Play Sicko Mode?

Will Onubogu

You go home. Buy a ticket for an event you have waited months for. You finally get to see your idol perform live. You stand amongst thousands and thousands of people. You have fun, and you go home, satisfied… or not… but you go home. 

Someone else buys a ticket, for an event they have dreamed for all their life. A Travis Scott concert in Texas. Travis Scott is a well known American rapper who has found success in recent years putting out songs like Butterfly Effect and rallying people across the world to ‘Play Sicko mode’. Besides the satire, someone is at a Travis Scott concert. There is enjoyment, then sudden screaming, fear, and “stop the show” chants. And there lies not only 8 people dead (Goodman), but hundreds permanently traumatized. 

And someone is now traumatized, scared, and moving in haste as if a person yelled: fire. Yet one could argue similar sentiment from the statement, “I want to see some rages. Who want[s] to rage”(Goodman), which were words uttered by Travis Scott. Someone runs for the exit, bodies trampled, people grabbing; chaos, or maybe performance… all the same. Travis Scott, despite the yelling for help, said by his actions that ‘the show… must go on’. And so it did, as young adults perished amidst performance… or chaos… all the same. And he performed and performed and performed and performed and performed and performed and performed and performed, uncomfortably long as death went from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 to 7 to 8, but ‘the show must go on… Surely someone is entertained as they run for that exit, with bodies trampling, people grabbing…chaos… or maybe performance. We want to blame, to charge, at the face of the operation, but a dead patient on its bed from an intensive operation that failed, we cannot fully give fault to the lead surgeon without acknowledging the faults of its fellow surgeons and nurses. 

So first I will say this, Travis Scott acted poorly, but where is the enforcement, regulating entry for the concert or keeping cool heads in the crowd? Where are the people who run the technology that gives Travis the performance? We cannot sit here and hold one person responsible for an event that had thousands of people. Nevertheless he should have done more to ensure the safety of the fans who fill his pockets. 

I challenge you all in your frustrations with people, and it may be the administration, it may be your parents, your coworkers, and it may be your classmates, that there is more than just the face to a decision made, words said, there is operation behind. And it does not negate the words said, decisions made, but removes wholehearted blame or hatred towards that person. I have begun to consider this in my endeavors with others, and you will find in doing so, we are more resolved with this understanding of one another.


Goodman, J. David, and Maria Jimenez Moya. “’No Way out’: A Sudden Life-and-Death Struggle at a Houston Concert.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Nov. 2021,