When Ja Rule witnessed the chaos that ensued at the now-infamous Fyre Festival, the rapper—a co-founder of the fest—assured via Twitter that the fiasco wasn't his fault. But now that both Netflix and Hulu’s competing documentaries (full disclosure: VICE Studios co-produced the former) have shocked viewers with fuller versions of the festival’s wild backstory, the rapper is apparently trying to use all the attention for his redemption story. “[Fyre Festival] is the most iconic festival that never was,” he told a TMZ reporter Thursday while waiting at baggage claim at LAX. “So I have plans to create the iconic music fest but you didn’t hear it from me.”
Ja, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, could be alluding to a festival tied to his artist booking platform ICONN, which he admitted to the gossip outlet was similar to the FYRE app the disastrous event was supposed to serve as an extension of. While Ja said he hadn’t watched either documentary because he “lived it” and it’s too “heartbreaking,” he made sure to plug his new app and potential follow-up festival, saying, “in the midst of chaos there’s opportunity.”
This begs the question: has Ja Rule—who was not prosecuted in connection with the Fyre saga—not learned his lesson about obscenely ambitious, ostensibly game-changing music festivals? He's currently facing $100 million in class action lawsuits for his connection to the Fyre Fest. It seems to safe to say it wouldn't be the scam of all scams Fyre turned out to be, but does look a bit like a desperate attempt to win back the trust of all those influencers left crying on what looked like a Bahamian version of Lord of the Flies.
In the midst of these plans, Fyre co-founder Billy McFarland is sitting in prison after being sentenced to six years for fraud on top of owing $26 million to investors. And even as Ja eyes his redemption, others connected to the festival are enjoying a second wind of Fyre-related buzz: Event planner and McFarland’s personal crisis manager Andy King, who infamously said in the Netflix doc he almost gave a blowjob to a customs officer so as to save the festival’s supply of Evian water, told Vanity Fair he had three TV show offers and would be moving forward with a show “about hosting crazy events.”
If the ICONN Music Fest happens, and it comes even close to delivering what attendees are promised, Ja might find his name restored. If not, and he needs the cash, he can add more shows to his ongoing nostalgia tour with Ashanti. Or if he wants to switch it up, B2K is coming back this summer too. Maybe start there.
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