Remember 2017's Fyre Festival flop? What was marketed as an exclusive music festival brimming with hot acts, celebrity sightings and fine glamping accommodations was actually a terrifying Lord of the Flies-like situation as concertgoers were not treated to a single music act, but were provided FEMA tents as shelter and "treated" to a piece of melted cheese on bread.
Fyre Festival was unquestionably a disaster and now the subject of two recent documentaries: Netflix's FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu's Fyre Fraud, which were released just a few days apart from one another. Both docs delve into the festival's inefficacy to build the event promised to its guests, and rapper Ja Rule, who co-founded Fyre Festival with Billy McFarland, has now taken to Twitter to share his take on the films' commentary. Here's how he put it:
I love how ppl watch a doc and think they have all the answers. I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make???
The implied vision of Fyre Festival was to to offer visitors a dreamy vacation on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas for two weekends in April and May. Music acts such as Disclosure, Blink 182 and Migos were set to perform, and celebrity promoters Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner brought the illusion of star status to the new event.
However, the reality was that thousands of guests, some of whom paid $100,000 to attend, found themselves stranded the island without proper food, water and accommodations, the musicians pulled out last minute and the famed models sent out apologies for their involvement in the shady festival.
As the rapper defends his intentions for his festival, in one scene in FYRE, when the team meets to discuss the situation after the festival, Ja Rule says "that's not fraud, that's not fraud. False advertising, maybe."
However, his partner, Billy McFarland, was convicted with six years of jail time for defrauding investors of over $27 million by presenting false documents to inflate his net worth and the value of his company, Fyre Media.
Ja Rule also took to Twitter to accuse his former business partner, who is interviewed in the Hulu documentary, of being paid to appear in the film. Here's what he said:
Hulu PAID BILLY!!! That money should've went to the Bahamian ppl Netflix PAID fuck Jerry the same guys that did the promo for the festival...
According Fyre Fraud's director Jenner Furst's comments to The Ringer, this is true. Billy McFarland was paid an undisclosed amount for exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and consent to an eight-hour interview for the documentary.
Ja Rule also points to the media organization Fuck Jerry, which did the marketing for Fyre Festival of sharing a cut of money for the documentary as well since Elliot Tebele, the creator of Jerry Media/FuckJerry, executive produced Netflix's FYRE.
The rapper said he believes the money they made on the documentary should have gone to the people of the Bahamas in reference to Exuma Point Bar and Grille restauranteur Maryann Rolle, who catered to those stranded at Fyre Festival. Rolle has said she used $50,000 of her own money to pay staff to help those left without proper food accommodations from the founders.
Ja Rule continued with this tweet:
I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!
The rapper also claims he has the receipts to prove that blame on the disaster of Fyre Festival wasn't his own doing. You can check out FYRE on Netflix and Fyre Fraud on Hulu, both available for streaming now.