Ja Rule is the platinum-selling hip-hop artist who rose to fame with the hits "I'm Real" and "Always On Time" in the early 2000s. He is also famous for his numerous feuds with other rappers and, as of June 2011, for landing himself in jail.
Ja Rule was born Jeffery Atkins in 1976 to a single mother living in Queens. He dropped out of high school and began his rap career in 1994 with the hip-hop group Cash Money Click. In 1995, he made his first solo appearance on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build," which also featured then unknown rappers, Jay-Z and DMX. His first CD, Venni, Vetti, Vecci, was released in 1999, and he dropped a new CD every year over the following five years. From 2000 to 2004 Ja Rule had a number of top 20 hits, including "I'm Real," with J. Lo, "Always on Time," with Ashanti. In 2009 Ja Rule was cut from his label, The Inc. Records (formerly Murder Inc.).
Ja Rule's success in the 2000s was interspersed with famous feuds, most notably with 50 Cent, Eminem, and DMX. Thankfully, all of the personal feuds have cooled down since their origins in the late 90s, though Rule's feud with the state of New York escalated. In 2007 he was arrested for drug and gun possession charges, and in June of 2011 he began serving his two-year sentence. A month later he received an additional 28-months sentence for tax evasion for failing to pay tax on more than $3 million between 2004 and 2006 (oops).
Rule has been married since 2001 to his longtime sweetheart Aisha Atkins. The two have three kids together, Brittney, Jeffery Jr., and Jordan. [Image via Getty]