Ja Rule's broken his silence hours after his Fyre Festival was called off following a disastrous start ... and he insists it was NOT a scam.
The rapper said Friday his main priority is "getting everyone [off] the island SAFE" and he'll elaborate on the calamity that unfolded just days before his first ever festival kicked off at the Bahamas this weekend.
Ja Rule also said, "I'm heartbroken ... it was NOT A SCAM as everyone is reporting. I don't know how everything went so left but I'm working to make it right by making sure everyone is refunded."
The rapper went on to say he apologizes but says, "this is NOT MY FAULT," but is taking responsibility.
A U.S. State Department official tells us they're monitoring the situation and "stand ready to provide appropriate consular services to any U.S. citizens in need."
As we reported ... Ja's festival looked more like a refugee camp and ticket holders who paid between $1k to $12k walked into living accommodations which looked like they had been used in previous disaster relief efforts, empty beer stands and "gourmet food" that turned out to be 2 pieces of bread and 2 pieces of cheese.
Festival organizers just announced ... "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must postpone this experience. We are working tirelessly to ensure each guest leaves the island safely and ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation as we continue to provide ongoing updates via email and our official social media channels."
They added ... refund information will be coming.Ja Rule's Fyre Festival promised luxury but delivered what looks like a refugee camp.
The festival -- the first annual -- kicked off Thursday in the Bahamas, but it's a disaster of epic proportions. Ticket holders paid between $1k and $12k, and what they got was unreal.
-- Living accommodations were used in previous disaster relief efforts
-- The beer stands were empty and the "gourmet food" turned out to be 2 pieces of bread and 2 pieces of cheese
-- The kitchen looks like what you would get when you're camping in the wilderness
-- Security lockers had no locks
Fyre's video pimping the festival showcased Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski on a yacht as a way to lure fans to a luxurious paradise. Not exactly as advertised.
Blink 182 pulled out Thursday ... saying they're "not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give fans."
Pretty clear Ja Rule didn't see this coming -- he posted a pic 2 days ago just before boarding a private jet headed for the festival.
Fyre released a statement, acknowledging "things got off to an unexpected start at day one."
Katy Perry's getting slammed for her new single before anyone's even heard it, because people aren't cool with her co-stars on the track -- Migos.
Perry's new song, "Bon Appetit," will be released Friday, but the backlash has already begun when the cover art revealed she collaborated with the rappers. Fans are pissed because they've made homophobic and misogynistic remarks ... notably, when an ATL rapper came out as gay, Quavo said, "This world is not right."
Now, Perry's getting heat ... especially after accepting a National Equality Award last month at the Human Rights Campaign gala.
This isn't a first for the pop singer ... she's also been criticized by the LGBT community for her songs "I Kissed a Girl" and "Ur So Gay."
We reached out to Katy's people ... so far no word back.
Scott told us liberals have been attacking him for linking his former co-star's death to a drug overdose during a radio interview -- but says his haters' political biases are seeping through.
The attacks don't appear to faze him though. Although it turns out Erin died from cancer -- and not substance abuse problems -- he says it doesn't change his strong feelings about the dangers of drugs.
Scott Baio feels terrible for ripping his co-star, Erin Moran, for her drug use and says he never would have done it if he'd known she was battling cancer.
Scott tells TMZ he was wrong to insinuate Erin -- his "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi" co-star -- had died from drug-related problems. He went pretty hard on her during a radio interview Monday morning.
He tells us he went to bed Sunday reading reports she'd possibly died of a heroin overdose, and went into the interview with that in mind. He was upset he'd lost Erin to drugs after she wrestled with substance abuse for years.
However, hours after he went off the air ... officials in Indiana announced Erin had likely died from complications of stage 4 cancer. Scott says if he had known, he would've kept his mouth shut.
He tells us Erin never disclosed her diagnosis to him -- even after his wife, Renee, spoke to her just last month. He adds ... Renee has battled cancer herself several times, so losing Erin this way hits close to home.
Joe and gf Sophie Turner were strolling through the SoHo district Thursday in NYC and it's pretty damn clear Joe's delivering the goods. Actually ... more like good, good, and Sophie seems plenty satisfied.
If her smiling face doesn't say it all then just take a closer look ... it's literally written all over her left hand and in plain view -- "Joe Gives Me Da Good Good."
Kendall Jenner has chosen Coachella as the place she'll return to the spotlight after the epically disastrous Pepsi ad.
We've learned Kendall will host a party for the Bumble dating app in Rancho Mirage this weekend. The company is taking over a mansion in an exclusive gated community and will create a winter wonderland with real ice and snow ... in the desert!
Kendall will also guest DJ at an event over the weekend.
The events were scheduled a while back but Kendall has been MIA since the Pepsi ad exploded. The organizers were extremely concerned she would bail, but we're told she has now given assurance she will be at both events.
We're told Kylie will be by Kendall's side at both events.