Released in 2001, Ja Rule put out Pain is Love as a chart topper with some of his most recognizable hits, cementing his ability to be an artist that ruled the charts for years to come.
Because he previously released two albums, Ja was set up to see the biggest success of a record release for himself so far. Setting a career benchmark, the album was full of star studded features and launched him to being a platinum-selling artist.
It was initially derided by hardcore fans for it’s overtly commercial leanings. The album, however, sold 361,000 copies in it’s first week alone. It also entered the Billboard 200 chart at Number 1. The album eventually went on to become triple platinum certified by the RIAA.
The album would feature three of Rule’s biggest singles, “Livin’ It Up,” “I’m Real (Murder Mix)” with Jennifer Lopez and the Ashanti-assisted “Always On Time,” the latter that would land at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts in 2001.
Ja Rule Has His Last Call
Unfortunately, this album would serve as the pinnacle of Ja’s career. His personal and professional life came to a screeching halt due to many causes soon after the release. Some may point to the personal and professional rivalry that Ja become embroiled in with fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent. Others, however, would also point to the eventual federal racketeering charges that were brought against him by his fellow Murder Inc. label founders, Irv and Chris Gotti.