Travis Scott has remained relatively quiet since the November 5 Astroworld Festival tragedy that killed 10 people and injured hundreds more. Save for two social media statements, the Cactus Jack rapper has stayed out of the spotlight while canceling multiple performances.
On Thursday (December 9), Travis Scott reemerged for a lengthy sit-down with The Breakfast Club‘s Charlamagne Tha God. During the 51-minute interview, Charlamagne quizzed La Flame about the deadly crowd surge that occurred during his headlining set in Houston.
Travis began by describing the “emotional rollercoaster” he’s been on since that fateful night in November.
“I’ve been on different types of emotions, an emotional rollercoaster,” he said. “It gets so hard ’cause I always felt connected with my fans, and I went through something and I feel like fans went through something and peoples’ parents went through something, and it really hurts.”
He added, “I’ve been just in a room for a while. A lot of thoughts and, luckily, [I] have people around that [I] can bounce ideas. I’ve been doing this for such a long time and… nothing like this has ever happened, so you’re kinda figuring it out.”
The Astroworld tragedy has resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of lawsuits, many of which place at least some of the blame on Travis Scott for either encouraging the crowd frenzy or failing to prevent the surge. The grandmother of the youngest victim, 9-year-old Ezra Blount, called Travis’ decision-making into question.
But according to Scott, he “1000 percent” did everything he possibly could to prevent the tragedy from unfolding.
“Yes. Anything I physically [could], for sure, yes,” he replied when Charlamagne asked if he did all he could to help. “If knowing what was going on, you just wish… if you could’ve done something better. But standing there, 1000 percent.”
Providing more insight into his version of events, Travis Scott claimed he was unaware that fans were being trampled and crushed to death in the crowd, and the few times he did notice concert-goers in need, he stopped the show.
“I stopped it a couple of times to make sure everybody was ok,” he said. “I really just go off the fans’ energy as a collective; call and response. I just didn’t hear that!
“You got lights, you got sound, you got pyro, you got your in-ears, you got your mic, you got the music, you got [the] band. It’s all type of stuff going on … Everything kinda sounds the same.”
He also said he was unable to spot the ambulances in the crowd due to their lights blending in with the rest of the crowd, and at one point even tried to find out if they were indeed ambulances.
“An ambulance don’t really have red and blue lights. You just looking at it like it’s lights, that’s why I asked,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yo, is it an ambulance? What’s going on?’ … I didn’t get a response so… You got a response from the fans, I asked them to put a hand up. But I didn’t get a response from anything else, so I carried on.”
In fact, it wasn’t until after the festival had been cut short that Travis Scott became aware of the severity of the situation.
“It wasn’t until minutes until the [Houston Police Department] press conference until I figured out exactly what happened,” he explained. “Even after the show, you’re hearing things. I didn’t know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. Even at that moment, you’re like, ‘Wait, what?!'”
While the costly and no doubt complicated Astroworld legal battle prepares to commence, Travis Scott’s focus is firmly on helping figure out exactly what went wrong at his festival and how to prevent such a tragedy from happening ever again.
“At the end of the day, I’m human so I want to do so much to try and help and heal,” he said. “I want to be able to go and start taking these steps to start addressing these problems and getting to the solutions, and addressing ways to fix these things from happening in the future. I think that’s the main thing.”