Nearly a month after the two documentaries — Netflix’s Fyre and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud — exposed the rise and fall of the festival, the Queens rapper, 42, revealed he’s in the process of planning a Fyre 2.0.
“It is the most iconic festival that never was,” Ja Rule told TMZ of Fyre Fest while at LAX Airport Thursday evening.
“I have plans to create the ICONNic music festival,” Ja Rule said confidently, referencing his new app ICONN.
The rapper, who co-founded the Fyre Festival alongside entrepreneur Billy McFarland, also admitted that he’s yet to watch the documentaries, considering he lived it.
“It’s not funny to me man, it’s heartbreaking,” Ja Rule explained. “It was something that I really wanted to be special… and it just didn’t turn out that way.”
Nonetheless, Ja Rule is using this setback as a setup for a major comeback.
The “Mesmerize” rapper went on to explain that he’s been working on a new talent booking app, which many critics point out is similar to the Fyre app.
Ja Rule announced the launch of ICONN (or Ice Connect) — a “celebrity entertainment booking and concierge service” on Twitter earlier this month.
As Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud outline, the app back then was called FYRE, with the 2017 music festival created as a promotional tool to show the app’s ability to give users access to the world’s biggest stars and book them for events. App developers worked on their product concurrently yet separately from festival organizers, who touted the Fyre Festival as a luxury experience on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma with performers like Blink-182 and Migos and high-profile social media influencers including Kendall Jenner.
Of course, that was not the case. Rather than the deluxe accommodations that were advertised, guests were provided with flimsy tents and cheese sandwiches. One person in attendance wrote on Twitter that there was barely “any food or water or security or electricity.” Their accounts caused a social media stir.
The event was quickly cancelled, with most of the artists pulling out due to serious organizational flaws and ramshackle conditions. Guests were stranded trying to get home. Many of the people who worked on the event, including local workers, were never paid. When the smoke cleared, McFarland’s company (Fyre Media, Inc) was toast, with the FYRE booking app getting pulled down in its process.
Though McFarland was eventually sentenced to six years in jail for defrauding investors in October 2018, Ja Rule has mostly emerged unscathed — denying all liability in the incidents.
“I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make???” he wrote on Twitter in January. “I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead [sic] astray!!!”