In the year 2003, 50 Cent was at the height of his artistic peak. Coming off the release of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, an album many still tout among the greatest debuts of all time, Fif was the closest thing to “untouchable” a man can possibly achieve. Behind him stood Eminem, steadily alternating between marveling at 50’s talent, pulling his musical strings, or goading his brash impulses. On that note, it didn’t take long for Eminem to inherit 50’s long-running and occasionally violent beef with Murda Inc, a challenge he willingly accepted.

After all, Em had developed a reputation as a storied competitor and diss-track auteur, previously having dealt with Whitey Ford, Everlast, various pop stars, Limp Bizkit, and as rumor has it, an unreleased warning to Suge Knight. Of course, his track record didn’t exactly include many prominent rappers, though feuds with Benzino and Canibus would certainly pad his arsenal (the former earned a pair of Em’s most incendiary tracks in personal history). Yet Em’s beef with Ja Rule would go on to intensify past the point of palpable tension, with 50 Cent’s villainous laugh ringing out all the while. 

Eminem & 50 Cent Diss Ja Rule On The Same Day Like It’s 2003
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Between 2003 and 2004, 50 Cent and Em would collectively barrage Ja and Irv Gotti with an onslaught, including:

50 Cent – “Back Down”
G-Unit – “I Smell Pussy”
Eminem & G-Unit – “Bump Heads”
D12 & Obie trice- “Do Rae Mi (Hailie’s Revenge)”
Eminem, 50 Cent, & Busta Rhymes – “Hail Mary”
Eminem & Obie Trice – “I’m Gone”
Dr. Dre, Eminem, & Obie Trice – “Shit Hits The Fan”

Clearly, the animosity ran deep, with no shortage of shots exchanged on wax. Yet upon the release of Encore’s “Like Toy Soldiers” in 2004, Em seemed ready to hang up the spurs, lest violence strike as a result and shatter his inner circle. From that point on, he appeared finished with Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, and the Murda Inc conglomerate. Of course, the same could not be said of 50 Cent, who much like an elephant, forgets nothing. In the years to follow, up to the present day, Fif has continuously taken shots at Ja Rule. So much so that Irv Gotti recently likened the G-Unit rapper to an angel of Satan.

In fact, 50 Cent had time for Ja and Irv on this very day, taking to Instagram to clown the Murda Inc pals over their ill-fated attempt to enter a nightclub. The entire video had 50 in stitches, providing a gleeful sort of “director’s commentary,” as Irv and Ja face a conundrum long-familiar to both fake ID-holders and five-men-no-women club-hopping groups. The refusal prompted Ja Rule to offer up fisticuffs, only to be denied by all present. For 50 Cent, such things are the gifts that keep on giving.

And while 50 Cent has been prodding his old foe for over a decade, Eminem has only recently expressed a willingness to revisit his old rivalries. On “Greatest,” he alluded to bringing things back to “some old Ja Rule shit,” before later warning Machine Gun Kelly he’d share Ja’s fate on “Killshot.” Now, on today’s new Conway single “Bang,” Em reserves a few lines for Ja Rule yet again, proving he’s actively hunting for the smoke. “Lookin’ back on my feuds I mean me and Ja Rule almost got cool ’cause we shot pool back in ’01,” raps Em, in his introductory bars. “Was it ’02? I don’t know but something told me fuckin’ not to / then we got stuck in high school, I shoved an Oscar up his wazoo.” 

Fans will likely recall Em threatening to engage in a similar act of forced penetration on “Do Rae Mi,” in which he vowed to “shove his Oscar up Ja Rule’s ass.” Hearing Slim once again allude to his old war stories is certainly nostalgic, but one has to wonder about the motivation. Is he actively looking for a new sparring partner, following Machine Gun Kelly’s post-“Killshot” disinterest? Or is he simply flexing as a reminder to the doubters? Either way, the idea that both Em and 50 would single out Ja Rule on the same day is likely the closest we’ll come to seeing 2003 again short of an actual time machine.