Ja Rule Hosts Mother’s Day Luncheon for 40 Families Impacted by Criminal Justice System

Ja Rule and his mother, Debra Atkins, have long shared a special bond. Raised by a single parent, it’s always been a “me and mom against the world” type of mantra, as the artist puts it.

The Murder Inc. rapper often makes it a point to give back to the community, especially when it comes to his hometown of New York City, and spreading joy for the women in his life. Ahead of Mother’s Day, Ja Rule partnered with the REFORM Alliance and The Ladies of Hope Ministries to host a special Mother’s Day luncheon at NYC hotspot Sei Less on Tuesday afternoon (May 7).

Forty mothers along with their children — who all shared a common bond of being adversely impacted by the criminal justice system — were treated to an afternoon at the Midtown Asian fusion restaurant.

“For something like this for mothers who have been through incarceration, I can relate to that and it’s close to my heart, so to be a part of this is special to me,” the Pain is Love rhymer tells Billboard of bonding with the moms in attendance. “It’s a very hard thing for a mom to be incarcerated and have children and to be able to navigate that. It’s very difficult, so I empathize with them in a lot of ways.”

Ja Rule & Sei Less Mother's Day Luncheon
Ja Rule & Sei Less Mother’s Day Luncheon

Ja Rule exchanged heartfelt stories with the mothers as they opened up about their experiences and the struggles of parenting while being entangled in the criminal justice system.

Though he has since earnedplatinum plaques, record deals and hit records, the 48-year-old still thinks back to the emotional moment that he “became a man.” Growing up, Ja and his mother were facing another eviction, and he knew it was time for him to step up.

“One moment that strikes me all the time is the day I grew up as a man. When we were going through an eviction at one of our apartments, this particular time it kind of broke my mom the way I never seen before, and she was crying,” the rapper shares with Billboard. “In that moment, I feel like I became a man because I understood the assignment, as they say.”

“I couldn’t cry in that moment with her, and I had to be stronger for her even though I was feeling her emotion,” he continues. “That meant everything for her too – her son, her baby, her only son was able to tell her, ‘Mom, it’s going to be alright. Even though I got to pull us through, we going to be alright.’”

Ja Rule & Sei Less Mother's Day Luncheon
Ja Rule & Sei Less Mother’s Day Luncheon

While new friendships formed throughout the three-hour feast, the luncheon attendees enjoyed Sei Less delicacies such as filet mignon, chicken satay, rock shrimp tempura, chicken wontons and other popular dishes.

“We are incredibly honored to have partnered with Ja Rule on such a special day for these mothers filled with unforgettable memories,” Sei Less co-owner Ivi Shano tells Billboard of his venue playing host. “This event is not just about a meal or a gift — it’s about creating a lasting impact, spreading love to our community and making a real difference in the lives of these mothers.”

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