Hip-hop superstar Travis Scott is at the center of an investigation over the deaths of concertgoers who were crushed when the crowd surged toward the stage during his Nov. 5 performance at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston.
There have been complaints alleging that Scott saw the crush of people but did nothing to calm the crowd.
As Scott faces backlash over the concert tragedy, comments he made in 2014 regarding the death of Michael Brown are coming back to haunt him.
On Aug. 9, 2014, 18-year-old Brown and a friend were walking in the middle of a two-lane street in Ferguson, Missouri, when a police officer drove by and told them to use the sidewalk. Brown was shot to death by the police, triggering months of protests that helped solidify the Black Lives Matter movement, formed after the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin.
At the time, Scott seemed to blame Brown for his own death. In a Hot97 radio interview, he said, “I’m kind of angry; so many Black people are acting like fake activists … I’m not saying (Mike Brown) deserved to get killed. But I’m not saying that he didn’t deserve to pay for consequences he probably inflicted.”
Scott added that “the problem with Black people” is there always has to be a “disruption” when something like the Ferguson situation happens, Rolling Out reported.
“And I know we’re like ‘fed up’ quote/un-quote, with whatever is going on in culture…but at the same time, you gotta just stop putting yourself in positions where you’re continuously having this situation go down,” Scott said.
Scott’s words echoed those of now-disgraced TV star Bill Cosby, a convicted sex offender. In 2004, Cosby gave a speech at an NAACP event chastising lower-income Black people for not living up to the promise of the civil rights movement. In what became known as the “Pound Cake” speech, Cosby said, “These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged — ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
“It sounds like Travis Scott has that Bill Cosby ‘pound cake’ speech going on” tweeted The Moguldom Nation CEO Jamarlin Martin: “.…’but at the same time, you gotta just stop putting yourself in positions where you’re continuously having this situation go down,’ said Scott.”
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Scott commented about the concert deaths on social media, saying, “I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”
He announced that he would pay the funeral costs for those who died at his festival and he has partnered with an online counseling service, BetterHelp, to provide free therapy to those who attended, whether or not they were directly affected by the crowd surge.
Scott also thanked the police. “Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life,” Scott said.
One concertgoer, Niaara Goods, told the Associated Press that “as soon as he jumped out on the stage, it was like an energy took over and everything went haywire. All of a sudden, your ribs are being crushed. You have someone’s arm in your neck. You’re trying to breathe, but you can’t.”
Tickets for the festival sold out in less than an hour in May, according to HypeBeast. Two-day general admission tickets cost more than $365 after fees and taxes.
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