First things first. As a member of the media that reports on entertainment, with a primary emphasis on music, an update must be made on the tragic series of events transpiring at multi-platinum rapper/producer Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas. Last week Civil Rights champion and personal injury attorney Ben Crump had announced a lawsuit on behalf of more than 100 concertgoers victimized at the event.
“This should have never, ever happened,” Crump said. “People were literally fighting for their lives just to get out of there…This is a horrific story…We have to get the answers. Nobody should ever die from going to a concert. This is a disaster that changed their lives forever. One thing is for certain. We will not let them get away with this…We are going to make them have changes in the industry.”
This week Scott, along with Drake, Live Nation and Apple have been hit with another lawsuit stemming from the said tragedy. The $750 million complaint, which was filed in a Houston Civil Court by attorney Tony Buzbee on behalf of more than 125 fans—including the family of one of the deceased—alleges Scott and show organizers were negligent in their planning of the festival, which left 10 dead, including a 9-year-old boy who succumbed to his injuries this past Sunday. Some 300 people were treated at the festival site and 13 were hospitalized.
Amid the slew of somber reports from the week prior, the music continued with the equally ambitious Day N Vegas Festival at Las Vegas Festival Grounds in Las Vegas Nevada. While no concrete numbers were issued, it could be safely assumed that there was a turnout on each day of the three-day event of at least 50,000. Not gonna hold you, the protocols to enter somewhat put COVID transmission issues at ease, but the specter of THAT many people with the added ingredients of heat and alcohol could easily become explosive. Pleased to say the festival proceeded with little to no incidents and music prevailed. On that level, standout performances were plentiful, yet with the vastness of the venue and the set times, a bevy of the 112 acts that performed over the weekend were missed.
From those that I personally witnessed, standout performances were Isiah Rashad, YG, Thundercat, Lucky Daye and SiR. Leveled up, audience rockers stage shows came in the form of Teyanna Taylor, SZA, Ari Lennox, Jazmine Sullivan, and the Griselda Records family, featuring Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, Armani Caesar and one of the hottest artists in the game Benny the Butcher.
This week Def Jam Recordings President Snoop Dogg announced while on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, “I’m on Def Jam Records right. I’m a creative consultant executive, and just to let you know that it don’t exist no more, I’m going to announce on your show that I just signed Benny the Butcher, and he is one of the hardest rappers up out of Buffalo, New York. So that’s showing that there are no more lines to be crossed. We are doing what we’re supposed to be doing. The butcher’s coming.” Confirmation from Benny himself came via Instagram with a captioned photo of himself inking the contract that read, “A Buffalo n***a the new face of The Legendary Def Jam Records. Signed my major deal finally.” Benny is aligned with Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes in the single
“Murder Music,” taken from Snoop’s upcoming new album “The Algorithm.” “Snoop Dogg Presents The Algorithm” is billed as an “all-encompassing new project that features artists from the legendary Def Jam label’s past, present and future.”
“There’s so much talent on this record, so many styles of music, it breaks the algorithm,” Snoop said in a statement. “Right now, the algorithm is telling us you have to rap this way, you have to sound this way, but they’re not telling you how it’s supposed to feel. My algorithm is going to give you a feeling, not a sound.”
That last sentence segues perfectly into the sentiment of the BEST show of the Day In Vegas Festival. Since his arrival and ascension into the best rapper alive, Kendrick Lamar has mastered the art of poetically melding words and emotions. He’s now managed to pull that off during live performances, an even rarer feat. For his Day In Vegas set from “Section.80” to “DAMN.” Kendrick laid down the groundwork and followed the theme by opening with a big screen message about “Section.80” that said, “I wrote this album as a prelude. There was an energy in 2011 that formed around the culture of L.A.” Each album that followed had a similar introduction. “Good Kid m.A.A.d City” was “The Life & Times of Compton, CA.” “To Pimp a Butterfly” was about “expressing himself in a way he’d never done before” with “no boundaries.” “DAMN.” was about “the beginning of self-awareness, and the conflicting nature of man.” Flawless from theme to execution, Kendrick is an assassin. Can’t wait to hear what he has next for the streets.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.