John Singleton Reveals How Ludacris Ended Up In '2 Fast 2 Furious' Over Ja Rule

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Revolt TV

Ludacris attends an exclusive "Furious 7" concert hosted by REVOLT Live at Hollywood Studio at Hollywood and Highland on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. 

With the latest sequel in the The Fast and the Furious, Furious 7, heating up the box office, comes some insider scoop on how Ja Rule, who starred in the first film, decided to step away from the franchise.

Ja appeared in the 2001 film, which kick-started the whole phenomenon, but turned down the chance to appear in its sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious, making room for Ludacris to step in. Now 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton is breaking down what happened way back when.

"Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars," he told Grantland. "He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn't return calls. I went to the studio to go see him -- that's just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, 'What? What is this shit?' This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris. I said, 'Hey, Luda, I haven't met you before, but I like what you're doing right now.' Luda was all humble, excited to meet me. I said, 'I'm doing this movie and I'm wondering if you want to be a part of it.' He goes, 'What? Yeah! Anything you do I want to be a part of.' That's how Ludacris got in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the rest is history."

With some distance between now and the decision, Singleton added that Ja and him have since had a good laugh about his decision to not return to the franchise.

"Ja Rule not doing 2 Fast 2 Furious changed Ludacris's life," the director said. "Years later I saw Ja Rule at the Source Awards and we joked about it. I took him under my arm and said, 'Man, when I call you, you listen. I ain't calling you for no bullshit.' He said, 'Yeah, man, I'm sorry about that.' He apologized. I love Ja. I still think Ja has a lot of personality and can come back in a different way."


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