The monoculture is dead — or at least dying — so culture-spanning moments that unite the whole world in awe, outrage, or hilarity are rare. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars certainly qualifies; look at us, still discussing this thing two days later, even with our pandemic-shortened attention spans. And whenever there’s such a moment that demands our attention (and our takes), one question arises to loom over the proceedings, a question that demands an answer, no matter how solemn, silly, irreverent, or irrelevant.
That’s right. Ever since the joke was first uttered by Dave Chappelle during his 2004 special For What It’s Worth, it has become inevitable that when a current event has the world’s attention, people want — nay, need — to know what rapper Ja Rule is thinking. The bit, centered around the absurdity of an MTV News segment that cut away from September 11 attack coverage to get Ja Rule’s take, has since become an ingrained meme on social media. So, when Will Smith stomped his way on stage and shocked the world, there was just one thing fans wanted to know.
Somebody find Ja Rule so I can make sense of all of this.
— Andrew “The Giant” Everett (@_AndrewEverett) March 28, 2022
I only wanna hear what Ja Rule and Dr. Phil have to say right now. The rest of y’all’s opinions are irrelevant.
— Myke C-Town Ⓥ (@mykectown) March 28, 2022
Fortunately, we can all breathe easily again. Ja, who knows his role in all of this, was more than game to oblige our curiosity, joking on Twitter that “Slapping season is OFFICIALLY in session.” A day later, he followed up with a countdown to “All rappers wit the Will slap Rock bars.”
Slapping season is OFFICIALLY in session… 🤣👋🏾
— Ja Rule (@jarule) March 28, 2022
All rappers wit the Will slap Rock bars in 3,2,1… 🤣
— Ja Rule (@jarule) March 29, 2022
Thanks, Ja Rule. You’re not always there when we call, but you’re always on time.