Let’s take it back. Way back. Because you see, Travis Scott has been instigating chaos, rage, and drug abuse for years. “Packin’ out Toyota like I’m in the league/ And it ain’t a mosh pit if ain’t no injuries/ I got ’em stage divin’ out the nosebleeds (Alright, alright, alright).” Sounds like someone making fun of the 11 people who suffered cardiac arrest at the Astroworld Friday night, November 5, 2021, but instead these are the actual lyrics of Stargazing from 2017 by the one and only, Travis Scott.
Some uninformed people (hi Aba and Preach) allow themselves to defend the artist these days online under the justification that he couldn’t possibly know what was happening. Well, let’s say we agree with you on his ignorance of the facts. Then another question pops up: WHY didn’t the artist know what was happening? That’s when it becomes interesting.
The irrefutable fact is that the targeted audience of Travis’s music and abhorrent public behavior are young people ages 13 to 25. That’s a key ingredient to the deadly progression of the events that I want you to keep in mind as you read on. Ew reports: “The youngest of those who died was 14. Another was 16, two were 21 years old, another two were 23, one was 27, and a final person was of unknown age, as he could not immediately be identified.”
The New Jersey local news website reported on an incident dating back to 2015, almost 7 years ago, when Travis Scott repeatedly urged his fans to overthrow security at the Summer Jam festival and join him on the stage. “There are more of you than them,” said the artist to the crowd as per nj.com. To top his instigation to disobedience and reckless behavior, the rapper publicly flipped the security staff afterwards for having tried to do their job. Okay Travis. We’re on to a phenomenal start.
That same summer, the police authorities in Chicago arrested the rapper after he yet again flipped the security, then encouraged and even urged his fans to climb over the gates and safety barricades to go on stage at Lollapalooza. Not just that, but look at the language used: “Everyone in a green shirt (security staff) get the f*ck back,” “Middle finger up to security right now.” Travis Scott then crowned his stupidity with: “We want rage.”
Then in 2017, Travis Scott was charged with disorderly conduct, inciting a riot, and endangering the welfare of minors after he prompted fans at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion to take over the stage and thus injuring a security guard, a police officer, and several others. Travis Scott pleaded guilty, and charges were dropped. He was ordered to pay court fees and restitution to two of the injured. My own two cents: charges like that don’t drop for nothing and Travis is a very rich man father to two babies by the billionaire Kardashian sister.
We’re not done yet. This is just getting better by the minute. Take for example the 27-year old, Kyle Green, who became paralyzed in 2017 after attending Travis Scott’s show at Manhattan’s Terminal 5 venue and as per his lawyer, was pushed over the railing from the third-floor balcony during the overly crowded event. You might be inclined to think: well not all fans are smart but Travis is not responsible for their behavior. And that’s where you’d be wrong as the rapper, sure enough, encouraged fans to jump off the balcony a day prior exploding in a roar of applause and hyping up the act prior, during, and after the jump, thus rewarding his fans for life-threatening behavior.
The artist says: “I see you, but are you gon’ do it? (turn the lights on) They will catch you, don’t be scared! Don’t be scared! Fall! Fall!” Now ladies and gents, you don’t have to have a child and imagine him being in that fan’s position to KNOW that this is wrong from all possible perspectives. Who does Travis Scott think he is? How would you feel if Travis Scott told your younger sister to jump from the 2nd floor for the show? Who gave him authority over the safety and security of a young mind? Teenagers and young people in their early 20s are gullible and if your idol says jump, well… you jump. Travis knows his power and abuses it to feel like a God playing with human lives and vehemently disregarding his fans’ safety.
Kyle Green, the fan who got injured the day after this video was taken, fell from an even higher floor, broke multiple bones, his spine included, and is now mostly in a wheelchair. If that wasn’t enough, Rolling Stone reported that “the fan was taken off the floor by the staff without a cervical collar, backboard, and any other safety precautions.” So let’s add unqualified staff to the list of illegalities Travis Scott has been engaging in for years now. Oh, shoot! It doesn’t end here. The mighty god Travis Scott, actually blamed the fall and injuries back on the victim. Yahoo News reports: “Scott’s lawyers have denied that he’s at fault, reportedly writing in a 2018 filing that said Green’s injuries resulted from “risks voluntarily undertaken” by attendees, according to Rolling Stone who obtained the filing.”
