Ja Rule has hit out at Robinhood’s role in the GameStop stocks and shares saga.
Electronics retail company GameStop’s share price has skyrocketed over the past week, increasing from under $100 (£73.23) on January 21 to a closing price of $347.51 (£254.50) on Wednesday (January 27).
Concerns have been raised over investor activism, while several hedge fund short-sellers have been hit with catastrophic losses. It has since been announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are to review the role of Reddit in the recent price surge, with investment app Robinhood removing its online stock.
The move – which is preventing millions of people from trading in GameStop and AMC – has resulted in Ja Rule (aka Jeff Atkins) speaking out on the issue. “Yo this is a fucking CRIME what [Robinhood] is doing,” he tweeted yesterday (January 28).
Atkins later told Rolling Stone that he’s been following the Robinhood/Reddit/GameStop saga “for a week or so”, saying that the WallStreetBets Reddit group “have been fighting back” against “the big Wall Street guys”.
“These guys decided to make the stock go through the roof, which in turn makes the big whales that shorted the stock now have to buy it, which drive it [up] even more,” he continued. “That helped the little guy make a lot of money and I thought that was very interesting. It was an uprising of people tired of getting pushed around.”
Yo this is a fucking CRIME what @RobinhoodApp is doing DO NOT SELL!!! HOLD THE LINE… WTF 🤬
— Ja Rule (@jarule) January 28, 2021
He added: “This whole thing reminds me of the Roaring Twenties. It feels like that era again, just after the Spanish flu and with a lot of new sprout-up companies and ideas and a real separation of class. I kind of see the beginnings of that happening right now.”
Although the rapper “love[s] Robinhood” and has been a user of the service since 2014, he said the shutdown of their stock “felt very wrong” to him.
“If you throw in the fact that the place you’re trading shuts off trading for the stock and you can only sell… that makes people very scared and now people sell, sell, sell, and those [Wall Street] guys get very rich off the stock and the little guys are left holding the bag. So I was very upset this morning to see that,” Atkins explained.
Asked how he thinks the situation will end up, the rapper said that he predicts “a victory for bitcoin”.
“We’re getting to see, in plain sight, how broken this system really is and how it’s leaned toward one particular group of people to get wealthy and others to not. I think this is going to drive people more toward decentralized markets, and bitcoin will be at the forefront of that.”
Ja Rule also echoed the comments he made in his initial tweet in his interview: “Hold the line. Hold the stock. Don’t get scared and sell it in fear, because eventually they have to let these companies back on the trading market and they’ll be available.”
A fall in broader US markets has been attributed to hedge funds selling their positions to pay for their losses, and the main Wall Street indexes lost more than 2 per cent on Wednesday alone. A state regulator has since called for GameStop shares to be suspended for 30 days to allow them to “cool off”.