In her recently published op-ed article in The New York Times, “Why I Speak Up For Black Women,” hip-hop sensation Megan Thee Stallion opened up about her violent incident with rapper Tory Lanez in mid-July, the struggles of being a woman of color and why she advocates for Black women.
“I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man,” the rap icon said. “After a party, I was shot twice as I walked away from him. We were not in a relationship. Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place."
The 25-year-old artist continued on, sharing that, despite her fans knowing she was a victim of assault, they were skeptical of her story and even blamed her for being the reason she was shot.
“Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment,” Stallion said. “The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.”
Lanez currently faces charges for assault against the rapper with a deadly weapon, and if convicted, could face up to 22 years in prison. But despite Lanez’s assault, the rapper did not reveal the name of her assailant until a month later.
In a press release issued by the Los Angeles district county attorney, the initial charge made against Lanez on July 15 did not specify the victim, referring to Stallion instead as a “female friend” of Lanez in the report, according to National Public Radio.
But after TMZ falsely reported the incident, stating that Stallion's injury was a result of getting cut in the foot with glass, Stallion took to Instagram live in late August to set the record straight.
“Since y'all h*** so worried 'bout it, yes, this ***** Tory shot me,” exclaimed Stallion. “And you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs lying and s***.”
The rapper revealed that she was shot in the back of the foot after walking away from a heated altercation with Lanez. The shooting was reported by residents in the neighborhood and police took the rapper to a nearby hospital for treatment.
She also shared that TMZ’s false report was a result of her not speaking up to the police in an effort to protect Lanez from potential police brutality.
“I didn’t get cut by no glass, but let me tell you why they’re saying that,” Stallion said. “When the police came because the neighbors called the police … the police come — I’m scared. All this s*** going on with the police … I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want the police to shoot me cause there’s a n**** with a gun in the car with me.”
At the end of the live video, the rapper said she regrets protecting Lanez, saying that she “did not have to spare him” and wishes she had reported Lanez to the authorities sooner.
But despite the gravity of the situation, Lanez does not seem apologetic for the incident. In fact, the Canadian rapper was recently under fire for denying allegations and referencing Stallion throughout his album "DAYSTAR," which was released in late September, along with Lanez’s team faking emails impersonating a member of the rapper’s record label bolster Lanez’s image.
In the album’s first track, “Money Over Fallouts,” which features bits of newscasters and other rappers criticizing Lanez for the incident, Lanez punches back at the accusations, rapping: “Gotta see a couple questions: how the fuck you get shot in your / foot, don't hit no bones or tendons? / Megan people tryna frame me for a shootin' / Knowin' I ain't do it but I'm comin' at my truest."
Nonetheless, the album was not only received poorly but was also publicly criticized by rapper Rick Ross, who called the album a “poor decision” and that Lanez ought to “respect our sisters” and “respect Breonna Taylor,” a Black woman who was murdered at the hands of police.
In her op-ed, the artist reflected on how the incident taught her that society’s dehumanizing view of women is what perpetuates such violence and that the damaging stereotypes against Black women for being “angry” and “threatening” leave them unheard and unprotected in situations of blatant injustice.
“It’s ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase 'Protect Black women' is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings. And we are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer,” Stallion said.
Lanez’s official arraignment has yet to happen, but as of Tuesday, a judge granted a restraining order on behalf of Stallion.
Aside from Ross and other celebrities who have called out Lanez for his actions, angry Twitter stans have been canceling Lanez since July — they even started a Change.org petition on the Candian rapper’s birthday to have him deported.
Between being an assault survivor and losing both her mother and grandmother in March, the young starlet has experienced severe trauma in 2020.
But the resilient rap icon reassures her fans that she is still “Megan Thee Stallion” and since recovering from her injury, has created chart-topping soundtracks. Her summer smash-hit, “WAP,” with Cardi B is now one of the most streamed songs of 2020.
Though Stallion may have bounced back, her story serves as a grim reminder of the routine injustice Black women must face in this country and the taxing struggles women of color must silently endure to avoid a “Breonna Taylor” sort of fate.
The rapper reminds her audience of the importance of participating in democracy and to continue to fight for their rights.
“My hope is that Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president will usher in an era where Black women in 2020 are no longer 'making history' for achieving things that should have been accomplished decades ago,” Stallion said. “But … Black women are not naïve. We know that after the last ballot is cast and the vote is tallied, we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves. Because at least for now, that’s all we have.”