Why are fans banning music by Travis Scott after Astroworld tragedy?
Rapper Travis Scott may finally face a reckoning for his pattern of inciting violence and encouraging fans to rush the stage at his concerts. On Tuesday, Scott was slammed with a $750 million lawsuit for his role in the November 5th Astroworld Festival crowd surge that left ten dead, including a nine-year-old boy. The complaint, filed by attorney Tony Buzbee, alleges “gross negligence” on Scott’s part.
The same day, W Magazine reported its decision to pull a cover featuring Scott & his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, from its digital publication. Nike has also announced that it will indefinitely delay the release of its sneaker collaboration with Travis Scott “out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival.”
The lawsuit claims that music by Travis Scott “played and streamed on – for almost forty minutes” after the stampede was declared a mass casualty event. Scott’s team insists that the Houston-born rapper didn’t have the authority to stop the Astroworld concert, but Scott has a reputation for inspiring disorderly conduct at his shows. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why some fans think Scott should be canceled.
“Middle finger up to security”
Travis Scott calls his fans “ragers” for good reason. Reports of the rapper stirring up mayhem at his concerts surfaced as early as 2015 when Scott convinced fans to scale barricades and join him onstage at a Lollapalooza performance. “Middle finger up to security right now,” Scott said, before conducting a cheer of “We want rage!” in the crowd. Shortly after, Scott was arrested and sentenced to a year of court supervision.
Scott’s affinity for bucking safety measures at live events is also an essential component of his music. “It ain’t a mosh pit if ain’t no injuries,” he raps in his 2018 song “Stargazing.” In 2017, a concert-goer sued Scott after he sustained permanent injuries from a New York City show, where he claimed other fans pushed him off a balcony. He remains partially paralyzed to this day.
That same year, Scott received three misdemeanor charges for inciting a riot, disorderly conduct & endangering the welfare of a minor at an Arkansas concert. In a chilling preview to the Astroworld tragedy, Scott provoked a crowd surge that left two people injured. He was forced to pay over $6,000 to the victims. Despite these incidents, Scott has continued to fan the flames of chaos at his concerts ever since.
Will Travis Scott’s music be canceled?
The lawsuit against Scott arrives in the wake of several efforts to cancel the musician. In addition to the dropped W cover and postponed Nike deal, Spotify users have mounted a boycott of Scott’s music, removing the rapper from their playlists and blocking the play of his songs in hopes that Spotify will follow suit. “I just feel physically sick listening to his music at this point,” an ex-fan confided to The Daily Beast last week.
Singer SZA faced backlash last Sunday at a show in Dallas when her DJ played Scott’s hit “Sicko Mode” to a booing crowd. A protestor has launched a one-woman campaign against Scott outside his home, holding signs that read “You destroyed lives. You deserve bankruptcy.” The online video game Fortnite has also purged Scott’s song from its shop following user complaints.
Travis Scott has since released an evasive video statement that says he is “devastated” by the Astroworld deaths but skirts any direct mention of his role in the tragedy. His team announced that Scott will be refunding the tickets of all Astroworld attendees and that he canceled a scheduled performance in Las Vegas last weekend. However, many fans believe that Scott hasn’t even come close to taking steps toward accountability.
What do you think will happen to Travis Scott? Is his music career over? Should he be permanently barred from headlining any other concerts in the future? Let us know in the comments.