CNN - Travis Scott told radio and talk show host Charlamagne tha God that he's been on an "emotional rollercoaster" since 10 people died and many more were injured at his Astroworld Festival.
The rapper, who has denied legal liability, sat down with Charlamagne for an almost hour-long interview that was posted on YouTube Thursday.It was Scott's first extensive interview since the tragedy, and he started out saying how hard it's all been because he has "felt so connected" to his fans.
"It really hurts," he said. "It hurts the community, it hurts the city [Houston where he is from and where the annual festival was held]. It's a lot of feelings, a lot of grieving."
Scott denied initially knowing concertgoers had been hurt, saying he "didn't know the exact details until minutes before the press conference," after he performed. "People pass out, things happen at concerts, but something like that," he said, trailing off.
According to Scott, his visibility from the stage while he was performing was limited, but what he did see he acted upon. "Anytime I could see anything like that, I did," Scott said. "I stopped it a couple times to just make sure everybody was OK."
He also addressed the "raging" culture his concerts have been known for and that some have blamed for the deaths and injuries.
Scott said "raging" is "about letting go and having fun." "As artists, you trust professionals for when things happen that people can leave safely," Scott added.
"And this night was just like a regular show, it felt like to me, as far as the energy," he said. "People didn't show up there just to be harmful. People just showed up to have a good time and something unfortunate happened and we just need to figure out what that was."
With more than 140 lawsuits having been filed since the Astroworld tragedy, against Travis, it's no surprise that this interview came across as rehearsed public relations bullshit, than truly heartfelt sentiments.
I wanted to make sure I listened to this entire thing rather than go off the mainstream media's accounts of it because they've all done such a piss poor job of covering this story from the beginning, and I wanted to be sure I didn't miss anything.
But I didn't.
It was 100% Travis Scott reiterating PR talking points which in my opinion, comes off worse than him continuing to just stay silent about the whole thing.
Zero feeling of being contrite, which I honest to God think he is, zero sense of being culpable- in fact quite the opposite. He made it a point to point out that (paraphrasing) "shit happens" at live events.
He shrugged off accusations that "raging" is the norm at his shows by saying it's just "about letting go and having fun."
He actually (through his PR firm) also went out of his way to mention "it's not about protecting his brand or his name" but that is EXACTLY what this is.
The comments on the video mostly all see it the same way.
Charlamagne is a close friend of Travis', and pretty much everybody in the industry, so it's no surprise he didn't go after Travis here, ask any follow-ups, or put any pressure on any of these softball questions. The way these interviews work nowadays is the PR firm approaches the interviewer, proposes the interview, works out a deal where an agreement is made that the interviewer will adhere to guidelines within the interview in exchange for exclusive access to the artist, the PR firm then screens all questions in advance, rewords and edits them, redlines anything they don't want or like, and then has final edit rights on the piece before it's made public.
If Travis really wants to sway public opinion he might want to stop listening to PR firms and suits, and instead record himself being genuine and honest about how he feels about the whole thing and put that out to the public on his own social media. But what do I know?