Last fall, entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule — the people behind the epic fuck-up that was (is?) (will always be?) Fyre Festival — spoke at a music conference to discuss and introduce their new festival venture. In a resurfaced video from their panel (via Death And Taxes), Ja Rule introduces McFarland as his “partner-in-crime,” a designation that feels especially apt after all the shit that went down over the last 24 hours, and allows McFarland to explain how the two of them first started working together. Up until now, McFarland was best known as the brains behind the scammy AmEx black card rip-off Magnises, and he recounts a long story about how he first booked Ja Rule to play one of his exclusive members-only parties. It makes them both sound like hucksters. Here it is:
Three years ago, I started Magnises. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an experiential and benefits platform that helps urban professionals access the best of their city. We have 100,000 customers around the globe, and as a way to give back I really wanted to book talent for these small private concerts. I’ve loved Ja Rule since I was a kid, and I think more importantly the girl who I liked at the time loved Ja Rule even more than me, and so I said ‘Let’s book Ja Rule for this private concert for Magnises,’ so I’m like shit, where do I go?
I went to Instagram and found this guy named Reggie Muscles who claimed to represent and know Ja Rule. So I sent Reggie Muscles a direct message, and he said ‘Give me $500 plus money for Ja Rule and he’ll show up at your party,’ and I said ‘Sure, why not?” I paid Reggie Muscles, and the next day Reggie Muscles brings in a guy named Big Fred. Big Fred says, ‘Give me $500 and I’ll get you Ja Rule.’ I pay Big Fred. This happens two more times until I finally meet a guy named Gutter. Gutter’s a little smarter now, so Gutter asks for $1,000 and then ‘I’ll get you Ja Rule.’ Now I’m in the hole big-time here, made an offer for Ja Rule, and Gutter called me a week later saying, ‘Ja Rule hates your offer, but if you get him a helicopter, he’ll come and do your concert.’ So I said, ‘Shit, he lives in New York, why do I need a helicopter?’ But I figured out a way to get him a helicopter for a 20-minute ride, and I book Ja Rule.’
— Web Summit (@WebSummit) November 23, 2016
They both sound like exactly the type of people who would come up with something as disastrously delicious as Fyre Festival.
In other Fyre Festival news… Ja Rule apologized and insists that the venture “was NOT A SCAM,” and reports say that all the A-list stars that were scheduled to attend were told to not come at the last minute. Also check out the riveting tale, “I Was Supposed To Be A Fyre Festival Model, Then Realized It Was A Debacle.” So much good content!
And, of course, here are the best Fyre Festival burns.