First Hit #1: February 23, 2002
The year 2002 opens with Ja Rule – well it opens with a couple hits from the previous year, but then we get to Ja Rule – and the song that bears his name first is a study in contrasts. Ashanti, our female voice, sounds like sweetness and light, singing about being basically loyal, reliable and loving. She gives us the happy love angle of the song, and since she’s got the chorus it’s what sticks around – and she opens and closes the song to boot, which also helps. Then you have Ja Rule, who sounds like he’s gargling a glass full of gravel, and raps lyrics that are trying to brag but make him sound like a massive prick. So we get a song where he brags about rough sex and having drugged up prostitutes on hand, and his compulsion to make a song about getting back together is kind of undercut by the fact that he’s happily presenting himself as a terrible human being. It’s a compelling mix of voices, but there’s really no reason for any woman to get back with Ja Rule, at least going by this song.