- (Photo: Reuters/Marc A. Hermann)
Ja Rule, the 37-year-old rapper who was born Jeffrey Atkins, is speaking up about how a two year prison sentence strengthened his relationship with God.
Atkins was released from an upstate New York prison earlier this year after being charged with tax evasion in 2011. Still, the rapper is reflective and recently spoke about how the experience shaped him.
"It's been real crazy. Real reflective. You go through something like that…it changes you a little bit," Rule told New York City's Hot 97 radio show host Angie Martinez recently. "You get a chance to really to be at one with yourself. A lot of late nights, by myself."
A lot of those nights were spent reading the bible, according to the rapper.
"When I went to jail, I read the whole Bible," Atkins told Martinez.
He also spoke about needing to let go of some repressed feelings.
"I feel like unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment, it blocks the flows of God's blessings in life," he said on the Hot 97 radio show. "So, you know, I'm really in a good head space. I really want to just do what I'm doing and not focus on nothing negative at all."
As a testament to his strengthened faith, the rapper said he made a few changes.
"Right now I'm on my God flow, you know what I mean?" he told Martinez. "I got Job 1:21 tattooed on my chest."
The scripture states, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised (NIV)."
Now, Atkins is gearing up to star in the movie "I'm In Love With A Church Girl," which is scheduled to debut in theaters Oct. 18. The movie is based off of the life of Pastor Galley Molina, who led a life of drug trafficking before he decided to become a preacher.
Before Atkins went to prison, Molina told The Christian Post that the rapper had been reading his bible.
"Ja Rule has been ministered to. He's a dear friend," Molina previously told CP. "We've been praying for him a lot. He's been open; he's been so [receptive] to the word."