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Written by on March 16, 2023

Ja Rule and 50 Cent‘s beef was one of Hip Hop’s most infamous feuds, and Melle Mel thinks things may have gone differently for Ja if he wasn’t trying to “copy” 50’s gangsta ways.

In a new clip released from the legendary rapper’s recent sit-down with The Art of Dialogue, he shared his thoughts on why rappers trying to be “hard” is resulting in the destruction of the genre.

“A lot of rappers could be better rappers if they stopped rapping like everybody else,” Mel said. “What is it that you need to say? You could be the n-gga that made a song about a pool party, but you fucked around and listened to Meek Mill and went and you fucked around and did some dumb shit. It’s just like when 50 Cent was doing this shit and then when Ja Rule and that was probably one of his last big records. [Raps Ja’s ‘New York’]”

He continued: “If he woulda just made that record a pure New York record, it would have been a way bigger record. But he went the route of trying to sound hard because 50 Cent sound hard. And it was still a good record but I’m just saying, if he woulda just made it a pure New York record like how JAY-Z did with his New York record. See what I’m saying? If he woulda went along the same lines as that.”

“So the point [I’m] saying is 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.”

Check out Melle Mel’s comments below:

50 Cent recently reflected on his high-profile feud with Ja Rule almost 20 years later, admitting that he was “buggin’” for going to war with Fat Joe and anyone else who aligned themselves with Ja at the time.

“There’s an element, a part of our culture that I’m aware of it because I am it,” he said in a February interview with Rolling Stone. “Your Lil Durks, your NBA YoungBoys, the whole surrounding cast of that … it almost splits our culture in half because when you cool with one, you can’t work with the other.

“I was using the same thinking in the very beginning of my career because it’s just the thinking you would use in the environment. If anybody went next to Ja Rule, I’d jump on the person who featured with them, anybody who was faintly near them, ’cause I put him on life support and you wanna go resuscitate him.

“So that energy, later you look at it and you go, ‘I was buggin.’”

50 went on to praise Joey Crack for his loyalty to Ja Rule and Murder Inc., describing him as the type of friend everybody needs in their corner.

“Fat Joe, his issues, I would see him a little uncomfortable with the success I was having, and I interpreted as, ‘He doesn’t like me,’ when he’s really the kind of guy you want to be friends with because he’s loyal to a default,” he added. “He’s so loyal for one record that [Murder Inc.] did with him that we became enemies.”


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