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Is Travis Scott's exile over?

Seven months after Astroworld tragedy, rapper prepares for return to the scene

Is Travis Scott's exile over?  Seven months after Astroworld tragedy, rapper prepares for return to the scene

It has been seven months since the Astroword tragedy, the festival that cost the lives of ten people and became an apparent point of no return for Travis Scott's career. Seven months, in fact, was all the time it took to make Scott, once a deity of music and show business, a mere human being with a future as uncertain as ever. Business deals evaporated, an album release postponed until a later date, and a collection with Dior canceled after a grand presentation during Paris Fashion Week last June. Travis Scott's presence from the pop narrative had been practically zeroed out in a sort of damnatio memoriae such that The Kardashian's production pushed The Kardashian to postpone the show's release in order to eliminate any reference to the festival.

But taking away the fascination given by the almost perverse idea of seeing the fame and success of a star like Scott disappear in a single swoop, the real question mark was mainly related to the actual duration of this media exile for La Flame, his distance from the scenes and stages, but above all from contracts and sneaker releases. While there was a flock of fans ready to loudly welcome the rapper's return, there was-and perhaps still is-a public opinion of a completely different opinion, far from forgiving what, for many, is the one and only big culprit in the matter. Last April Highsnobiety wrote commented thus on the billboards that appeared in the Coachella area in anticipation of the release of Scott's new album: «They are problematic for two reasons. The first, it's too soon; and the second is that their poor execution perpetuates his apathetic, callous and blameless stance toward what happened to the victims and their families.» But how long can the "too soon" last? To date Scott and Live Nation are grappling with a huge lawsuit, which according to Billboard has reached 4900 plaintiffs, but nevertheless «the show must go on», and a few days ago the rapper returned to perform live during the Billboard Music Awards, setting foot on a stage again after months and reigniting the controversy over his figure.

It matters little, however, because closely came also the confirmation, first unofficial and then official, of another return, that of the collaboration with Nike, put on stand-by in November and ready to return in a few days with the release of the Air Max 1 and Air Trainer 1. Awaiting the large-scale release set for May 27th, a few days ago the two sneakers were released on Scott's official website by registering the record figure of more than one million users in the half hour available. Bots aside, the mass participation would seem to be a clear signal about the health of Scott's career, far from the semi-divine levels of a few years ago, but still far from the exiled ones of months past. This, however, is only the beginning, and the truth will probably come later, when between the release of a new record and a return to live shows we will really see who will scream the loudest between Travis Scott's fans and his detractors.