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Chuck D writes damning open letter saying ‘old white men’ are to blame for Astroworld, not Travis Scott

‘I’m not buying the Young Black Man did it’

Elizabeth Aubrey
Friday 19 November 2021 17:44 GMT
Travis Scott, Drake, Live Nation, Apple Named In $2 Billion Lawsuit

Public Enemy’s Chuck D has penned an open letter to organisers of the Astroworld tragedy, saying they should take responsibility for the the tragedy.

Ten people, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed and hundreds of others injured when a crowd crush took place at the Houston event on 5 November.

In his letter, Chuck D defends Travis Scott, saying that he entrusted the running of the event to Live Nation.

In his letter he wrote, “I cannot believe we’re at the point where I [got to] 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,” his letter began.

“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.”

Chuck D went on to urge the organisers to “do the right thing” in the wake of the tragedy.

His letter continued: “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 f*** up, fix this and let us all LIVE in PEACE.”

The Independent has contacted Live Nation for comment.

Travis Scott and Drake (Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Travis Scott and Drake were named in a massive new $750m Astroworld lawsuit in the wake of the fatal concert.

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Houston attorney Tony Buzbee has filed the lawsuit on behalf of more than 125 clients, including Axel Acosta Avila, one of those killed during the concert.

“No amount of money will ever make these Plaintiffs whole; no amount of money can restore human life. But, the damages sought in this case attempts to fix, help, or make up for the harms and losses suffered by these Plaintiffs-nothing more and nothing less,” the lawsuit states.

“The quantum sought includes sufficient punitive damages to punish and make an example of all involved in the streaming, promotion, organization and failed execution of the concert, and also to encourage those who engage in such activity in the future to do so with safety at the forefront, not just as an afterthought.”

In addition to headliner Mr Scott and fellow rapper Drake, the lawsuit also names Apple Music, which streamed the event, and Epic Records, Live Nation and the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, among others.

Scott wrote that he was “absolutely devastated” by the tragic incident and pledged his “total support” to the ongoing investigations into what happened.

The hip-hop star has offered to pay funeral expenses for the victims as well as providing counselling to anyone impacted by the event.

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