I love me some Ja Rule. After all, the man was an integral part of my early adult years when I could go an entire night at a club without complaining about the volume of the music or the lack of places to sit down.
In 2019, when I had the pleasure of interviewing the rapper, he could not have been more gracious and even regaled me with a delightful tale of being arrested in Cancun and calling none other than Jay-Z to bail him out. Casual.
And, like the gift that keeps on giving, the Murder Inc star of course brought us the ill-fated Fyre Festival (sort of) in what will go down as the greatest example of schadenfreude the world has ever seen.
In case you’ve somehow forgotten the finer details of the Fyre Festival fiasco, here’s the abridged version.
In 2017, Ja and an entrepreneur named Billy McFarland announced they were throwing a luxurious multi-day festival in the Bahamas that would feature five-star accommodation, gourmet food, a bevvy of Instagram influencers, swimming pigs and, for some reason, Blink 182 as the headline act.
A bunch of Wall Street bros and other people with way too much disposable income purchased the exorbitantly priced tickets and packed their bags for the weekend of a lifetime, only to be met with a hellscape of limited amenities, FEMA tents and some sad-looking pieces of cheese slapped between a couple of slices of white bread.
In the end, McFarland went to jail for fraud but Ja was able to escape litigation as his lawyers argued that McFarland merely used his name and connections to promote the event. Or, as Ja said, “I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!”
I too was hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!
— Ja Rule (@jarule) January 20, 2019
Now, in the emerging world of NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) and cryptocurrency, people in the market to re-live the ill-conceived glory of Fyre Festival can do so, by purchasing the now-infamous cheese sandwich Tweet.
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 28, 2017
The photographer of the heart-wrenching picture that became synonymous with the flop of a festival — Trevor DeHaas — has joined forces with Ja Rule to make a buck out of the “cultural touchstone”.
The rapper launched NFT platform Flipkick in March with the aim to be “the first company to offer cryptographic authentication of physical works of art sold as and linked to NFTs”.
“If you’re old like me, you’re used to having tangible things to collect. But you’ve got to let your mind be open to the new,” Ja Rule told The Art Newspaper. “I feel like we can be the Christie’s of physical NFTs. We want to involve celebrities and dope influencers. Banksy, if you’re reading this, Rule would love to sell you baby!”.
The Always on Time singer may not be selling Banksy just yet, but he is helping to sell Haas’ Tweet for the bargain price of US $80,000.
“Meme. Cultural touchstone. Cheese sandwich,” the listing reads.
”From an inauspicious dinner, photographer Trevor DeHaas captured the most iconic image from 2017’s most famous debacle — the Fyre Festival. Two limp white slices on wheat bread lay, like the lifeless body of Icarus, bemoaning the hubris of man. A timeless image of inestimable cultural import, sold now as a singular NFT.”
While the proposed sale may seem like yet another cash grab, it does carry a more pressing significance — all proceeds going towards the medical expenses for DeHaas’ ongoing health issues.
DeHaas took to Twitter to explain his motivation to sell the NFT (and to clarify who was behind it) writing: “@jarule is not selling the cheese sandwich NFT. I am. @flipkickio which Ja is a partner in, and myself have teamed up to sell the NFT. I do understand why the media is phrasing it as if Ja is selling the NFT but that’s not telling the full story.
“The proceeds of this sale will be going towards a good cause: my medical expenses for daily dialysis and my pending kidney transplant.”
Just to clarify a few things:@jarule is not selling the cheese sandwich NFT. I am. @flipkickio which Ja is a partner in, and myself have teamed up to sell the NFT. I do understand why the media is phrasing it as if Ja is selling the NFT but that’s not telling the full story.
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 7, 2021
Lastly the proceeds of this sale will be going towards a good cause: my medical expenses for daily dialysis and my pending kidney transplant.
If you don’t want to bid on the NFT but still want to help out here’s a @gofundme for my medical expenses:https://t.co/tbKqLEUBCh
— Trevor DeHaas (@trev4president) April 7, 2021
For those not interested in owning a piece of pop culture history by way of a photo of a cheese sandwich, DeHaas also has a GoFundMe set up to generate funds for the operation.