This Week in Pop Culture: Astroworld, Red TV and Britney’s Free

From Astroworld to Britney Spears case finally coming to an end, a lot took place in the entertainment industry over the past few weeks.

This Week in Pop Culture: Astroworld, Red TV and Britney’s Free

By: Laila Ali


What was supposed to be a fun, lively night was — well the complete opposite.

An ongoing investigation, 100s of lawsuits, along with 10 deaths & possibly more aren’t things that you would expect to come out of a typical music festival. On November 6th, rapper Travis Scott hosted his “Astroworld” concert at the NRG Park in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Not even five minutes into the concert, the panic struck. Picture this; 50,000 young adults pushing to the front of a small venue, people being trampled, cries for help, and the person that is supposed to be de-escalating the situation is doing the “robot.” 

Eyewitness accounts such as the one from Seanna Faith McCarty, explains how once the first 30 seconds of the opening song began, people started “drowning” in the crowd and were being crushed against the barricades. More victims of the Astroworld concert created their own accounts on “Tiktok” and shared videos of audience members pleading for help. @Anonimo.help00 shared a video on the platform with a girl begging the venue staff to help a person who had died in the crowd, but her cries were ignored. The 8 person death toll had gone up to 10 on the 12th and 14th of November after the deaths of Bharti Shahani and Ezra Blount were confirmed, both of whom had succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. Ezra Blount was also the youngest victim of the night, who passed at only 9-years-old.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Scott has had a disorderly crowd at his concerts— and knowing that he’s the one fueling the madness, it probably won’t be the last. In fact, he has been arrested twice in the past inciting riots at his concerts. In 2017, a fan of his reported that Scott had been encouraging people to jump off of a third floor balcony so he would be able to pull them onto the stage. Said fan had followed his directions, and ended up being partially paralyzed, which has led to an ongoing investigation.  

Now, days after the concert, staff who had been working the night of the concert have been detailing their own stories, as well as previous concerns before the actual concert. According to CNN, security guard Darius Williams quit the morning of the show due to seeing fans online discussing how they were planning on storming the gate, and because he had not received proper training.  

On November 8, three days after the tragedy, the rapper took to Instagram and finally gave his statement in the form of a black & white apology video. “I just wanna send prayers to the ones that was lost last night. We’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can work to assist them during this tough time.” The format, the lack of compassion, the fact that he was rubbing his head consistently throughout the video in order to show “guilt,” it was obvious that Twitter wouldn’t take easy to this poorly planned out apology. “Dude has some serious responsibility and no —- Instagram apology makes up for the lives lost,” one user wrote. “Travis Scott’s ‘heartfelt’ apology is giving me forced Youtube apology vid.”

On Saturday afternoon, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner explained the current situation during a press conference; “This is a very, very active investigation, and we will probably be at it for quite some time to determine what exactly happened.” 

Red (Taylor’s Version)

Over the course of the past year, Taylor Swift has released re-recordings of 2 of her old albums, and people have been asking one question; Why?

In November of 2020, Swift’s old manager, Scooter Braun, had sold her masters to a private company without her knowledge, meaning that Swift no longer had the rights to her first 6 albums. In order to regain those rights, she had begun a series of re-recordings, the first of which being of her 2008 album “Fearless,” who’s re-recording was released in April 2021. On November 12, the second re-recording was released, this one was of 2012 album “Red” which had been rebranded as “Red (Taylor’s Version).” It contained 9 new songs which were “from the vault,” one of them being a 10 minute version of “All Too Well,” which is speculated to be about Taylor’s 3 month relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. The song was accompanied by a short film starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. 


After 13 long years, Popstar Britney Spears is finally free from her conservatorship, which she deemed abusive during multiple court hearings during the past few months. During her final hearing on November 12, Judge Brenda Penny made her final ruling; “The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required. This is a huge step for Spears, since this is the first time that she will have full control of her personal life since her father Jamie Spears, had put her under the conservatorship in 2008. She celebrated on Instagram saying that “… I think I’m gonna cry the rest of the day, best day ever.” What’s next for Spears is unknown, especially since she claimed that she wasn’t ready to return to music and wanted to focus more on her personal life.