Ja Rule Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Ja Rule "Holla Holla" (1999) / Ja Rule f/ Jay Z, Vita, Caddillac Tah, Memphis Bleek & Busta Rhymes "Holla Holla (Remix)" (1999)

Album: Venni Vetti Vecci / Irv Gotti Presents: The Murderers
Producer: Irv Gotti & Ty Fyffe / Tai & Irv Gotti

Ja Rule: “It’s funny because ‘Holla Holla’ was the last record I made for Venni Vetti Vecci. I had the album completed and the album was sounding really good, but Def Jam’s kind of like, ‘Where’s the hit?’

At the time, I’m just like, ‘What the fuck you talking about? They’re all hits! This is great shit we just put together.’ I didn’t grasp the idea of making a radio record. I still don’t make records that way, I just make records by the way I feel or what’s going on in my day.

 

Me and Jay are still good. I was going to go out and hang out with him at [the Legends of the Summer concert with Justin Timberlake at Yankee Stadium], but it just wasn’t happening. I still had the bracelet [ankle monitor] on.

 

“I got that beat in the ninth inning and I created what I call my stutter flow. That’s when you got the doubling up on the verses with the lyrics. It was catchy, it was creative and it became my lead single. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes he’s not there when you call, but he’s always on time.

“I remember Busta coming on my tour bus and he was like, ‘I gotta get on this record!’ I think that’s when the idea hit right then for me to do a remix to ‘Holla Holla.’ And then we were on the Hard Knock Life tour and Jay just hit me and said, ‘I got my verse.’ He hit me with some of it and I was like, ‘This is gonna be a big record.’

“Me and Jay are still good. I was going to go out and hang out with him at [the Legends of the Summer concert with Justin Timberlake at Yankee Stadium], but it just wasn’t happening. I still had the bracelet [ankle monitor] on.

“I love what Jay has done as far as the growth of hip-hop. He’s done a lot of big things. That’s dope. I’m happy for him. It’s crazy to see it coming from where we all came from. He’s a smart businessman. He’s definitely done a lot for hip-hop, which is dope.”

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