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Ja Rule

Can you believe it's been two years since April 28, 2017? 

The day when mass chaos occurred in the Bahamas after Fyre Fest descended into disarray, with musical acts dropping out, no food and water and fake amenities similar to a refugee camp.

Marketed by the industry's most valuable influencers such as Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner as the Coachella of the tropical islands, the festival organisers committed total fraud and lost thousands of dollars.

The upper class scandal led to a Hulu and Netflix documentary, GoFundMe pages set up for all the staff who were duped out of money in their home of the Bahamas, and arrests being made.

Tickets cost thousands of dollars and gained notoriety through the famous 'orange tile' advertising by famous models on Instagram such as Bella Hadid.

Let's just say it DEFINITELY was not what it was advertised, with glamorous rich folks receiving sad pieces of cheese on bread instead of gourmet meals, and had no place to lodge at all in the middle of a deserted island.

The festival organiser, Billy McFarland, 'fully postponed' the event after pretty much everyone had already arrived. Smart.

"After assessing the situation this morning and looking at best options for our guests, we cannot move forward as we hoped we could. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get all travelers home safely," they quoted at the time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ja Rule, a rapper who befriended Billy McFarland at the time and co-organised the event, assured attendees that Fyre Fest was "not a scam" and that he was heartbroken about the scenario. He faced his share of backlash, deservedly so.

He tweeted;  "I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!" Mmmmhmmm. McFarland was charged with wire fraud and sentenced to six years in prison, where he currently is still serving his time in Otisville

GIF by Team Coco

Where are they now, though? Let's start with good old Billy McFarland.

McFarland is sharing a prison with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. He was found guilty of defrauding investors of the festival out of a whopping $26 million in November 2018.

He plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud, and faces three years of supervised release when he completes his sentence. The 27-year-old issued an apology to People, saying;

"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 said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"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."

"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."

The Hulu documentary claims that McFarland is teaching a music entrepreneurship class to fellow inmates of the Otisville Federal Correctional Facility in NYC.

Ja Rule

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While the rapper didn't take part in either documentary, he was heavily featured in both. Fair enough, considering he was Fyre's co-founder and worked very closely with McFarland.

The 42-year-old has remained seemingly in the clear since his partner went behind bars, famously defending himself as clueless on social media,

"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 tweeted.  Nevertheless, he was subjected to multiple lawsuits due to his ties.

Ja Rule has since begun a new investment in an app called ICONN, a "celebrity entertainment book & concierge  service." Hmmm, we feel like we've heard this one before. "It's very different, but it's similar," he admitted.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Andy King, AKA The Team Player

Bless his wee soul. Poor Andy is now remembered as the key player who attempted to save the doomed festival through using any means necessary.

He quickly became an Internet sensation after the Netflix documentary aired, with McFarland asking him to "take one for the team" and perform oral sex on a customs official so they could get bottled water delivered.

He famously declared that he took a shower, rinsed his mouth with mouthwash and drove across town to do the deed. Thankfully, the situation didn't escalate to sexual coercion, but Andy is still revered nonetheless.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I just don't want to necessarily be known as the Blow Job Kind of the world," he said. Well, nowadays he's doing amazingly well considering his reputation. One might even call him a breakout star?

King admitted in a recent Netflix video that he was "completely blown away" (LOL) by the public response to the interview. "I am now a noun, a verb, an adjective…it's mind-blogging." 

The Billy Whisperer admitted to the L.A. Times he hasn't cut his ties with his imprisoned protégé; "No, I'm not done with him. I know- I'm Uncle Whackjob," he said.

"We come from a preppy background. Half my friends have sons his age. I didn't have somebody to mentor me at that age. He's not a horrible guy. He has hurt a lot of people. Will I probably go visit him someday? Yeah, I will probably. And maybe that's the closure I need."

The 57-year-old is still working as an event producer, and aided the start if a GoFundMe to help pay back all of the local Bahamian staff members.

Last but not least; Maryanne Rolle

Rolle was the caterer at the Exuma Point Resort in the tropical islands of the Bahamas, and lost her ENTIRE life savings to feed the staff of the festival.

Of course, anyone who watched the documentary had a huge amount of sympathy for her, and began a GoFundMe campaign to help her out.

It raised over $123,000 dollars and exceeded the goal, with many of the festival organisers offering donations.

Maryanne and her husband, Elvis Rolle, have found the attention highly difficult, and revealed in an interview that she has fallen ill due to the stress, "She can't cope with it all," Elvis told The National. "I hope she feels better soon."

As for the amazing GoFundMe campaign, he said, ""It means everything, it means we get something back from everything we put in. It is like God is watching over us."

So there you have it. Most of them are still embroiled in the law, but at least Maryanne got her savings back? We wish her well.

Feature image credit: Hypebeast

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In case anyone wants to hear more about the sh*t-show that was Fyre Fest, we HIGHLY recommend the Netflix documentary.

The whole thing was insanity, but models and influencers who shared those infamous orange tiles to their Instagrams were paid a huge amount to do so, despite knowing nothing about the actual festival.

Rumour has it that Kendall Jenner was paid a whopping $250,000 for her post marketing the campaign, which is madness, but Hailey Baldwin has revealed that she gave her pay to charity. 

The model and wife of Justin Bieber was a guest on James Corden's US talk show game Spill Your Guts, but remained candid on how much the actual amount was… which was probably wise.

While she did refuse to reveal the digits, she replied: "I’m not going to share but it made for a very generous donation to charity." Not one to let things go easily, Corden joked; "You gave the money away after you saw how… great it was." 

Hailey had to laugh that one off, saying nervously, "Yes, I did." The chat show host made sure to call the 22-year-old supermodel 'noble' for her efforts. We're glad something good came out of the whole thing.

