Two of the 2019’s most celebrated documentaries — Netflix’s FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud — competed with audience attention spans with the exact same topic during the onset of that year. The films brought the chaotic disaster of the ill-fated Fyre Festival to the forefront, which had recently seen its CEO-turnt-con-artist Billy McFarland be sentenced to six years in prison for two counts of wire fraud and the forfeiture of $26 million.
As collateral damage, platinum-selling rap star (and proud 50 Cent archenemy) Ja Rule saw his reputation take a hit, as he was the Fyre Festival’s co-founder but left the financing to McFarland while focusing on public relations.
Now that the smoke has cleared and conversation has shifted in favor of coronavirus vaccines and stimulus packages, Ja Rule, 44, has been tapping into his entrepreneurial side as of late and is touting what he feels is a good idea as far as the app is concerned.
While catching up with HipHopDX, the Queens-bred lyricist explained how his idea could greatly impact the Hip Hop space (and benefit its pockets as well).
“I love tech space, man,” an excited Ja Rule explained to DX Editor-In-Chief Trent Clark and Digital Coordinator Jeremy Hecht. “It gives you that creative feeling again, like whether you first get in the lab and start making records and shit, and you’re like, ‘Will this work? Will people like this how me and my niggas like this?’ It’s like we got a secret. We about to let this secret loose to the world.
“That’s how I feel like with tech. I’m not recreating the wheel, man. I’m creating it for the culture. That’s the fucking difference. It’s other live platforms. It’s other platforms that let you monetize your content, but it ain’t ICONN, trust what the fuck I’m telling you.”
The ICONN arm of Ja’s media/tech company operates underneath the umbrella of parent company I.C.E. Corp., which stands for Innovate, Create, and Entertain. The ICONN app allows its creators and users to videocast, book and connect with artists, ranging from nominal to extraordinary events.
When asked why he didn’t change the name after the Frye Festival shutdown, Ja conveyed his product’s bigger purpose has already moved past the controversy.
“ICE — That’s the parent company and what we do is, we’re here to be the most innovative, creative entertaining company out there,” he said with a laugh. “What ICONN does is special for me because it kind of brings everything full circle. It’s like giving us back our power. When I say ‘us’, I’m speaking of my artists’ power. My friends there. Giving us back out power in a lot of ways. Allowing us to monetize our brand, monetize our content where these other platforms don’t do it.
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“Ja Rule continued, “I’m really excited about some of the features. Some of the features that I have on ICONN are really dope, like being able to charge for a Live. I know that concept, it sounds off a little bit off because nobody does that. Who charges for their Live? Like I’m going to go Live … But, just think about it. Think about it on the grand scheme of things, right?
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has involuntary coerced fans to be glued to rappers’ every social media moves and the ICONN official website boasts Hip Hop talent such as Lil Jon, Trina and Funk Flex. When breaking down his bigger picture, Ja Rule envisioned one of the game’s biggest power couples to casually serve up entertainment.
“[Imagine] Cardi B and Offset having their muthafuckin Christmas party!” he continued. “Everybody going to be there! They’re charging a dollar for you to get in. You don’t know this. Peep this — they don’t announce that they’re charging for it. You’re scrolling through your feed and you see the lock on the picture that says, ‘Cardi and Offset’s Christmas Bash!’ That sets off your fucking curiosity antenna! Why is it locked?!? What do you mean I can’t see this? How much is it? You hit it. To unlock this Live, it’s a dollar. Man, fuck it! I got a dollar. What y’all doing? Now, do you see the thought process behind it?”
Ja went on to maintain it doesn’t make sense for artists to allow “billionaires” to use their content without recouping big chunks of the earnings.
Check out HipHopDX’s first installment of the Ja Rule interview above and more info on the app here.