in 2014 and took the opportunity to mock Murder Inc. once again, performing the diss track "I Smell Pussy" during his set. But he was somewhat carrying on tradition: 50 had previously put Ja on the Summer Jam screen in 2003, and offered him a "Grannie Award" for "wackest rapper" in 2004 (Joe Budden and Black Child were also recipients of the made-up honor).
After Ja Rule got wind of the 2014 performance, he hopped on social media to speak his piece, deeming his longtime rival as obsessed and thanking Fif for the free publicity.
Ja Rule Accuses 50 Cent of Helping The Feds
In July 2014, Ja Rule released the memoir Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man, which chronicled his rise to the fame and the peaks and valleys of his career and personal life. In one passage, Ja Rule claims that 50 Cent's information helped lead to the federal investigation into Murder Inc. and their ties to Kenneth 'Supreme' McGriff, a charge which 50 Cent had denied in the past.
50 Cent and Ja Rule Weigh In on Drake and Meek Mill Beef
50 Cent vs. Ja Rule Gets New Life via Twitter
No one could've predicted that Ja Rule would let his Twitter fingers get to click-clacking at 50 Cent on Jan. 19, 2018, but his shots were heard near and far. His ire apparently stemmed from an interview that 50 Cent and his Den of Thieves co-star O'Shea Jackson Jr. did that same week. In the interview, 50 poked fun at Ja Rule and joked about the effect that their battle had on his popularity. After getting wind of the comments, Ja shared a few views of his own. When will it end?
Ja Rule Shouts Out 50 Cent's Son, Marquise Jackson
In a since-deleted Instagram post, 50 Cent slighted Ja Rule with a Power meme and captioned the photo: “Ja Rule’s kids asking him for the 100th time if they could watch Power." Shortly after, Rule dug up an old interview of 50 Cent's son, Marquise Jackson, who praised the "I'm Real" rapper for being one of the first hip-hop artists to sing and rap.
"Glad I was able to inspire you and your dad...@50cent," Ja Rule wrote.
Ja Rule Brings Up 50 Cent Diss Track During Pusha T and Drake Beef
After Pusha T unleashed "The Story of Adidon," nearly every rapper hopped on social media to give their take on his diss against Drake. Ja Rule tweeted out "Drake, Push ima let y'all finish but 'Loose Change' was one of the most disrespectful diss records of ALL TIME...," referencing one of the many diss tracks he made aimed at 50 Cent.
In response, the Southside Bully reposted a photo from Ja's chaotic Fyre Festival in 2017. "This is what you get for going to anything with this bum involved," 50 tweeted.
Ja Rule laughed it off and followed up with a few more tweets of his own.
50 Cents Taunts Ja Rule After a Cancelled Show
After one of Ja Rule's shows in Syracuse, N.Y. was cancelled, 50 Cent took the opportunity to take a jab at his nemesis once again.
In a tweet, 50 wrote: "only 10 tickets sold don’t nobody want to see that shit, you talking about wait we get a lot a people on the walk up."
A few hours later, Ja Rule tweeted event promotion company Live Nation and asked them to set up "the Ja Rule vs. @50cent tour" so he could "tear his ass up on stage every fucking night."
"50 your my SON... I OWN your soul," Ja added.
50 Cent Allegedly Buys 200 Tickets to a Ja Rule Show
There probably has never been a pettier rapper than 50 Cent, who proved just how petty he could be after claiming he bought 200 tickets at $15 a pop for a Ja Rule concert in Nov. 2018.
"I just bought 200 seats in the front so they can be empty. LOL," the "Get the Strap" rapper wrote in his Instagram comments.
Not one to ignore the MC's jabs, Ja Rule responded by referring to 50 as a "ho ass nigga" and "lil ape looking bitch on social media." Rule also reposted a photo with 50 and a transexual fan at an event, writing "So this what goes on at them effen vodka events... drink responsibly fellas!!! #birdsofafeather @50cent sassy" in the caption.
50 Cent Claims People Don't Wanna See Ja Rule PerformSeptember 22, 2018
50 Cent Buys 200 Seats To Ja Rule Concert October 26, 2018
Continuing the onslaught against his arch nemesis, in October 2018, 50 Cent made light of the low ticket prices for a Ja Rule performance. "People think I'm mean so go see this. $15 bucks wait what I do now LOL," he wrote as an Instagram caption alongside a photo of the tickets being sold on Groupon.The rapper took things further in the post, commenting that he'd maliciously purchased hundreds of front-row tickets for the show. "I just bought 200 seats in the front so they can be empty. LOL," he wrote.
Ja Rule Fires BackOctober 28, 2018
Days after 50 Cent's claims of purchasing tickets to a Ja Rule show, the rapper struck back with a series of unflattering posts on social media. He first posted a photo of 50 with a wig and makeup edited onto the image. "This look fits you Ol ho ass nigga... @50cent," he captioned the pic. Next up, Ja posted a photo of Fif posting with a fan who appears to be a transsexual woman. "So this what goes on at them effen vodka events... drink responsibly fellas!!! #birdsofafeather @50cent sassy," Ja wrote under the photo. From there, Ja took his tirade to Twitter, uploading a fake photo of Curtis with a wig and makeup with the caption, "This beef is a JOKE to everyone except this lil ape looking bitch... she mad mad!!!"