So if I’m Travis Scott and I tell you to jump and make thousands of other people chant with me LIVE encouraging you to fall and you do it, then you’re the idiot because you did what we pressured you to? For God’s sake. Teenagers get into crack cocaine for way smaller reasons. Like their bff instigating them to try it out just once for the fun of it. How do you think that feels when it’s your idol, the one person who you look up to and can do no wrong in your eyes? Sure your idol wouldn’t wanna kill you, right? Well, Travis Scott proved differently. Maybe he didn’t intentionally harm anyone but sure enough, proved he doesn’t care if his fans are breaking bones or dying right under his nose.
Now on to November 5th, 2021. No, I was lying. Recently, hours ago as I was writing and pulling all the information together for this article, Daily Star successfully published an older video (many videos are getting deleted as you read because his team must be doing damage control) of how Scott stopped the show in 2015 because a fan tried to steal his shoe. So the man has the capacity to see and react, but only when it comes to his shoes. Not to his fans’ lives. Cool.
November 5th already started terribly wrong when the fans tore down the gates and made their way in with force and disregard for anyone who was falling as seen in the footage below.
Do you know what’s mob mentality? Everyone runs so I must run too. No one stops so I’m not stopping either. Parents, please teach your children critical and independent thinking. Moving forward, mob behavior was in full display before the show even kicked off. Travis and his staff should have immediately pulled a full stop and turned everyone back. Why? Because these fans bypassed the metal detectors and security check when they rushed through the forged opening in the gates. Then they wonder how come the security guy was pricked in the neck. And mighty curious how the guard was saved but 8 kids died. Staff triage I guess.
That misconduct and initial disobedience scream red flag. There’ve also been claims of fake tickets and concert intruders so if the show officially sold out 50k tickets, safe to assume many more came in uninvited given the “easy” access to the venue. What did Travis and his staff do as a result of the overcrowding? Absolutely nothing.
From there, things just went downhill. Houston news outlets of course want to do additional control damage and posted this video trying to save face for Travis but please note how the artist never told the crowd to make way for the ambulance while it was obviously stuck in the crowd and fans were dying right in front of the stage. Travis never said stop, never said calm down, he just briefly paused and immediately after, incited people to unleash and “make some motherf*cking noise.” As Dylan Stephens said in a YouTube comment: “He sees the 🚑 coming in and hypes up the crowd even more.” Bravo Travis Scott. Even the only video that pretends that you cared, in reality, proves you SAW what was happening and you were aware people were passing out but well, you didn’t do sh*t about it.
Travis claimed then on IG that he didn’t know of the severity of the unfolding events. And here we’ve reached the question we posed in the beginning: WHY didn’t the artist know what was happening? Because he assumed this was normal and it was just people hyperventilating. If we get into his head, he thought he was on some Michael Jackson stardom level and had fans passing out. No Travis, they were not passing out of love for you. They were dying because you are too much of an egomaniac to take their pleas for help seriously and because you’ve ALWAYS instigated chaos at your shows telling your fans f*ck the security, we want rage, jump off the balcony, there’s more of you than them, it ain’t no mosh pit if it ain’t no injuries, and I’m sure many other calls to chaos and violence that we didn’t catch on camera or on the news. If you were less narcissistic and more realistic, you would have been hit by the question that just MAYBE there’s something very wrong going on with so many people lying on the ground lifeless right under your nose in the VIP section, with a stuck ambulance far away, and with chants from the crowd to STOP THE SHOW.
These two very young, very brave fans jumped on stage to plead with the cameraman and staff to stop as “there’s someone dead.” What happened as a result? They were ignored. Heartbreaking and infuriating beyond words. These kids asked for help, cried, screamed, went on stage, performed CPR on one another, some even died while saving their loved ones and nothing was done to put an end to the mayhem.
Travis, the world does not revolve around you and this IS the key lesson from the tragedy. Yes they could have had more prepared medical staff, yes they could have hired more security, yes they could have kept people distanced, but that doesn’t matter jack when the artist himself can’t conceive in his mind that just maybe these screams for help and plea from the audience are not just haters trying to stop him but people who are sincerely hurting and desperate for help. This is where narcissism will take you as an artist. If you’re an artist, always be concerned for the safety of your fans.
By comparison, look at these Rock bands, who are well known for mosh pits and unleashing their energy, stop the show, talk to the crowd, ask the security if the fans are okay, jump to help, directing the fans to make space for the staff to come in and help, and constantly assess the room.
And no, I don’t primarily listen to Rock music and I am not pitting one genre against the other. I personally consume Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, and Indie music. And so, this article was written with a heavy heart but an even stronger sense of calling out Travis Scott and all of his fans defending his utter lack of responsibility. And sincerely, I do hope the police make an example case out of Astroworld, Travis Scott, and Drake so that this never again happens.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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