I know what you’re thinking: “yeah yeah, these stupid things always come around and I always know the correct lyrics. Shuttup, deaf music writer.”
While you’d probably be correct on the latter these days (earplugs, fellow live music-loving kids, use ’em), back in 2001 I had hearing like a bat (or whatever). That’s when the Jennifer Lopez track “I’m Real” featuring DMX-wannabe and teacup-sized jailbird Ja Rule was released and absolutely blew up. As tends to happen, it went from ubiquitous to universally hated real quick.
However, the song had already been imprinted into our malleable little minds by then, and before I could dive on the remote to change the channel/station, I’d already be mentally singing along to J. Lo’s first line “are you ready?” Jezebel though she was asking “Are you Ellie?” Which, it turns out, wasn’t what she was saying at all. Listening back now, it’s pretty obvious that Lopez opens the song by spelling out the wee rapper’s name: “R-U-L-E.”
Still, it goes to show the power of presumption. The fact that Ja Rule yells “what’s my motherfuckin’ name” just before should have clued me in, but I must have just assumed she was doing her best to tune him out like the rest of us. In fact, for all you cool kids sneering: “How could anybody not realize she’s spelling out his name?” that’s my defence. We were, understandably, trying to have as little Ja Rule in our life as possible.