50 Cent Says Beef With Ja Rule Won't End Until One of Them Is DeadNovember 6, 2018
50 Cent and Ja Rule exchanged taunts via Instagram in November 2018, with Ja Rule challenging Fif to "#PULL UP" in a comment under one of the latter's posts. The G-Unit general responded with his own retort, commenting "South Side rules apply. It's never over. We may take a break, but [it] ain't over till one of us gone."
Ja Rule Accuses 50 Cent of Tearing Down People of ColorNovember 7, 2018
In the aftermath of the crossfire between himself and 50 Cent on Instagram the day before, Ja Rule voiced his remorse for participating in the war of words and vowed that it would his last time addressing his longtime foe. “This will be my last post about @50cent and I wanna be serious for second and just say me and this man went back and forth yesterday like school kids…” Ja wrote. “But not once did I see him use his platform of 20 million followers for ANYTHING uplifting I’m sure he didn’t vote didn’t encourage anyone to vote only Tom fucking foolery tearing down other ppl of color always talking shit with yo stink breath ass.” He capped off his tirade, adding, “EVERYONE is tired of you... let’s STOP supporting ppl who don’t support their own you boot licking ring kissing COON…”
Ja Rule Calls 50 Cent A ParasiteApril 19, 2019
In 2019, Ja Rule uploaded a fiery speech from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan with a caption airing his grievances with 50 Cent, dubbing his rival a "parasite" and more.“THIS is why me and 50 will NEVER co exist he’s a parasite a cancer to the culture and our [people]," Ja wrote in the caption of the post. "He comes out with music takes shots at me Kanye etc. comes out with liquor takes shots at Diddy comes out with his show takes shots at Taraji always downing his own ppl,” he continues. “Always running his fucking yuk mouth until the smoke gets thick then you wanna make anonymous calls to the Feds and NYPD talking about you scared for your life. Lmao smh then when the minister called for both of us to sit with him for hip hop unity you gave this man your ass to kiss complete definition of a SUCKER,” he continued. “I’m saying all this to say I will not be engaging in any more back and forth with this goofy ass nigger Curtis Ratson!!!
50 Cent Roasts Ja Rule and Irv GottiJuly 19, 2019
50 Cent took yet another verbal swipe at Ja Rule after footage surfaced online of Rule and Irv Gotti arguing with security during a Murder Inc. showcase at NYC venue SOBs. "Look at this bitch-ass nigga DJ. He can't even breathe and shit," 50 says in an Instagram clip replaying the altercation. "SOBs access denied. Look at these niggas yo. Oh shit." Ja Rule would quickly responds, posting a video of a showering rat, along with the paperwork Fif allegedly filed against Rule and Gotti following their brawl at The Hit Factory.
"Curtis is that you... of ALL people you know what it feel like to get yo ass whoop by me my niggas lol... SCARED FOR YOUR LIFE AS NIGGA... oh I know this paperwork is FAKE too lmao... I CHALLENGE ANY BLOG ANY NEWS OUTLET see if those officers on this paperwork exists find them interview them 50 you pee sitting down bitch ass nigga... #lilcurtisratson #iwantsmoke," Ja Rule wrote in the caption.
Ja Rule Wants Proof 50 Cent Bought TicketsAugust 20, 2019
Following multiple claims by 50 Cent that he bought hundreds of tickets to a Ja Rule show in 2018, Rule challenged someone to provide proof that the purchase was actually made. This [clown emoji] @50cent is the pathological LIAR,” Ja tweeted. “I’ll cash app 10 bands to ANYBODY who has pics or footage of said show bozo bought 200 tix to so it could be empty... I’ll wait... y’all believe anything goofy tell y’all.." As of press time, no one has taken Rule up on his offer.
Ja Rule Verbally Attacks 50 Cent's 6ix9ine CommentsSeptember 10, 2019
Following an appearance on The Breakfast Club, during which 50 Cent dissociated himself from rapper 6ix9ine in light of his cooperation with the federal government, Ja Rule accused the rapper of being a hypocrite. "Pot calling the kettle black," Ja wrote with a rat emoji in the comments of clip of Fif's remarks. He later added "Here come all the dick riders," in response to fans coming to his rival's defense. "I love making you nut guzzlers BIG MAD... your hero 50 a hoe I would @ him but I'm blocked... punk mothafucka can dish it can't take it. @cthagod come get ya mans!!!"
Ja Rule Calls 50 Cent A Bad FatherOctober 7, 2019
During his appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, one of the topics of conversation was Ja Rule's long-running feud with 50 Cent, which the rapper initially attempted to downplay, saying "when you entertain clowns, you become a part of the circus." But when asked to say three nice things about 50, Ja Rule decided to go for the jugular. "He's a bad father," the Murder Inc. rapper began. "He got like a big, square-like head, and one more thing. What else can I say nice about him? He looks like his breath stinks all the time."
50 Cent Jokingly Says He’s Afraid of Ja RuleOctober 15, 2019
50 Cent trolls Ja Rule, as well as Jim Jones and Freekey Zekey via Instagram. "I'm so afraid of Ja Rule, Jim Jones and Freekey that I'm hiding out in Texas," says the “Many Men” rapper in a video he posted to his account. "Please, whatever you do, don't tell them I'm staying in San Antonio. Umm, don't tell them I'm staying at the Four Seasons. Don't tell them, please, just don't tell them. So much pressure on me right now I don't know what to do. I'm afraid, man.” … 50 Cent’s recent shot at the Murder Inc artist came days after saying his longtime rival, “looks like his breath stinks all the time,” among other things.