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Chuck D Comes to The Defense of Travis Scott as Astroworld Lawsuits Continue Piling Up

Chuck D Comes to The Defense of Travis Scott as Astroworld Lawsuits Continue Piling Up

Photo by Michael Tullberg via Getty Images.

“I’m not buying the Young Black Man did it,” wrote the Public Enemy rapper in an impassioned open letter on the Astroworld tragedy.

With the amount of litigation currently underway on behalf of the victims of this year’s installment of Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival, it can be a little difficult to keep track of what happened, why it happened, who’s at fault, and what comes next.

So far, lawsuits have named nearly every marquee name involved, including Scott and surprise guest, Drake. But as one of rap’s most seasoned and celebrated touring performers, Chuck D is pleading with lawyers and the public to point their fingers are at the appropriate party. In an open letter on the Astroworld tragedy posted on Instagram, the Public Enemy co-founder and frontman defends Scott and insists it’s the concert promoters and organizers who should be held to account for a gross mishandling of already dangerous conditions that led to 10 people dying (as young as 9-years-old) and hundreds more being injured.

“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,” Chuck D writes. The rapper goes on to call out Live Nation, specifically, for “shucking their most crucial responsibility” and keeping musicians quiet by owning most of the venues they would perform at. “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,” Chuck continues.

The rapper’s letter arrives on the heels of a week that saw a class-action lawsuit filed for $2.5 billion in damages on behalf of 282 Astroworld attendees. An additional 120 victims have since come forth seeking representation in the suit, which names, Scott, Drake, Apple Music, and NRG Stadium as defendants. Drake, Apple Music, and Live Nation, are named in a separate class-action suit for $750 million in damages on behalf of another 125 victims.

Read Chuck D’s full statement on the Astroworld tragedy below.

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 behavior 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.

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