From Bobby Brown to J. Lo (and, of course, Ashanti), Ja's best tracks are team efforts

Credit: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET

Feb. 29 only occurs once every four years, which means Ja Rule can only properly celebrate his birthday with such frequency. The gruff rapper turns 40 on Monday, seeing an actual birthday for just the 10th time. Happy double digits, Ja!

The New York rapper rose to fame in the early 2000s on his own with his second and third albums, Rule 3:36 and Pain is Love. But Ja Rule’s legacy today is largely remembered by his collaborative efforts — songs with Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti, Fat Joe, Charli Baltimore, and Irv Gotti, among others. They all provide a particular complement to Ja’s tracks and bring the best out of him. Conversely, he takes said artists to another level.

For Valentine’s Day, he and Ashanti linked up to tour and revisit their work together. In spirit of their reunion and Ja Rule’s birthday, EW ranked the 23 best collaborations the NYC MC has done. (Sorry, Lil Wayne fanatics: “Uh-Ohhh!” missed the cut.)