Ja Rule Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Ja Rule f/ Jennifer Lopez "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" (2001)

Album: Pain Is Love
Producer: Irv Gotti & 7 Aurelius

Ja Rule: “That was [former Sony Music head] Tommy Mottola. I did a record for Mariah Carey and Tommy heard that and wanted me to do a record for J. Lo for a record she had on her album called ‘I’m Real.’ I got the record and was like, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ Because it was more of a dance record. I’m like, ‘You want me to redo the whole record? Because I could do that. But I don’t know what to do with this.’ So we remixed it.

“Irv Gotti made the track and I wrote the record in literally 10, 15 minutes. Done deal. Called Tommy, ‘You gotta hear this shit; it’s fucking incredible, it’s the greatest record!’ Tommy comes to The Crack House, our studio, walked up six flights of stairs to hear this record because the elevator was broken.

 

I wrote [the N-word] in her verse and I think people took it out of context. I did that. Blame me. Be mad at me for that. But Spanish and blacks, we throw around that word.

 

“It was special because it was one of the quickest turnarounds in the history of records. It was the fastest turnaround of a record I’ve ever been apart of. We were on the jet the next day going to record and shoot the video. Everything just happened so quick. Jennifer heard the record, she loved the record, did her thing on it. It was a special moment because before that I don’t think there was rap artists writing pop songs or R&B records. I was entering into a new arena and it was fun.

“That record blew up so fast. It took me into a whole different realm. That record really took me global. It was a big record for Jennifer as well because it gave her that urban cool she was looking for. For both of us it was a win-win.

“I wrote [the N-word] in her verse and I think people took it out of context. I did that. Blame me. Be mad at me for that. But Spanish and blacks, we throw around that word. I think it was shocking to hear it coming from a female more than anything. They probably didn’t really look at Jennifer as a Spanish woman. She’s hood—she’s got her pass, she’s allowed to say that. That’s just how we communicate.”

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