Baldwin and a group of models were flown out to the Bahamas, including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, in April 2017 to film a promotional video for the music festival.

The event was created by rapper Ja Rule and entrepreneur Billy McFarland using fraudulent funding on McFarland's part, who was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison.

He was let out on $300,000 bail but continued to create fraudulent businesses while on probation, awaiting trial.

Image: VICE News

Recent reports now state that Hailey and Bella Hadid, and influencers involved in the festival who are represented by IMG modelling agency would be subpoenaed as part of the criminal investigation into the disastrous event, which was later cancelled.

Billboard claim that the subpoenas aim to discover more about the reported $1.4 million budget that Fyre allegedly had to book artists and talent.

McFarland allegedly spent $10 million on the music festival, despite the chaos of no accommodation, water, food or artists.

Feature image: mhamed-hassine-fantar.com

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Ja Rule has taken to social media to deliver a public apology to a women who was left financially destitute following the Fyre Festival disaster. 

The Bahamaian restaurant owner, who runs the Exuma Point Bar and Grille Maryann Rolle featured on the Netflix documentary about the festival, and revealed that she had spent all of her lifesavings and more feeding the crew and guests, without recieving a penny in return.

Taking to Twitter, the rJa Rule shared a statement of apology to the restaurant owner:

'My heart goes out to this lovely lady… MaryAnne Rolle we’ve never met but I’m devastated that something that was meant to be amazing, turn out to be such a disaster and hurt so many ppl…'

'SORRY to anyone who has been negatively effected by the festival… Rule'

While it is unknown whether the rapper contributed, some justice has been found for Maryann. 

A GoFundme campaign set up by Maryann has now raised over $158,000 for her to rebuild her life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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'It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organisers of Fyre Festival. Back in April 2017 I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1000 meals per day,' she wrote in a heartfelt description.'

Before the doomed festival was cancelled, thousands of attendees were flown out, and rather than be brought straight to the unfinished campsite, many were diverted to a restaurant and beach bar called The Exuma Point Resort, Bar & Grille, who had been contracted to host the party goers. 

The restaurant had also fed and watered staff at Fyre Festival for weeks leading up to the event. 

However, the owners of the restaurant did not receive a pre-payment for the costs the party would involve, and have never received their promised wage.  

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Two years ago, the world was simultaneously shocked and mildly entertained by the epic disaster that was Fyre festival.

Billed as the ideal high-end music festival experience on a private island, the entire thing was a huge flop. 

The organisers were punished to the highest degree of the law for their recklessly poor management and organisation of the event, and were slapped with fines of $100 million in damages – and the festival disaster returned to the public eye this week as both Netflix and Hulu released competing documentaries about the issue. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In both, venturists Ja Rule and Billy McFarland were featured heavily. McFarland, founder of Fyre Media and brainchild behind the festival, is a convicted felon charged with defrauding investors and ticket holders, who is spending the next six years in a federal prison. 

The 2017 summer getaway in the Bahamas was presented as the ultimate glamorous, high-end festival experience, with the promo video featuring celebrity models like Bella Hadid and Chanel Iman frolicking in the sun.

However, when festival attendees arrived to the private island in the Exumas, the festival was far from ready to host a high-quality experience, with limited infrastructure and only the most basic of essentials.

Instead of being met with 5-star camping experiences, gourmet food, and all-star music acts, the attendees arrived to the island to find dilapidated tents, cheese sandwiches and a mass of cancelled acts – mass panic ensued.

Ja Rule has since spoken on Twitter following the release of the duo of documentaries, to defend himself. 

Opening with a slightly tone deaf tweet, he said: 'I guess I’m on Fyre this week…'

'The docs clearly have Billy at fault but let's blame the rapper lmao ok..'

'I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!'

When asked why he was not also being investigated by the 'feds,' Ja Rule replied: 'Cause it wasn’t me who scammed ppl Sherlock…'

He said later that he 'NEVER MADE OR GOT PAID ONE DOLLAR FROM FYRE… BUT EVERYONE ELSE DID' and assured Twitter uses that he too is out of pocket following the disaster. 

Feature image: Instagram / ruleyorkcity

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I think we all remember Fyre Festival.

It was the elite music festival in April that left people stranded on an island with barely any food or water.

The 'glamorous' accommodation turned out to be refuge tents in a field full of mud and the 'gourmet' meals ended up being dry bread with a slice of cheese.

Oh, and did we mention is cost €10,000?

Well, one of its co-founders, Billy McFarland, has now been arrested.

The 25-year-old has been charged with wire fraud, and he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Joon H. Kim, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement: "McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival.

"Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes."

A director in-charge of the US Attoney's office said that after the festival, his team became suspicious and had to investigate the circumstances.

The New York Times reports that the other co-founder, rapper Ja Rule (pictured above; far right), has not been arrested.

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There are times when you have no idea what the words to a song are and you just sing on with wild abandon, right? You don't know, you don't care, and to hell with anyone who tries to teach you.

And there are other times when you THINK you know, in fact you're pretty certain that you're spot-on, but later discover you've been making a total mug of yourself.

This may be one of those times, ladies.

If you, like us, were all OVER J-Lo's I'm Real back in the day, you'll probably know that the track which features Ja Rule opens with the lines "Are you Ellie?", right?

Wrong. Oh, so wrong, and we feel like damn fools.

This week the internet has been ROCKED by the fact Ellie doesn't actually exist, and J-Lo was simply giving a shout-out to her main man Ja Rule.

Think about it. He roars "What's my motherf*cking name" and J-Lo responds :"R-U-L-E…"

Yeah, we've been living a lie too.

 

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