By Carter Maness
During a recent appearance on “RapFix Live,” integral Roc-A-Fella rapper and storied Jay-Z sideman Memphis Bleek commented on many of his longstanding relationships in the music industry. He particularly praised his old friend Ja Rule, who is currently in prison serving a two-year sentence as the result of a 2007 gun bust in New York City.
Saying that Ja is his friend for life both inside and outside the rap world, Bleek cited their history and similar ages as a bonding point. “Yeah, man, Ja my dude. Ja for life,” he said to RapFix, responding to a Twitter question. “That’s gonna always be my dude. Me and Ja came up together. If you watch the “Hard Knock Life” DVD, I was with him everyday.”
Commenting on the severe damage that Ja went through from beefing with fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent at the peak of powers, Bleek said he never even thought about jumping ship and being disloyal to a longtime friend. “Unfortunately, you know, the incident with him and 50, it is what it is. You know, it’s the rap game. That ain’t never change our relationship. Just because one person don’t rock with you, don’t mean I’m not gonna rock with you. I am who I am. I’m from where I’m from and I do what I do,” he said.
For Bleek, there’s a big difference between true friendship and family and how many people operate in the rap game. He says that the sorts of friendships he has with people like Jay-Z and other Roc-A-Fella rappers, as well as Ja Rule, goes way deeper than rap. “Ja my man without rap,” he said. “Certain people in this business, y’all friends because of rap. Me and Ja are friends before rap; Before he had a record deal and dropped “Holla Holla,” before I dropped “Memphis Bleek Is,” we was chillin.”