Roughly two years after the Astroworld tragedy, Travis Scott is opening up to GQ about the incident.
The festival, which had nearly 50,000 attendees gather in Houston, caused ten deaths from what a medical examiner later determined was “compression asphyxia.” The manner of death was ruled an accident.
The rapper spoke to the outlet for the 28th annual Men of the Year issue.
“I mean I was just overly devastated, you know. I always think about it. Those fans were like my family. You know, I love my fans to the utmost,” the father of two tells GQ. “You just feel for those people. And their families.”
The day after the Astroworld tragedy, Scott spoke out on Twitter, writing in part, “I am absolutely devastated by what took place last night.”
“My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life,” he continued. “I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need. Thank you to Houston PD, Fire Department and NRG Park for their support. Love you all.”
Just a month later, Scott spoke out for the first time in an hour long interview and denied hearing any signs of distress from the crowd while onstage.
“It’s so crazy because I’m that artist too. Anytime you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show. You want to make sure fans get the proper attention they need,” he said at the time. “Anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped it a couple times to just make sure everybody was OK. And I really just go off the fans’ energy as a collective, call and response. I just didn’t hear that.”
Scott faced a number of civil lawsuits in the incident and was later cleared from any criminal wrongdoings.
The rapper confessed some of his mindset in the aftermath of the tragedy and express his thoughts on his fourth studio album, released in July. The latest, Utopia, began with rollouts of singles as early as November 5th 2021 with singles like “Escape Plan” and “Mafia”.
Scott explained that the releases were to be timed with the first night of the Astroworld festival in Houston, the festival’s third installment since 2018.
The festival was set to help usher in his new era of music as well.
Travis went on to add, “Making music, you think about things that go on in life and things that happen in your life, and you dial in on things,” he tells GQ. “That moment for families, for the city, you know, it was devastating. And when it came to making, like even finishing the album…I got back into it probably like, I don’t know, months and months and months after. And the idea of just even getting back into music, working on music and just even getting into that, was therapeutic of being able to channel some of the energy into production and sounds and finishing it.”
Utopia‘s tour is the first major event that Scott’s embarked on since the 2021 tragedy. Songs like “My Eyes” reference the devastating incident and offer insight into Scott’s mindset.
He raps, “I replay them nights, and right by my side, all I see is a sea of people that ride wit’ me. / If they just knew what Scotty would do to jump off the stage and save him a child.”
Scott told GQ, “It just came out when I was writing. Like I said, it was a real moment. The song is emotional to me. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album. And that verse means a lot to me.”
He shares that he wants fans to understand that he relates to their pain and concerns as much as the next person.
“I have concerns, things that I think about, and the things I see on a day-to-day basis, I think about them,” he says. “And every day I want to find change in the things, to make things better, make myself better. It’s just like: I go through things like everyone else. And even recently through something like I never could imagine.”