Ja Rule says we can expect his absence at the next Fyre Festival (if it actually happens).
Founder of the bluffed extravaganza, Billy MacFarland, declared recently that he’s planning to bring back the event, to which its co-founder Rule claimed to be confused.
“I don’t know nothing about it!” the 47-year-old rapper told PEOPLE at TuneCore’s 50 Years of Hip Hop event on Thursday (April 13). “I don’t know nothing about it. I ain’t in it!”
In 2017, MacFarland and Ja Rule — née Jeffrey Atkins — promised fans around the world that they’d be treated to an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind, luxurious festival that not only offered exquisite meals and partying amongst A-listers, but headlining performances from Blink-182 and Migos.
Tickets were priced at a hefty $1,595 for a Spring weekend of fun in the Bahamas. However, ticket holders soon found out that all that was promised was a fraud.
The “festival” held in Great Exuma actually included cheap tents instead of the promised cabanas, cheese sandwiches instead of gourmet meals, and no major music acts. Guests began to complain as many of them were stranded on the island and could not return home earlier than their scheduled flights.
Rule and MacFarland were quickly deemed “con-artists” and “scammers” to which the “Livin It Up” rapper immediately tried to clear his name.
In April 2017, Rule tweeted out that the failed festival was not his fault and that his only concern at the time was getting “everyone [off] the island SAFE.” He also claimed to be “heartbroken” and that he would see to it that all purchasers receive a refund.
Two years later, the chaotic event was chronicled through Netflix’s documentary FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu’s released Fyre Fraud.
“I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!!” Rule tweeted out following the documentaries’ premieres. “I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make??? I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead [sic] astray!!!.”
As the “Always On Time” rapper only received backlash from fans, viewers of the doc, and those who flew out to the island, McFarland paid a greater price.
The 31-year-old was arrested in 2018 and served part of a six-year sentence on wire fraud charges, in connection with his involvement in the misleading event. He was released in March 2022 after serving four years.
While incarcerated, McFarland issued a statement to PEOPLE apologizing for his role in the con.
“I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,” he wrote. “I’ve always sought — and dreamed — to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony.”
He added, “As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.”
On Sunday (April 9), McFarland tweeted out, “Fyre Festival II is finally happening. Tell me why you should be invited.”