The Fyre Fest fiasco was reignited last week with the release of two documentaries about the festival gone wrong — but Ja Rule, one of the festival’s co-founders, says we still don’t have the whole story.
Hulu’s Fyre Fraud and Netflix's FYRE were both released within days of each other; both explore the different factors that led up to the doomed event, which branded itself as a luxury, star-studded music festival in the Bahamas, with tickets priced at thousands of dollars, only to leave hundreds of attendees stranded in tents on the beach. There were no musical performances.
But Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, posted a series of tweets saying that he, in fact, never sought out to defraud festival staff and guests — and he had a problem with people coming after him for it.
“I love how ppl watch a doc and think they have all the answers...” he wrote. “I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make???”
In response to a Twitter user who replied that two documentaries were a damning indictment of Ja Rule’s role in the Fyre Fest drama, the rapper tweeted, “And you still don’t know shit...”
In a separate tweet, Ja Rule tagged Hulu and Netflix in an apparent attempt to undermine the documentaries’ credibility. Ja Rule pointed out that Hulu paid his business partner and Fyre Fest co-founder Billy McFarland for an exclusive interview. McFarland has since been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in defrauding Fyre Fest investors and ticket holders along with other fraudulent activity, including selling fake tickets for high-profile events such as the Met Gala and Coachella.
Ja Rule also called out Elliot Tebele, creator of the social media company Fuckjerry — the company that ran Fyre Fest’s social media. Tebele was an executive producer on Netflix’s documentary.
“@Hulu PAID BILLY!!!” Ja Rule tweeted. “That money should have went to the ppl in the Bahamas... @netflix PAID fuck Jerry who also did all the promo for the festival... the docs clearly have Billy at fault but let’s blame the rapper lmao ok…”
While the tone is markedly different, Ja Rule’s tweets echo the apology he issued after the festival, which he also posted on Twitter: “I'm heartbroken at this moment my partners and I wanted this to be an amazing event it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting,” he wrote. “I truly apologise as this is NOT MY FAULT... but I’m taking responsibility."
Ja Rule has faced several class action lawsuits in the aftermath of the Fyre Fest, but he has largely moved on from the festival drama — he has even since said that he is not ashamed of the festival, still believing it to be a “beyond brilliant” idea. In the nearly two years after Fyre Fest, Ja Rule founded an app company and has decided to refocus on his rap career, with a tour planned for 2019.
Ja Rule did not give any interviews for either documentary, but he did post a tantalising tweet over the weekend: “I have receipts!!!” he wrote, suggesting there’s more to this saga to come.