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Rapper Ja Rule, Residents Protest City Public Housing Conditions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As many New York City Housing Authority residents have gone long periods without heat this winter, rapper Ja Rule joined them in a plea to the city to renovate the heating systems at public housing complexes.

Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, says he was raised in Queens and is upset by the complaints of no heat at so many buildings.

"Let's come out and let's fight this cause first. Let's shut this city down. We ain't paying no more rent until this situation is dealt with. No heat, no hot water? No money, no rent," he said.

The rapper held a press conference and rally along with several City Council members Tuesday morning on the steps of City Hall. They were joined by public housing residents who chanted "Turn up the heat" and "NYCHA is freezing."

"We are here because the City of New York has been exposed as the worst landlord in the United States," the City Council's Oversight and Investigations Chair Ritchie Torres said.

"City Hall, New York City, the major, the governor, they should all be ashamed of themselves," Ja Rule said. "These are Americans, New Yorkers living in third world conditions and it should not be this way."

He is demanding answers from NYCHA.

"We want to know: Where does this go from here?" Ja Rule said. "I think the next step is we want answers. We'll go to the mayor, we'll go to the governor... we'll go as far as we need it to."

"I think we're all missing the big, big picture here. This is all part of a bigger plan, that I feel, they have to push these residents out of their homes, and bring in private housing," he added.

Ja Rule vowed to continue the protest and hinted other artists are interested in the cause.

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