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Released: 15th October 2001.

Ja Rule - Pain Is LoveAlbum number three from the New York gangsta rapper sees Ja Rule in his own element with a rap style only he can demonstrate.

This album is a lot more passionate and personal then his previous two releases, dealing with life issues expressed lyrically in the form of the title track, "Pain Is Love", "Never Again" and "So Much Pain", which features the late Tupac Shakur.

"I'm Real", the smash hit single with J-Lo is also included here surprisingly, as is "X", a smooth rhyming duet with the queen of hip hop Missy Elliot.

But the highlight here is "Livin' It Up", a feel-good track with Case crooning on the chorus Stevie Wonder style.

This album was made to please and one listen will certainly do that. But is it a timeless collection of songs? Only time will tell.

* * * (Lachlan Sutherland)

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