Ja Rule’s career has largely been defined by his radio hits. Many forget that prior to the Murder Inc movement of the late 90’s through the early 2000’s he was a member of Cash Money Click. The other members were O-1 and Chris Black who later went by Jody Mack. The group was signed to the label TVT Records and put out that true authentic New York “boom bap” music that was prominent in the early to mid-90’s.
VladTV – Ja Rule Interview regarding Cash Money Click
In 1994 they put out two singles with videos, “4 My Click” with Mic Geronimo and “Get tha Fortune” which had a remix as well. The music had a nice local buzz on New York radio. Irv Gotti also cleverly managed to have the video for “Get tha Fortune” on heavy rotation on “The Box” a channel where one would pay to call in to request music videos to play. This tactic would pay off for Ja Rule later on.
Cash Money Click – 4 My Click feat. Mic Geronimo
Cash Money Click – Get tha Fortune
Cash Money Click – Get tha Fortune (remix)
A couple additional tracks floated around the mixtape circuit including “Recognize”, “Wartime”, and “If It’s On It’s On” which also featured DMX and Jay-Z. The group went on the Stretch & Bobbito show to promote the album which was to drop in 1995. Unfortunately, though Chris Black caught a case of dealing drugs and was sent to prison for five years. Ultimately the label dropped the group and the album was shelved.
Cash Money Click – Recognize
Cash Money Click – Wartime
Cash Money Click – If It’s On It’s On feat. DMX & Jay-Z
Cash Money Click – Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle
Eventually Ja Rule caught the eye of Def Jam record executive Lyor Cohen and signed a solo deal with the label. Ja Rule was reunited with his Cash Money Click cohorts on Ja’s 2001 album Pain is Love with the track “Smokin’ and Ridin’”. Then on 2002’s “Rain” from the compilation. Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc. During this time the trio began recording tracks with releasing an album that was going to be a joint venture between the Def Jam and TVT record labels.
Ja Rule – Smokin’ and Ridin’ feat. Jody Mack & O-1
Ja Rule – Rain feat. Jody Mack & O-1.
However, the group would get caught up in record label politics again and the album was shelved. Over time tracks would surface that were intended for the project. The songs “We Back” and “Nasamean” best captured the spirit of what Cash Money Click was originally about. I implore Ja Rule fans as well as critics to look into the group’s early work. It is an opportunity to see what Ja was about at his core before going mainstream and “corporate”.
Cash Money Click – We Back
Cash Money Click – Nasamean