Ja Rule is pushing back at Melle Mel's claim that Ja copied 50 Cent and is countering the opposite.

On Friday (March 17), TMZ caught up with Ja Rule and asked him to address Mel's comments that Ja tried to be like Fif when he made the track "New York" in 2004.

"Mel’s earned the right to say whatever he wants," Ja Rule said after laughing off the notion of him copying 50 Cent. "But me copying 50 is like the funniest sh*t ever ‘cause 50 copied me. You know what I’m sayin’? I was his blueprint … I don’t know how Mel got that timeline f****d up but everybody know that."

"But other than that, my 'New York' record was huge—humongous," Ja Rule continued. "One of the biggest New York records to date. 'Empire State of Mind' is a huge New York record as well but they’re different. Mine’s the street anthem and 'Empire State of Mind' is a big commercial kind of record with Alica Keys and Jay-Z. Mines is me, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, its gutter. A hundred guns, a hundred clips. Big shout to KRS-One. You know, that’s his lyric."

Ja Rule is responding to comments hip-hop pioneer Melle Mel made during a recent interview on The Art of Dialogue, where he accused the "Always on Time" rapper of biting Fif's style.

"It’s like when 50 Cent was doing his s**t and then when Ja Rule, and that was probably one of his last big records, 'Got a hundred rounds, a hundred clips/I’m from New York, New York,'" Melle Mel said at the 2:42-mark in the interview below. "If he would’ve just made that record a pure New York record, it would’ve been a way bigger record. But he went the route of trying to sound hard because 50 Cent sounds hard."

Mel continued: "And it was still a good record, but I’m just saying if he would’ve just made it a pure New York record, like how Jay-Z did with his New York record. If he would’ve went along the same lines as that. So, the points in it that consciousness does have its place in hip-hop but everybody is too scared about not being hard and that’s the destruction of the whole game."

This isn't the first time Ja claimed he influenced 50 Cent. And it probably won't be the last.

Melle Mel made multiple headlines with his Art of Dialogue interviews for comments on Eminem, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and more.

See Ja Rule Claiming 50 Cent Copied Ja Below

See Rappers' Real Names

More From XXL