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“I appreciate the rocks and gifts that you cop me baby!”

Remember those lyrics and Vita’s hood delivery on Ja Rule‘s summer anthem “Put It On Me”? With Lil Mo’s vocals on the chorus it was one of the biggest hits of his career and of my teenage life. Little did we know, Vita’s verse was written from the perspective of Ja Rule’s longtime wife, Aisha Murray.

How long? 13 years! Ja Rule and his wife are one of the few celebrity couples who’ve withstood the test of time and trust me, after talking to Ja about his role in “I’m In Love With A Church Girl” (released on DVD last week), he’s still gushing over the mother of his children.

Ja Rule is set to kick off BET’s first #ThrowbackThursday performance with a medley of his classics on their January 23rd show and we can’t help but feel nostalgic…

We spoke with Ja about his recent movie role, keeping his wife happy and the song that he calls his favorite!

HelloBeautiful: How has religion played a part in your life?

Ja Rule: “I never was a religious person, but since the movie, religion has kind of made it’s way back into my life a little bit. I’ve always been a spiritual person and have my thing, my one-on-one with God. I feel everybody should have that. I met a lot of good people inside the churches, so I go every once in a while.”

HB: What’s your favorite mainstream Ja Rule song?

Ja: “Probably ‘Put it on me.’ I made that for my wife, so that’s one of my favorites.”

HB: That Vita verse was about her?

Ja: “That was Vita putting my wife’s thoughts on paper. Vita’s rhyme and lyric on the [song] actually do express a little of what me and my wife went through.”

HB: How have you managed to stay together when we see celeb marriages fail?

Ja: “You know, you gotta keep it freaky. Have a little fun, I think it’s more about enjoying each other’s company and having fun, and not taking it so seriously. It really is like I married my friend.”

HB: You had a crazy rumor that you left your wife for your prison mate, when you hear things like that does it ever surprise you?

Ja: “You know, I laugh. I’ve been getting teased.  When you’re married, you do the couples’ hangouts and so my good friends, they’ve been calling me gay now, that’s the new joke. So, yeah, I gotta deal with the jokesters now.”

HB: What was the craziest thing you ever read about yourself?

Ja: “Probably that. That was just absolutely crazy ‘cause they had quotes from wifey and everything. It’s amazing how people could just make s**t up like that. My lawyer sent a cease and desist letter and the site said, ‘No, no, no. There’s a disclaimer on my site that says it’s a parody site.’ But, nobody reads that part! Will Smith said something funny, he said ‘You haven’t made it until you’ve been called gay.’ So, I guess I made it now.”

MUST READ: Ja Rule Says New Film Helped Him Find Jesus

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.