correction

A previous version of this article incorrectly said that reality star Kylie Jenner is a billionaire. Her net worth is currently estimated to be around $700 million. This article has been corrected.

Travis Scott, the chart-topping Houston rapper known for his hyperkinetic live shows, has risen to the top of the hip-hop world thanks to a devoted and young fan base. The 29-year-old Grammy winner’s deep understanding of youth culture and what makes the TikTok generation actually tick catapulted him past A-list status to cultural phenomenon.

“This is an artist that we know has a following amongst young people in particular,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference Saturday afternoon, discussing the aftermath of the mass casualty event at Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston that left eight concertgoers dead.

In the years since his breakthrough 2014 mix tape, “Days Before Rodeo,” Scott has been nominated for eight Grammys but has experienced success and fame well beyond the realm of music. He launched one of Nike’s most highly sought-after sneaker collaborations; created a wildly successful music festival for his hometown; had a child (and has another on the way) with reality star Kylie Jenner; performed at the 2019 Super Bowl; and wrote the theme song for the Christopher Nolan film “Tenet.” You can also buy the Travis Scott Meal at McDonald’s for $6.

In the spring of 2020, when most performers were making peace with the lockdown and cancellation of concerts, Scott chose the road untraveled, gathering his fans on Fortnite, the online gaming universe. The “Sicko Mode” rapper performed several surreal animated live shows for a total of more than 27 million people.

Born and raised in the Houston area, Scott, born Jacques Webster, began to generate national attention as a rapper and producer after signing a publishing deal with Kanye West’s GOOD Music in 2012. He released two well-received mix tapes and two studio albums to emerge as one of rap’s hottest stars, but with his 2018 album “Astroworld,” inspired by his hometown’s now-shuttered theme park, Scott catapulted to crossover sensation.

“Astroworld” produced Scott’s biggest hit, “Sicko Mode,” a propulsive duet with Drake that gave Scott his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself would go four-times platinum and it remains the rapper’s most acclaimed work, with Billboard describing Scott’s music as blending “the euphoria of an acid trip with a disarming angst fit for all night raging.”

The raging, the mosh pit, the stage diving, the bloodied noses. Those are all staples of the Travis Scott live experience. His concerts are known for their wild energy, with fans whipped into a frenetic frenzy by Scott himself.

“As both an album and live experience, ‘Astroworld’ has the raw energy (and slight terror) of a hallucinogenic theme park,” Julian Kimble wrote in a review of the rapper’s 2018 tour for The Washington Post. “In his music and during his shows, Scott acts as the maestro directing the chaos.”

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on Nov. 6 that there were "several" administrations of Narcan, a medicine used to treat suspected opioid overdoses. (Reuters)

The frenetic combination has gotten the rapper in trouble in the past.

In 2015, Scott was arrested at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago and charged with disorderly conduct after encouraging attendees to climb over security barricades and storm the stage. He had been onstage for less than five minutes. In 2017, Scott was again arrested and charged in Arkansas for the same thing. That same year, a fan sued Scott after he was pushed from a third-floor balcony during one of the rapper’s shows in Manhattan. Scott had been encouraging fans to stage dive. “Don’t be scared,” he told the crowd.

“I’m not this angry, psycho … who just be spazzing on security for no reason,” Scott told Billboard magazine in 2015. “I’m super nice — I just get excited! When you come to my show, it’s like a no-holds-barred, underground Royal Rumble.”

The Astroworld Festival, launched in 2018, has become Scott’s signature event, and follows in the footsteps of Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival in Philadelphia; Drake’s OVO Fest in Toronto; Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles; and other rapper-hosted-and-branded festivals that have emerged over the past decade. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed Nov. 18 as “Astroworld Day,” and as the festival has expanded, it has featured a week’s worth of charity events hosted by Scott leading up to the main event.

After being forced to cancel the annual Astroworld Festival in 2020 for the coronavirus pandemic, this year marked the third iteration, promising an array of performers, including reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny, rock band Tame Impala, soul legends Earth, Wind & Fire and more.

Houston City Councilwoman Abbie Kanin said there had previously been safety concerns with the festival but “nothing to this scale.”

“There are a lot of questions and I’m confident we’ll get the answers, but this is personal. I think the focus needs to be on the victims’ families,” said Kanin, who is chair of the council’s public safety committee. “Travis Scott means so much to Houston, this is personal. And very, very sad.”

For his part, Scott said in a statement released on social media that he was cooperating with the Houston Police Department.

“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night,” he said.

Chris Richards contributed to this report.