HOUSTON - In his first interview since the Astroworld Festival in Houston, Rapper Travis Scott said he didn’t know about the tragedy unfolding in the crowd while he performed on stage.
"It wasn't really until minutes until the press conference until I figured out exactly what happened. Even after the show, you’re just kind of hearing things," Scott said in the interview. "I didn't know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. And even at that moment, you’re kind of just like, ‘Wait, what?’"
Scott also denied hearing people screaming for help from the crowd.
"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. And anytime I could see anything like that, I did. I stopped like a couple of times to just make sure everybody was okay," the rapper told Charlamagne. "And I just really just go off the fans' energy as a collective — call and response. I just didn't hear that. I've got music, I've got my in-ears, but I just didn't hear that."
Charlamagne also asked Scott about the "raging" culture of his shows and if that could have contributed to the energy of the tragic night.
Scott said "raging" is not about harm, and described it as being about "letting go and having fun."
Scott has offered to cover the funeral costs for the victims, but some families have rejected Scott's offer.
"All things are understandable. At a time they're grieving, and they're trying to find understanding, and they want answers," Scott said in the interview.
"I just wanted to make sure that they knew that I was there for them, you know what I mean, and continue to be there for them," the rapper continued.
Scott and his companies along with Live Nation, and others are facing about 300 lawsuits from more than 1,000 people, including the families of the 10 victims, who accuse them of negligence during the event at NRG Park. In total, the suits are seeking around $3 billion in damages.
This week, Scott, asked a judge to dismiss 11 lawsuits against him, court documents show. Scott's attorneys filed the response on behalf of the rapper and his entities Jack Enterprises, Cactus Jack Foundation, Cactus Jack Records, and Cactus Jack Studios, saying they "generally deny the allegations" and "respectfully request that the claims against these Defendants be dismissed with prejudice."
"With prejudice" means victims would not be able to file a similar lawsuit if Scott's request was granted.
On Thursday, Attorney Tony Buzbee responded to Scott's interview. The Buzbee Law Firm filed a suit last month on behalf of more than 125 clients, including Axel Acosta. The 21-year-old was among those who died during the Astroworld concert.
Buzbee responded to the interview with the following statement:
"I reviewed Travis Scott’s interview with great interest. Does he really want us to believe that he is a victim? Travis Scott is not a victim. Axel Acosta and the many others killed or injured are the victims. Travis Scott, his entourage, handlers, promoters, managers, hangers on and everyone else who enable him are the problem. Everything that Travis Scott has done or said since ten people died and hundreds of others were injured at his concert has been lawyer driven and calculated to shift blame from him to someone else. He now says he had an ear piece in, and was not told what was going on in the crowd. That raises the question: ‘Did he have an ear piece in his eye? Why did he purposely ignore the death and mayhem occurring literally feet from him?’ Every time Travis Scott opens his mouth in an effort to avoid responsibility and accountability, he further exacerbates the pain of those that lost loved ones. Axel Acosta’s family doesn’t want to hear Travis Scott’s excuses; excuses do not assuage their grief and pain. Because he won’t voluntarily do so, we intend to force Travis Scott to accept responsibility for his conduct, in court, in front of a jury."
During an interview with Buzbee, he doubled down on his comments against Scott saying his latest interview may have done more harm than good.
"'It was my name in lights I'm the person, they were coming to see I was the one making a lot of money from this, I have some responsibility,'" he said. "That wouldn't remove the pain that wouldn't eliminate or assuage any of the pain, but at least not make it worse."
Valarie Cortinas-Fisher, another attorney representing Rudy Pena's family, shared a similar statement citing some "inconsistencies" in Scott's responses.
"I believe that there were a bit of inconsistency is in a statement regarding when exactly he knew when exactly did he know the deaths occurred," she said. "Was it before was it after the police press conference?"