In his first TV performance since the Astroworld disaster last fall, Travis Scott performed his song “Mafia” at the Billboard Music Awards, on a polar-themed set reminiscent of “Game of Thrones.”
The camera slowly zoomed in on him inside a cave-like room framed by a polar scene, dressed in a fur and white outfit as he launched into the song surrounded by dancers dressed in the same way. All teetered around bold scythes and slabs of ice; the scene would suddenly switch to a surreal, blurry black background like a parallel dimension.
He performed a brief segment of a new song – presumably from his forthcoming album, “Utopia” – before the performance abruptly ended, followed, naturally enough, by Morgan Wallen accepting an award presented by Pusha T.
— TRAVIS SCOTT FANPAGE 🌵 (@dailytrvisxx) May 16, 2022
Scott was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Song alongside Spanish producer HVME, for Scott’s electronic remix of “Goosebumps” in 2016.
This is Scott’s first TV appearance and his second public performance since ten people were killed when crowds swept through his Astroworld festival in Houston last fall (the premiere was on May 8, for the Miami Grand Prix). The rapper was defended by BBMA host and executive producer Sean “Diddy” Combs who, in an interview with Revolt Black News, said he would “cancel the cancellation”, referring to the backlash against Scott.
Scott wasn’t the only controversial performance pick of the night, Morgan Wallen also had his first on-air performance since coming under fire in 2021 after a video of the singer shouting the N-word emerged.
This is just the first of many Scott performances scheduled for the rest of the year. He recently announced appearances at three episodes of the Primavera Festival in South America this fall. The long-running festival, which started in Spain but has since expanded to Southern California and South America, is held in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santiago, Chile and also includes Bjork, Lorde and Arctic Monkeys.
Scott has kept a relatively low profile in the months following the Astroworld tragedy last November. He offered to pay the funeral expenses for the victims and spoke publicly about the drama, which led to the cancellation of several concerts and a collaboration with the haute couture brand Dior.
More recently, billboards for Scott’s long-delayed album “Utopia” appeared on the Coachella Freeway ahead of this year’s festival, signaling its release in the coming weeks. “Utopia” will follow Scott’s third album, 2018’s “Astroworld” and the following year’s “Jackboys” compilation. He released several tracks including “Mafia” and “Escape Plan”, both of which arrived days before Astroworld.
In March, Scott announced Project Heal, an event safety initiative with a $5 million funding commitment backed by a long-term series of philanthropy and investment efforts.