Public Enemy's Chuck D Shares Open Letter Defending Travis Scott in the Wake of Astroworld

"Travis Scott is a performer, an act, not a concert promoter"
Public Enemy's Chuck D Shares Open Letter Defending Travis Scott in the Wake of Astroworld
We're two weeks out from the tragedy at Travis Scott's Astroworld, and it still feels difficult to grasp. Ten people have now died as a result of the crowd surge — including a nine-year-old who died after spending more than a week in a coma — and Scott and his associates are currently facing a landslide of enormous lawsuits

As the public face of the tragedy, many are placing blame on Scott — for his tendency to rile crowds and his decision to continue playing despite possibly having evidence that something was amiss — as well as Live Nation and those in charge of planning Astroworld. 

Public Enemy's Chuck D has a problem with that, and today he released an open letter defending Scott and asking that people shift their blame to those he sees as responsible for creating the conditions that led to the tragedy. In the letter, he calls on CEO and president of Live Nation Michael Rapino directly, demanding that he claim responsibility and reconfigure how he and other promoters plan and execute their live performances. 

"Travis Scott is a performer, an act, not a concert promoter," he writes. "He doesn't run the sound or venues or festivals or their staff… But he does trust Live Nation and all the other concert promoters who are supposed to do all of this."

He continues, writing:

I'm not buying the Young Black Man did it. He's being blamed for a crime while the old white men running the corps that Travis and his fans trusted with their lives stay quiet in the shadows, counting their money and watching their stock prices go up and up. The excuse of Scott's irresponsible actions don't wash – if his act had a history of that behaviour why promote him to bigger venues, why partner with him in the first place and let him headline a bigger audience? Live Nation controlled this show.

You can read his entire statement below, or head to his Instagram

I cannot believe we're at the point where I gotta say this out loud: Travis Scott is a performer, an act, not a concert promoter. He doesn't run the sound or venues or festivals or their staff. He doesn't build stages or coordinate logistics, he's not an expert in crowd control or security or emergency medical services. But he does trust Live Nation and all the other concert promoters who are supposed to do all of this. And yet here we are, 10 deaths and counting. 10 broken families.
The world is mourning.

I'm tired of these corporations shucking their most crucial responsibility.  These folks simply say Rest In Peace and move on. This negligence can't continue. Folks want answers. I'm not buying the Young Black Man did it. He's being blamed for a crime while the old white men running the corps that Travis and his fans trusted with their lives stay quiet in the shadows, counting their money and watching their stock prices go up and up. The excuse of Scott's irresponsible actions don't wash – if his act had a history of that behaviour why promote him to bigger venues, why partner with him in the first place and let him headline a bigger audience? Live Nation controlled this show. They control almost all of the concert venues. Artists ain't speaking out because these same cats are already bought by these corporations. No one can say a word against them unless they want to be Blacklisted and hurt their careers.

So I am calling on Michael Rapino's entire team at Live Nation and a consortium of all the major concert promoters out there to do the right thing. To step up and step out of the shadows to fix these situations and save lives. To stop letting one Young Black Man take the blame, the hate, the fall. We don't know everything that happened or exactly what failed. But concert promoters have all the power to make the changes to keep everyone safe and alive.

Live Nation, your stock is up. The White Corporate Music Biz keeps cashing in on Black Pain, Trauma and Death. This has to stop yesterday. You're part of the problem. Grow the fuck up, fix this and let us all LIVE in PEACE.