Updated 12/23/2022 at 6:44 p.m. ET
Rapper Tory Lanez has been found guilty of all charges in the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion, a jury decided on Friday.
The last two and a half years have been hell for Megan Thee Stallion. The emcee, whose legal name is Megan Pete, is currently awaiting a verdict in the case of Tory Lanez (whose real name is Daystar Peterson). Peterson is accused of allegedly shooting Pete in July 2020 after leaving a party at the Hollywood Hills home of Kylie Jenner. The jury is currently deliberating as the defendant is charged with assault with a firearm, possession of a concealed firearm and negligent discharge of a gun.
If Peterson is convicted on all counts and two sentencing enhancements, he could receive up to 23 years in prison. Ever since Pete named Peterson as the alleged shooter, she has been subjected to unrelenting amounts of ridicule, harassment and hate. Regardless of whether or not he is found guilty or acquitted, no verdict will ever undo the damage inflicted on Megan by the same community she needed to protect her.
As soon as news broke about the incident, Purple Haze rapper Cam’ron couldn’t wait to make a transphobic joke at her expense: “Tory Lanez saw that d*ck and started shootn.” 50 Cent, who is famously known for surviving multiple shootings himself, couldn’t move fast enough to create a post that featured Pete and Peterson in a Boyz in the Hood meme, which also depicted violence. “Basketball Wives” star Draya Michele was eager to paint the alleged altercation as romantic love gone wrong.
“I predict that they had some sort of Bobby [Brown] & Whitney [Houston] love that drove them down this type of road,” she said in a podcast. “I’m here for it. I like that. I want you to like me so much you shoot me in the foot, too.” Despite hollow apologies and retractions for callous remarks, Meg still never received the support she deserved. She acknowledged as much shortly after discussing her injuries:
“Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.” Still, she faced vicious rumors calling her a liar with some people stating that she wasn’t even shot in the first place.
In a tearful Instagram live video, the star again had to plead her case. “I was shot in both of my feet. I had to get surgery … to get the bullets taken out, and it was super scary. It’s not funny. There’s nothing to joke about. There was nothing for y’all to start making fake stories about. I didn’t put my hands on nobody. I didn’t deserve to get shot.”
That didn’t stop the hate from accumulating. Peterson made a track shortly after called “Money Over Fallouts” where he essentially called her a liar: “How you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?” When she addressed the shooting on wax with a track titled “Shots Fired” from her November 2020 debut album Good News, it led to a surprising rebuttal from Meg’s former friend Kelsey Harris just days later.
Harris, who was also present during the shooting, released a diss track (even though she isn’t a musician) called “Bussin Back” in which she claimed all Pete needed to do was “clear [her] best friend’s name.” DaBaby, who previously collaborated with Pete on her song “Cry Baby,” brought out Peterson—despite the allegations against him—as a surprise guest during his July 2021 Rolling Loud Miami set.
DaBaby, born Jonathan Kirk, would then go on to release a track called “Boogeyman” earlier this year in which he said he had a sexual relationship with Pete. All of this, along with Joe Budden using his eponymous podcast on multiple occasions to mock Pete and other hip hop personalities like DJ Akademiks reporting false information about the shooting, took place before Peterson’s trial ever began.
When it did finally start earlier this month, it corroborated what Megan had stated. She was shot that evening. She did have surgery to remove bullet fragments. What happened to her wasn’t a lie. Peterson’s defense is that Harris pulled the trigger—not that Pete was never attacked. Despite all of this irrefutable evidence, it hasn’t changed the fact hip hop still derides the severity of this situation by making Pete the punchline of their jokes.
50 cent is still posting memes implying that Meg is a liar. Drake never apologized for his “Circo Loco” lyrics that stated: “This bitch lie ‘bout getting shots, but she still a stallion / She don’t even get the joke, but she still smiling.” When Pete’s former stylist, EJ King, made a bizarre Instagram post about testifying at Peterson’s trial, hip hop personas like the aforementioned Budden, BIA, and Emily B (who is an alleged victim of domestic violence herself) quickly jumped to laugh at the comments.
We’ve seen how the world makes light of Black women’s trauma and pain especially when it comes to violence committed against them (i.e. Tina Turner and Rihanna); hip hop is notoriously criticized for glorifying it. However, it is beyond disheartening to watch this play out against Pete in real time. At the trial, she testified: “I wish he would’ve just shot and killed me if I knew I was going to have to go through this torture.”
The 27-year-old emcee could have lost her life that night, but the danger she was placed in is being downplayed. Let’s be clear there will never be anything funny about what Pete experienced—and what Black women continue to be subjected to on a daily basis.