Like his frequent compadre Jay-Z, Rule loves his old-school R&B, but Rule's samples and grooves, rooted in '80s dance-floor pop, are more tuneful.
The tracks on this album contain the right beats to make listeners' heads bounce. But more thoughtful music lovers will simply shake their heads at the profuse profanity and misogynistic philosophies Ja Rule perpetuates with Pain Is Love.
Ja Rule seems to be more interested in movin' on up (to the pop side) than keeping grounded on the gangsta grid.
Rule's raw, worn vocal recalls 2Pac, a style perfect for the title track's state-of-the-nation address but wasted on fodder like "Smokin' And Ridin.'" [Jan 2002, p.140]