Ja Rule recently joined hundreds of New York City residents in a protest at City Hall on Feb. 20. The protest was reportedly organized in objection to the poor conditions of the city’s public housing system.
According to Ja Rule and various other speakers during the protest, thousands of residents in the public housing system have spent the winter without hot water or heat. “They should all be ashamed of themselves,” Ja Rule said in a video taken at the event. “These are Americans, New Yorkers.”
The rapper, who helms from Queens, said this particular issue hits home for him due to the fact that he was also brought up in the public housing system. “I was raised in public housing, my mom worked two to three jobs to try and feed us,” he told FOX 5’s Lisa Atkins on a panel earlier in Feb. 2018. “I’m really upset at the fact that we’re all here right now, talking about heat. It’s a human right to have heat in your building that you live in.”
The issue possibly stems from the ways in which the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) deals and files complaints. NYCHA reportedly gives landlords authority to deal with complaints internally, which could result in neglecting or overlooking some residents.
In addition to improving the current condition, protesters hope they can spread awareness and push politicians and NYCA to facilitate renovations quickly, CBS New York reports. And if no change comes, Ja Rule has another solution. “Let’s shut this city down. We ain’t paying no more rent until this situation is dealt with,” the rapper yelled to the crowd. “No heat, no hot water? No money, no rent.”
Check out a video from the protest below.