Over a decade ago, Ja Rule was one of the hottest rappers on the charts and was looking to make a name for himself in the acting world. In 2001, he had a bit part in The Fast and the Furious as a character named Edwin. In an interview with director John Singleton, Grantland reports that Rule turned down $500,000 to appear in 2 Fast 2 Furious which inadvertently helped the burgeoning acting career of rapper Ludacris:
“Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars,” Singleton said. “He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, ‘What? What is this sh*t?’ This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris. I said, ‘Hey, Luda, I haven’t met you before, but I like what you’re doing right now.’ Luda was all humble, excited to meet me. I said, ‘I’m doing this movie and I’m wondering if you want to be a part of it.’ He goes, ‘What? Yeah! Anything you do I want to be a part of.’ That’s how Ludacris got in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the rest is history.”
All’s well that ends well, I suppose. After his performance in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Ludacris appeared in films like Crash, Hustle & Flow, and three more Fast & Furious films. And Ja Rule has an MTV reality show coming out real soon. So there’s that.