Ja Rule : London Kentish Town Forum

It’s a symphony of boos...

It’s a symphony of boos, a tremendous boom of boo thunder, a [I]boopocalypse[/I]. The blast of actually-we-think-you’re-rather-marvellous dissent that greets an American Wolfboy In London is frankly monumental. Ja puffs on a bifter; more boos than Daphne & Celeste hosting Donington. Ja strips off one of his 37 layers of baseball shirt; somewhere in Brighton, Kevin Rowland cowers under his duvet convinced he’s hallucinating Reading ’99 again. It’s like being in the world’s biggest ‘Audience With Jamie Oliver’, this sound of Ja Rule being elevated to the peak of rap’s Olympus.

Ja’s the hip-hop[a]Robbie Williams[/a]

, the dextrous all-rounder: one minute he’s the fun-sized stripping sex midget with the throbbing six pack and Theo Huxtable moustache, the next he’s a rap redcoat organising audience participation during ‘I Cry’, the next he’s a studious theologian of interpersonal relationships, musing “[I]Every thug needs a lady/Every guy needs a bitch[/I]” on ‘Down Ass Bitch’. Stick that, Germaine Greer.

All the slickest rap gig tricks are rolled out tonight. Christina Milian not in da house to duet on ‘Between Me And You’? Make the crowd sing it. Wanna beef up the boo-ometer? Stop your biggest tracks ten seconds in and make ‘em [I]beg[/I]. Losing the crowd during a lengthy stank-bass bonkers break? Whip off another baseball shirt. It all makes for a high-rollin’ rap panto, but by far Ja’s greatest feat is passing himself off as a dead hard gangsta geezer when he’s actually the new George Benson.

No wonder, when put to a public Scream Vote, it’s unanimously decided that it’s “the ladeez” and not “the niggaz” who “run this motherfucker”. Ja may call himself ‘The Murderer’ but the cuddly wee muggins clearly wouldn’t say boo to a goose. He’s the Mr Lover-lover gangsta pimp you can take home to meet your parents without fear of him blowing a cap in the dog and snorting grandma’s ashes. He’s Barry White with a posse. The gentleman playa indeed.

Mark Beaumont