This week, the world is getting not one, but two documentaries about Fyre Festival, the doomed 2017 luxury music festival. Netflix had already planned the release of Fyre on Jan. 18, but on Monday, Jan. 14, Hulu surprise released Fyre Fraud. Both films are centered around Fyre co-creator and convicted felon Billy McFarland, but what about the festival's other creator? What does Ja Rule think of the Fyre Festival documentaries?
Ja Rule and McFarland met when McFarland wanted to book the rapper for a party he was throwing for his business Magnises, a company that allowed people to connect their credit card accounts to a fancier card made of metal and enjoy benefits like concert tickets. McFarland explained during a 2016 panel at Web Summit that they were both on (via Stereogum) that he tried to book Ja Rule via Instagram and was put in contact with people with names like "Reggie Muscles" and "Big Fred." Eventually, he and Ja got in touch and the whole thing led to McFarland's next business venture, Fyre, a website and app meant to change the way people booked talent. Fyre Festival, which they created together, was to promote Fyre the business.
Both Netflix and Hulu's documentaries feature footage from Fyre Festival. Netflix's has behind-the-scenes videos from the making of the festival, and Hulu's doc features an interview with McFarland himself, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for fraud. Ja Rule is in the old footage in the documentaries, but is not interviewed. He has not spoken out about the films either (Hulu's documentary notes that he declined to provide comment), but based on his previous comments about the festival, he might be somewhat OK with them since McFarland is the main culprit, both legally and in the movies.
Ja Rule has stood by his role in Fyre Festival. During an interview with Drink Champs in September 2018 (via Billboard), the 42-year-old said, "I'm not ashamed of Fyre at all. Because man, the idea, it was brilliant. It was f*cking beyond brilliant." He continued, "It wasn't what I dreamed it of being ... It wasn't done properly."
He also took responsibility for his role in it, but as the visionary, not as the person who was dealing with the money or logistical side of things, which was McFarland. "I should’ve been more on top of things," he said. "I should’ve, you know, not trusted people with certain things. And maybe... I’m positive things wouldn’t have been like that. That part of it, I take all responsibility. And I'm like, f*ck, I wish I wasn't running around on tour, moving around, not being on top of the whole situation like I should've been."
At the time that Fyre Festival failed and turned into a nightmare everyone was following along with online, Ja Rule spoke out about the situation on Twitter. He released a very memorable statement that included the line, "I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT."
While he did say he was taking responsibly, he also reportedly asked to be left out of one of the Fyre Festival-related lawsuits. The Blast reported that court documents showed Ja Rule "argues that the people who bought tickets signed a contract with Fyre, not him" in the ongoing $100 million class action lawsuit. According to Rolling Stone, Ja was removed from the $5 million lawsuit that two Fyre Festival attendees won after he and his lawyer made a separate agreement.
Since Ja Rule has been open about Fyre Festival before, perhaps he will speak out again sometime after both documentaries are released. Just don't expect him to change his stance.
Editor's note: Bustle Digital Group acquired Mic in late 2018. Mic is a co-producer on Fyre Fraud.