Ja Rule Awkwardly Attempts to Explain His Role in Fyre Fest

On 'Watch What Happens Live,' the Queens rapper opens up about his involvement with the troubled event and why he's ready to throw another music festival.
Queens, US
Screenshot from 'Watch What Happens Live'

The only thing better than Fyre Festival is, well, everything. The festival that never happened managed to secure two riveting documentaries—one produced by VICE and another on Hulu—chronicling the partnership between organizers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. But we still hadn't heard Ja Rule really interrogated for his side of the story. Until now.

The Queens rapper appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happened Live with Andy Cohen and landed in the hot seat during a lightning Q&A segment called Rapid Fyre. His vague answers and nervous laughter could be an indication that there's more to the story, which means we're waiting patiently for the Ja Rule biopic.


If there's anyone who could get Ja Rule to discuss Fyre Fest, it's Andy Cohen. The Bravo host seems to catch Ja by surprise by the end of his questions. The rapper tells Cohen he's never watched either of the documentaries because he lived it, and he said he hasn't contacted McFarland since his sentencing. When Cohen asks if he was surprised to hear the story of Andy King, the event producer who became a meme after claiming McFarland asked him to give the customs team oral sex in exchange for cases of Evian water, Ja laughs it off. He's so speechless that his fellow guest Amber Ruffin answers for him. "The only right answer is yes," she says. "Say yes. He was surprised."

It's been more than two years since the Fyre Fest debacle, and Ja is maintaining his innocence, citing that a huge misconception of his involvement is that he committed a crime. He even wants to plan another festival. "It wasn't my fault," he tells Cohen. "Here's the thing: I want to do it the right way with the right partners. Here's what I happen to know. I have the biggest festival in the world even though it never happened. There's value in that, Andy."

The Rapid Fyre segment proves one thing: Ja Rule only wants to take credit for the notoriety of Fyre Festival without accepting the backlash that comes with it. But it's impossible to claim its successes without claiming its failures, too.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for VICE.