Astroworld to BBMAs to Nike

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN

In early November 2021, just over six months ago, crowds killed ten concert-goers during Travis Scott’s headlining set at Astroworld. (Eight died on November 5, with two dying days later from their injuries.) Scott responded with multiple testimonies in the days following the festival, attempting to clear himself of guilt. He is currently facing a number of multi-million dollar lawsuits over the event and has been the subject of numerous investigations. But the rapper is also slowly making a comeback, even performing at small events and releasing new music. Now he’s appearing on his biggest stage since the tragedy: the Billboard Music Awards, which airs May 15 on NBC. (Also appear? Morgan Wallen, in his first televised performance since the N-word was said on video in February 2021.) The performance may come as a shock to those who aren’t paying close attention to Scott’s post-Astroworld movements, but it’s really the product of a slow, month-long return to the Publicity – one that, like the growing lawsuits, is unlikely to stop as Scott prepared a project ahead of Astroworld. Here is a timeline of that return.

November 6, 2021: Scott tweets a response to the Astroworld deaths in which he writes that he is “absolutely devastated”. He continues, “I am committed to working with the Houston community to heal and support families in need.” Later that night he spoke about the event at one Instagram storyHe said he would “stop the show and get them the help they need” if he saw fans struggling at performances. “I could never have imagined the seriousness of the situation,” he says.

November 8, 2021: Scott offers to pay for the funeral expenses for those crushed as a result of the rushing Astroworld crowd and announces the move in a press release. He also announces a partnership with online therapy provider BetterHelp for free therapy for those affected by the concert. Las Vegas’ Day N Vegas hip-hop festival has canceled Scott’s Nov. 13 headlining set in an opinion.

11/15/2021: Nike is delaying the launch of its Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack shoes, a collaboration with Scott, “out of respect for all affected by the tragic events at Astroworld Festival.” The boots were originally scheduled to release on December 16th. (Nike announced on May 11 that the shoes would be released on May 27.)

11/29/2021: The family of Ezra Blount – the youngest of Astroworld’s ten victims at the age of 9 – tells the story Rolling Stone They declined Scott’s offer to pay for his funeral. “He needs to recognize, and hopefully acknowledge, that he bears some responsibility for this tragedy,” family attorney Bob Hilliard said of Scott.

11/30/2021: Lawyers for the families of four more Astroworld victims tell Rolling Stone They also declined Scott’s offer to pay for their funerals. Tony Buzbee, Axel Acosta’s family attorney, called the offer “bullshit.” “If you didn’t give a damn about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying they’re willing to pay for a funeral,” he says Rolling Stone. Richard Mithoff, representing John Hilgert’s family, says it was “frankly demeaning and really inappropriate to the scale of the tragedy that unfolded”.

December 6, 2021: In his first interview since Astroworld, Scott speaks to Charlamagne Tha God on his YouTube channel. He reiterates his claim that he “didn’t hear” fans in need and stopped performing to check on fans “like a couple times”. He tells Charlamagne that “Rage,” or the scuffle he encourages among his fans, “is just the experience of having fun” and “isn’t about harm.” He adds that he won’t be performing again until “we address a lot of security concerns.”

December 10, 2021: KESQ reports that Scott will no longer be officiating Coachella in 2022, having previously been slated for 2020. One day later, diversity reports that Scott’s agent had tried to keep him in the lineup with the intention that Coachella would be his live return.

December 11, 2021: Scott’s Hartseltzer Cacti is being discontinued by Anheuser-Busch nine months after its launch. “We believe that brand fans will understand and respect this decision,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesman said in a statement saying.

December 28, 2021: Dior is delaying a planned Cactus Jack line with Scott, set to be part of its summer 2022 collection. The decision was made “out of respect for everyone affected by the tragic events at Astroworld,” Dior said WWD. The outlet reports that Scott’s team has approved the postponement.

February 6, 2022: Scott’s girlfriend Kylie Jenner announces the birth of their son (formerly Wolf) on February 2nd. TMZ reports on Feb. 22 that their son’s middle name is Jacques, which is Scott’s birth name.

February 10, 2022: Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, posts on Instagram that Scott will be performing during his Coachella headlining set. (Ye is eventually dropped from the Coachella lineup.)

February 14, 2022: Jenner posts a video to her Instagram Story of her home full of pink and white roses and a giant pink bear from Scott for Valentine’s Day. A source tells People that she “is very grateful to Travis” and that “he’s a romantic guy.”

February 23, 2022: Ye releases four songs from his album donda 2 to his Stem Player, including “Pablo” which features Scott and Future.

March 8, 2022: Scott announces Project HEAL, “a multi-stage, long-term series of community-focused philanthropy and investment efforts.” It includes event safety initiatives, mental health resources and scholarships. “I want to use my resources and my platform to work towards actionable change,” he writes on Instagram. “This will be a lifetime journey for me and my family.” The sparse website promises more information “in 2022.”

March 26, 2022: Scott performs at an Oscar pre-party – his first live performance since Astroworld. He DJs and raps a short set, per TMZ, at a party in Bel Air attended by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

April 17, 2022: Scott spins a few songs at a Coachella after-party, per TMZ. The La Quinta, California event was linked to the nearby Revolve Festival. A source tells E! News, “People were very excited to see him.”

April 22, 2022: Scott can be heard opposite Future in producer Southside’s “Hold That Heat.” It’s Scott’s first generally available song since Astroworld, after “Pablo” was only available through Yes Stem Player. Scott also stars in the music video with an alligator on a leash.

April 27, 2022: Primavera Sound Buenos Aires announces Scott as headliner for its November 12th show. It’s his first announced festival appearance since Astroworld.

May 8, 2022: Scott performs a 45-minute packed set at E11EVEN nightclub in Miami. He encourages the crowd to take pictures, TMZ reports. Quavo joins Scott for a few songs.

May 9, 2022: The Billboard Music Awards announce that on May 15, Scott will appear in his first TV appearance since Astroworld. As the show’s executive producer and host, Diddy says on Instagram that he made “a demand, a request” for Scott to perform. Diddy tells it later billboard he “undoes what was canceled” by having Scott perform.

May 20, 2022: Scott is releasing shoes and apparel from his previously postponed collaboration with Nike on his website. His Air Trainer 1s are only available via raffle and TMZ reports that more than a million people sign up within 30 minutes. (A broader release on the Nike SNKRS app is expected on May 27.) “Emotions run high,” Scott says in an Instagram Story a few hours after the drop. “Love you guys.” Astroworld to BBMAs to Nike

Lindsay Lowe

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