UTICA-ROME — Gary “Big Poppa” Spears probably had no idea what he was in for this morning, when he mentioned that today, Leap Year Day, also happens to be the birthday of rapper Ja Rule. The rapper, serving time at Mid-State Correctional Facility in nearby Marcy, heard the mention on-air, called-in and chatted with Spears live on Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU).
During the interview, which ran nearly 11 minutes (available in its entirety on the station web site), Ja Rule talked about several topics, ranging from his new album (released yesterday), his day-to-day life behind bars, and even routine topics like what he had for dinner the night before.
According to the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s inmate lookup site, the rapper — listed under his legal name, Jeff Atkins — has been in custody since June 2011, after pleading guilty to a second-degree charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony. According to Wikipedia, the charge was filed after Ja Rule and fellow rapper Lil Wayne were arrested following a 2007 concert in New York City.
Although Ja Rule’s two-year state prison sentence is due to end June 2013 — and could be shortened by four months for good behavior — he’ll likely remain behind bars a few months longer. That’s because this past July, the rapper was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for tax evasion. The Boombox reports federal authorities are allowing Atkins to serve both sentences concurrently, but the federal sentence is longer than the state’s sentence.