Was there an artist you saw everywhere at one time or another and thought that they would always be “on”? Yeah, the 00s (and the ’90s) were filled with them, but a change in the sound of Hip-Hop and R&B, and a change in the way people buy and obtain music (and a change in skills and vocal abilities…) has caused some of the people who used to be on top to be somewhat forgotten about these days. It happens often, but we were surprised when these particular people (who aren’t one-hit wonders) were on top–and then all of a sudden were nowhere near the top years later.
You couldn’t tell me after Ja Rule was on top of the charts with albums like Rule 3:36 and Pain Is Love, and after helping Jennifer Lopez get two #1 hits with “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny,” that he wasn’t going to be on top for years to come.
Well before and after the release of The Last Temptation, Ja Rule (born Jeffrey Atkins) started heavily beefing publically with 50 Cent, who would be a formidable threat in the rap game about to take the top spot. And on top of that, after a while, Murder Inc. was under investigation for drug trades, so Ja ended up leaving the company behind in 2009. From there, he was no longer the big fish and eventually found himself in prison for gun possession. Now out and about, Ja still performs (he just did a show in Nigeria with Ashanti), but people aren’t necessarily checking for him like they used to.