How does hip-hop today produce a Travis Scott?
As a stand-up comedian myself, I am personally invested in learning all that I can from tragedies such as this one because I regularly perform in front of audiences. Rappers and comedians both come up with their material out of passion and dedication to their craft. Not everyone can do what these people can do, and this allows for many who are successful in these fields to feel almost like they are God-like, better qualified prophets, or the agents of some newly discovered truth. Scott even has a song about this phenomenon on the Astroworld album. The music video for “Stop Trying to Be God” features an oddly vast amount of religious imagery. One prominent example is Scott baptizing people. The people then begin dancing. Next, Scott appears, riding a beast before a God-like figure (also played by Scott) strikes him down.
To me, this further speaks to the responsibility of popular artists to not get caught up in their own egos. They have an almost spiritually free-spirited presence in the lives of some (if not all) of their fans. Artists are some of the only people in society besides members of clergy with the power to speak to and articulate emotions complex and simple.
Astroworld tragedy depicts fans’ dependency on artists
Fans rely on the clear-headed vision of artists to let go and enjoy themselves without fear of bodily harm or other negative repercussions for doing so. This analysis of the music video says that the God-like figure that resembles Scott, and who punishes Scott is actually a visual representation of the negative consequences of Scott’s own egoism.
So like, is this all idolatry? Travis Scott, Drake, Apple Music, Live Nation, and NRG Stadium are being sued by hundreds of Astroworld victims in a $2 billion lawsuit, and hundreds more are seeking litigation from the law firm. Many feel they all share the responsibility for the deadly events that occurred at the music festival when an already over-packed crowd surged forward as fans attempted to get closer to Travis Scott during his performance. Scott did not stop his show as a result. And this is regardless of the fact of if he or his team knew about the fatal events that had transpired.
Security say they felt that they were “set up for failure.” According to witness testimony, security hired the day-of the Astroworld Festival lacked essential equipment like walkie talkies and were not asked to provide identification. They have also only been paid about a quarter of what they agreed to. Scott continues to lose promotional deals in the wake of the tragedy. These include plans to work with brands like Nike, Fortnite, and now Dior. Travis Scott has also been denied from performing at Coachella, even after he offered to perform for free.
“Luxury-retail expert” Thomaï Serdari told RollingStone that
“This is about social responsibility and respect to the audience.”
All in all, the Astroworld tragedy demonstates how dramatically steep a fall from grace can be for a “God-like” figure.