Travis Scott has made headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months. Going from hero to zero overnight, the apparent ‘cancellation’ spiral for the American artist continues after ten people ranging in age from 14 to 27 were killed and dozens injured at the rapper’s Astroworld Festival in Houston in November, when fans were crushed against the stage.
As a result of the Astroworld disaster, inevitably, the world is looking for someone to blame – and Scott is the most obvious target. The rapper, along with organisers of what is now one of the deadliest live music events in US history, are facing a barrage of criticism and mounting questions over why the show continued to run despite pleas of help from the crowd to stop.
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) November 6, 2021
The future is looking uncertain for the megastar and his personal brand, especially in the ever-evolving cancel culture we seem to be living in. In the past month, it would seem that the domino effect has begun with brands boycotting exisiting – and upcoming – partnerships with the 30-year old music sensation.
In the last two weeks alone, the rapper has had his hard seltzer brand ‘Cacti’ discontinued and pulled from shelves. Coachella this week announced that Travis Scott will be dropped from its 2022 lineup (despite offering to perform his set for free). Mega64, a short-films and video production firm, has parted ways with the rapper. And partnerships with the likes of Nike, BAPE, Hot Wheels, Dior and more are currently on pause and questioned whether they will be scrapped all together.
It begs the question: is Travis Scott now officially cancelled?
For Scott’s career itself, the timing couldn’t be worse. While making steady gains breaking through as a mainstream celebrity and artist thanks to a number of successful hits and brand partnerships – along with a high-profile relationship with Kylie Jenner that couldn’t hurt – it seemed everything was going right for the rapper. His next collaboration was also to be the biggest; a high-fashion collection with Dior that is supposed to launch in the upcoming Spring/Summer menswear line in January, but pundits are speculating whether it will still go ahead.
It’s also not the first time Scott has faced criticism over the intensity of his live performances. As a result of the Astroworld tragedy, old events have resurfaced, such as the time in 2015 when Scott was arrested for disorderly conduct following his performance at Lollapalooza. There, Scott encouraged fans to climb over the barricades during his concert, and as a result, a 15-year-old girl was crushed. In 2017, Scott was arrested again after a concert in Arkansas on the suspicion of starting a riot. Several people were injured and Scott pled guilty to disorderly conduct.
Noting his history of arrests for inciting violence at his shows, you can’t help but wonder if perhaps Scott is partially to blame for what unfolded in Houston? And if so, realistically, is there any coming back?
Only time will tell.
The events at Astroworld Festival have raised issues about crowd control and general security at large entertainment events, and a recent medical examiner’s report could have a major impact on a criminal investigation into the tragedy. Meaning, Scott has a long road to travel before this is all over.