Following his surprise appearance at Travis Scott’s Astroworld late Friday night, during which eight people were killed and hundreds were more injured in what has been characterized as a “crowd surge,” Drake has broken his silence. The “Take Care” rapper, who has been named along with Scott, Live Nation and several others in a growing number of lawsuits resulting from the November 5 performance, issued a statement Monday night expressing his grief over the tragedy.
Drake published the following statement via Instagram:
I’ve spent the past few days trying to wrap my mind around this devastating tragedy. I hate resorting to this platform to express an emotion as delicate as grief but this is where I find myself. My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering. I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can, May God be with you all.
Meanwhile, Scott’s past behavior and rhetoric is garnering further scrutiny as footage of prior interviews and performances has resurfaced. Among them is a 2015 GQ video titled “How to Rage with Travis Scott,” the YouTube caption of which reads: “A Travis Scott show is crowd surfing, moshing, sweat, blood and vomit. And that’s just Travis himself.”
“Since I was 6, I wanted to be a fucking wrestler...So in performances, I always wanted to make it feel like it was the WWF or some shit,” Scott says in the two-minute clip, in which he describes “raging” as “having fun and expressing good feelings.”
“I don’t need a stage to fucking perform, no. We just need something to stand on—it could be somebody,” he continues with a chuckle. “I just need a platform. We don’t like people that just stand, whether you’re Black, white, brown, green, purple, yellow, blue. We don’t want you standing around, like, this is a no-stand zone.”
While the segment is earnest and relatively lighthearted in tone, in light of Friday night’s tragedy, Scott’s words have come back to haunt him—as likely will his encouragement for fans to “find anything you’re gonna use to consume to get you lit...Whether it’s your drugs, or your water, or whether it’s your orange juice or your alcohol; do whatever you wanna do, man...”
“When people go out, there is no going home, man,” he tells GQ, musing that camping should be a constant of the concert experience. “There is no going home,” he continued. “It’s like, we’re gonna spend the night, and we’re gonna party all the way ‘till the fucking sun comes up...at the end of the night you should be fucking throwing up.”
While Scott’s ethos doesn’t differentiate him from legions of other entertainers across genres, other footage may prove far more damning as investigators and attorneys try to determine Scott’s culpability in the Astroworld tragedy. In another 2015 video that has gone viral since Friday, Scott stops a performance at Switzerland’s Openair Frauenfeld to encourage concertgoers to “fuck...up” a fan who attempted to grab one of the star’s shoes.
From the New York Post:
Footage from the Swiss gig shows Scott, 30, leaping into the crowd — then pointing to a young-looking fan nearby after stumbling to get up.
“Come here, bitch,” he shouts through his microphone, with the music stopping as he accuses the fan of trying to “take my shoe.”
“Get that motherfucker, get him!” he shouts, telling other fans, “Fuck him up! Fuck him up! Fuck him up!”
The footage appears to show several people striking the fan as he tries to make his way to safety to a waiting security guard, with many chanting, “Fuck that bitch!”
Even as the crowd turns on the fan, Scott appears to make clear his threat is serious — again shouting, “Fuck him up! Fuck him up! Fuck him up!”
The “Sicko Mode” star then appears to spit at the fan after he manages to escape the crowd and walk off.
“Fuck his ass up!” Scott again shouts — throwing his mic after the fan as he walks away.
No such behavior by Scott was reported during Astroworld 2021. Nevertheless, numerous commenters have pointed out the seeming hypocrisy of Scott stopping his show to confront a fan—and inciting violence against them—but continuing to perform as the chaos escalated while he was onstage Friday night.
“Anytime I could make out, you know, anything that’s going on, you know I stop the show and, you know, help them get the help they need,” Scott claimed during an Instagram story on Saturday night (h/t NY Post). “I could just never imagine the severity of the situation...I’m honestly just devastated and I could never imagine anything like this just happening.”
Pitchfork reports Scott plans to cover the funeral costs of those killed in what authorities are calling a “mass casualty incident.” In addition to refunding the tickets of all Astroworld attendees, he is also partnering with BetterHelp to provide a month of free therapy “to those affected by the festival.”