Ja Rule joined in on a protest alongside city officials at City Hall addressing the dismal state of public housing in NYC.
During the winter, hundreds of thousands were left without hot water or heat, and the New York City Housing Authority has done little to tackle concerns.
“They should all be ashamed of themselves,” Ja Rule said regarding New York City mayor Bill De Blasio and state governor Andrew Cuomo at the start of the 24:00 mark. “These are Americans, New Yorkers.”
As someone who grew up in Queens, the issue is close to Ja Rule. "I was raised in public housing, my mom worked two to three jobs to try and feed us," he told FOX 5's Lisa Atkins on a panel earlier this month. "I’m really upset at the fact that we’re all here right now, talking about heat. It’s a human right to have heat in your building that you live in."
NYCHA deals with complaints internally, and this gives landlords wiggle room to get away with things that would never fly under private housing laws. The protest hopes to spread awareness and pressure the appropriate governing bodies, including the Housing Authority, mayor, and governor, into renovating the heating systems in complexes across the city, CBS New York reports.
Heating and water outages are apparently common, affecting 143,000 apartments between October 1, 2017 and January 22, 2018 for up to 48 hours, resulting in four out of every five public housing residents being without one or the other at some point this winter, according to the New York Times.
"Let’s shut this city down. We ain’t paying no more rent until this situation is dealt with," the rapper told the crowd. "No heat, no hot water? No money, no rent."