(NNPA)—Platinum selling rap star Ja Rule, a Grammy-nominated recording artist, turned himself in on June 8 to begin serving a two-year prison sentence on gun charges stemming from a 2007 arrest.
Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, pleaded guilty to the charges in December. He says he plans on using his time in prison wisely. “I’m going to write a book,” he told TMZ. “I’m going to get my GED while I’m inside because that is something I never did. I’ll probably pick up an instrument while I’m inside, maybe guitar or something.”
Leading up to his time in prison, he finished a new album “Pain is Love 2” and told TMZ that he’d already shot three videos for it.
He is the third high-profile African-American celebrity to run afoul of the law in New York City on weapons charges. Former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was released on June 6, after serving a 21 months prison sentence on a criminal conviction. He was wounded when the concealed gun he was carrying accidentally discharged in a nightclub. Rapper Lil Wayne served one year in jail on weapons possession charges.
Ja Rule is also charged in New Jersey for tax evasion. The rapper has been charged with owing that state more than $3 million in back taxes. A hearing in that matter is scheduled for June 13.
(Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspaper)