As you speed past the highways and drift into the theater parking lot hoping you didn’t miss the 8pm time slot for Furious 7, let’s slow down and reminisce on the first movie from the franchise. The Fast and The Furious had it’s opening weekend on June 2001…almost 14 years ago! Hopefully some of you reading this were at least in high school at that time, otherwise I feel damn old right now. Flashbacks to the import car scene, meet ups, exotic models and being broke after buying the car parts you need. Do you all remember Ja Rule’s scene from that movie? It was pretty fast…and furious…haha, ok I couldn’t resist that one. The car race scene in Los Angeles with Ja Rule and Paul Walker’s character was one of the “ooOhhH sNap!” moments in the movie. Spoiler alert, Ja Rule lost the race and his bae Monica gave him the “Scrub” stamp. Hit the jump to see what I’m talking about.
Now kids, this was around the time Ja Rule ruled the radio and had hit after hit. Some would argue it was the best time in hip-hop and others would argue otherwise. To each his own. So naturally when 2 Fast 2 Furious, a sequel to the franchise, came to the big screen, you would think Ja’s character would have raced once more for Monica, yet he was nowhere to be found. In a recent Grantland interview, director John Singleton shines light on Ja’s disappearing act and his ultimate Hollywood fail.
“Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars,” Singleton said. “He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, ‘What? What is this shit?’ This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris.”
SMH Ja, you could have been one of the 7 in the current Furious 7 and would still be relevant to this day. You blew it. This a big lesson for the youngin’s in the hip-hop Hollywood scene. Don’t turn down a sequel because you might just regret it later on.
“Ja Rule not doing 2 Fast 2 Furious changed Ludacris’ life,” Singleton said. “Years later I saw Ja Rule at the Source Awards and we joked about it. I took him under my arm and said, ‘Man, when I call you, you listen. I ain’t calling you for no bullshit.’ He said, ‘Yeah, man, I’m sorry about that.’ He apologized. I love Ja. I still think Ja has a lot of personality and can come back in a different way.”