A two-year prison sentence wasn't just a punishment for Ja Rule, it was a time to really consider this nation's gun laws. The Inc. rapper, who was released in May and was on house arrest until earlier this week, opened up to Complex about what's been on his mind since he was ordered to serve time for illegal weapons possession and tax evasion in 2010.
The Queens native started out his sentence "bitter," believing that he was purposely targeted. "When I went in I was a little bitter because I felt I was wrongfully imprisoned," he said. "You dealing with a situation that’s a touchy situation in our country, in society: You dealing with firearms. We have the right to bear arms in this country.
"Don't get me wrong," he continued. "I had an illegal weapon, I take full responsibility for that, I did my time for that. But when I really rewind and look back on everything, it kind of hurts me because society wants to take artists and make an example out of them for others to look at and say, 'D--n, they locked up Lil Wayne, they locked up Ja Rule, they locked up T.I., they locked up Plaxico Burress. We better not do what they did.'"
A better idea Rule said, would be to allow rappers to publicly address their "wrongs" instead of "being away for two years."
Rule even weighed in on one of the most talked about gun-related incidents of the year, Trayvon Martin's death and the acquittal of shooter George Zimmerman. "It really hurts my heart," he explained of the verdict. "Because it’s like a message is being sent that if you carry a firearm and you’re young and you’re black and successful, we’ll put you in jail. But if you’re a young black man you can be murdered, and then the laws can work in this person’s favor."
He hopes the trial's outcome will put focus on stories of "young black men being murdered every day" within the black community. "What about justice for all of our black youth that are getting killed everyday in the hood by other black men? I think that’s an issue we need to start marching for and rallying for as well."
On a less controversial front, Rule also revealed that music, movies and other "great opportunities" are on the horizon.
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(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)