Ashanti talked to PEOPLE about her friend and frequent collaborator Ja Rule's involvement in the failed Fyre Festival

By Adam Carlson Helen Murphy
February 04, 2019 11:45 AM
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Ashanti is speaking out about Ja Rule‘s involvement in the disastrous Fyre Festival, which the rapper co-founded with entrepreneur Billy McFarland.

Speaking to PEOPLE at the 2019 Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest in Atlanta on Saturday, the singer discussed her longtime friend and collaborator and revealed what she wants people to keep in mind as Fyre Fest re-enters the headlines in the wake of two new documentaries.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Ashanti said. “I think that it’s so important when you fall down to get right back up. You have to try. People make mistakes, you know what I mean, and you have to be man enough to admit when you make a mistake and keep pushing.”

Ashanti added that she and Ja Rule will be going on tour together, beginning this month.

Michael Simon/Startraks

“We’re like a real brother and sister,” Ashanti said. “I kick it in his dressing room, he comes and takes stuff out of my dressing room,” adding that Ja Rule steals her “candy, chips, juice, everything.”

“I take his candles though,” she joked. 

The two Fyre Fest documentaries — Netflix’s Fyre and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud — were both released in January. The films each show how the 2017 music festival, once touted 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, fell apart.

Ja Rule responded to the documentaries on Twitter in January, writing, “I had an amazing vision to create a festival like NO OTHER!!! I would NEVER SCAM or FRAUD anyone what sense does that make???”

“I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead [sic] astray!!!,” he added in another tweet.

RELATED: Ja Rule Defends Himself Following Pair of Fyre Fest Docs: ‘I Too Was Hustled, Scammed, Bamboozled’

At a concert in New Jersey on Friday, Ja Rule led fans in a chant where he encouraged everyone in the crowd to curse him out for his involvement in Fyre Fest. “You might be a little mad at me,” he began, in an exchange captured by an Instagram user.

“I want y’all to repeat after me,“ he continued. “Get it out of your f—ing system cause we ain’t gonna do this s— for the rest of the year! So get your motherf—ing middle fingers up.”

Then he shouted, “Let me hear you say ‘F— you, Ja Rule!”

Ja Rule apologized on Twitter while the Fyre Fest debacle was unfolding in April 2017, posting a screenshot of a Notes app that read, “We are working right now on getting everyone of [sic] the island SAFE that is my immediate concern… I will make a statement soon I’m heartbroken at this moment my partners and I wanted this to be an amazing event it was NOT A SCAM…”

“I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT,” he continued,” but I’m taking responsibility I’m deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this…”

RELATED: Fyre’s Presentation to Sponsors Clarifies Ja Rule’s Role — and How They Got That Bahamian Island

In December 2017, in the aftermath of the Fyre Fest scandal, Ashanti told PEOPLE that she didn’t believe the situation was Ja Rule’s fault.

“When he was talking to me about it he was so excited,” she said at the time. “It just didn’t work out, and I don’t think it was his fault. There were other people underneath that were doing things, but he’s back at it. He has a bunch of ideas coming.”

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