US rapper Travis Scott to release Utopia at Egypt's Pyramids amid controversy

Eslam Omar , Monday 17 Jul 2023

American rapper and record producer Travis Scott is scheduled to unveil his new album titled Utopia in a livestream from his upcoming concert at Egypt’s great historical sight of Giza Pyramids on Friday, 28 July. However, the concert stirred woos and boos in the 105-million-strong country.

Travis Scott
Travis Scott performs at Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas in a concert that ended with a tragedy that left ten deaths and dozens of injuries, on 5 November 2021 (File Photo: AP)


Some commentators celebrated the hosting of the hugely famous star’s performance whose tickets were reportedly sold out just a few minutes from being available with prices varying between EGP 4,000 and 6,500.

"After successful artistic, cultural, and touristic activity held recently like the Pharaohs Golden Parade and the Luxor’s Avenue of Sphinxes, interest has increased internationally for the private sector to hold big performances [like Scott’s] in Egypt,” Egyptian Tourism Authority CEO Amr El-Kadi stated last week during his phone call with prime time talk show Kelma Akhera on ON TV channel.

Boycott campaigns

Some commentators joined in a boycott campaign against the controversial artist, linking him with involvements in “anti-Egyptian Afrocentrism agendas,” “satanic rituals,” or at least “violating society’s values.”

“This concert must be cancelled,” said lawyer Amr Abdel-Samie on several local TV channels and newspapers after officially requesting different authorities to stand against hosting an artist he described as a “masonic, satanic, and devil worshipper who has a dark history.”

The boycott campaign convinced many commentators on social media who attacked the artist with some real incidents, but sometimes mixed with other illusive allegations.

Welcome, superstar

Scott has over 50 million followers on Spotify, arguably the favourite music streaming platform among teens and rap fans. He is dubbed as a superstar by international news and music magazine with some of his songs surpassing a billion views on YouTube.



“When you arrive, call me,” Egyptian rapper Marwan Moussa told Scott in a video he posted as an Instagram story last week. “Don’t worry about anything,” the AFRIMA’s Best African Rapper reassured sarcastically.

Moussa reflects a wide fan base of Scott in Egypt who expressed excitement over the gig, requesting some specific tracks and spreading rumours about his featuring other big stars in the album like The Weeknd of the currently trending explicit drama series The Idol.

Texas ghosts

The antagonization of Scott seems mainly based on the tragedy of a concert he performed at Astroworld festival in his home city Houston, Texas in 2021, in which 10 young attendees were killed and dozens injured due to what officially was unveiled as “compression asphyxia, which an expert likened to being crushed by a car. The deaths of youngest concertgoers' ages were nine and 14.

Two weeks ago, a Texas grand jury declined to indict Scott in a criminal investigation of the deadly crowd surge, eliminating potential counts such as murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.

“We are aware of this,”  El-Kadi referred to the Texas tragedy, reassuring that all safety measures are taken strictly into consideration, especially with the attendance only permitted to a maximum of 5,000 to 6,000 spectators at the Giza Pyramids concert.

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