Ja Rule in Jamaica Jam, Mon
Tue Jul 30, 2:00 PM ET
By Josh Grossberg
Ja Rule's foul mouth has run afoul of the law in Jamaica.
Police in Montego Bay put out an arrest warrant for the chart-topping hip-hopster after he failed to appear in court to face charges of violating local antiprofanity laws by--yes--cussing during a performance at last year's Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest.
Visiting the island over the weekend for this year's festival, Ja Rule was served a summons on Sunday and told to appear before the city's Resident Magistrate Court by Monday. When he failed to turn up, Judge Wilson Smith issued the warrant for his arrest.
But according to the Jamaican Observer, there's a good reason why the Pain Is Love rapper was being a pain in the neck to local authorities: There was a slight confusion regarding the court date.
Nicole Allen, a lawyer for Ja Rule (known to his Queens homies as Jeff Atkins), told the judge that the summons given the 21-year-old artist instructed him to appear on August 2. However, the magistrate's records stipulated a July 29 court date, the newspaper reports.
As a result of the mix-up, the judge retracted the warrant on Monday and issued a corrected summons, but by that time, Ja Rule had reportedly made an exodus from Jamaica back to the United States.
Earlier, Ja Rule had addressed the controversy before his Sumfest performance Saturday night, saying he had no idea he was even breaking the law.
"I didn't know it was such a big problem. I think I tried to keep profanity down last year as much as I could," the rapper told reporters at a backstage press conference. "I mean, this is hip-hop and one [cuss word] slips out here and there every now and again. I'm sorry if I offended anybody, but you know it's not done purposely, and I'm sorry."
This year's 10th anniversary Sumfest, traditionally one of Jamaica's biggest concerts, also featured sets from Ashanti, Foxy Brown, Burning Spear, Shaggy and four of Bob Marley's sons, Damian, Stephen, Ky-Mani and Julian Marley.
For his part, Ja Rule managed to keep it pretty clean this time around. The sole dirty exception occurred during his rendition of "I'm Real," his number-one duet with Jennifer Lopez, in which he told the crowd he could only kick the tune off the way it was written. He then shouted, "What's my motherf---ing name?"
Aside from getting fresh with the local authorities, Rule is still riding high musically (his third album, Pain Is Love, and 2000's Rule 3:36 both debuted atop the Billboard charts) and on the big screen (he costarred in last summer's smash The Fast and the Furious).
Speaking of which, Rule's in talks to reprise his role as street-racer Edwin opposite Paul Walker in Universal's The Fast and the Furious 2, which will be helmed by director John Singleton.
Provided, that is, he's not doing cuss time in Jamaica.
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