Correction (July 31, 2020): An earlier version of this article stated that Meg Thee Stallion currently attends Prairie View A&M University. However the artist transferred her third year and is currently attending Texas Southern University. This information has been updated in the original story.
Original (July 30, 2020): Viral female rap sensation, and current Texas Southern University student, Meg Thee Stallion recently made headlines when she became the victim of several gunshot wounds. The details surrounding the shooting remain unclear but what was concrete came in the form of a TMZ video showing the “Savage” star painfully limping away from a SUV. Bloodied footsteps trailed behind her, while Canadian “Say It” artist Tory Lanez could be seen face down on the pavement in briefs, his tiny body swarmed by police.
He was arrested on gun charges whilst news came out that Meg was rushed to the hospital to remove shells from her foot in emergency surgery. All things considered, many speculated that Lanez had actually been Meg’s assailant. Meg’s initial statement was only to clarify that she had not been involved in criminal activity, and was the victim of someone who intended to physically harm her.
“I’m Incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night,” read an Instagram post.
Historically, young rap stars who find themselves on the receiving end of a gun barrel get outpourings of sympathy from the general public, and especially their celebrity peers. This time was different though. This time, the rapper was a Black woman and the potential shooter was a Black man and people publicly cracked jokes at Meg’s expense. Even more telling, most said nothing.
Black women’s resident celebrity troll, 50 Cent, seized the opportunity to share a popular meme floating around that depicted Meg and Lanez as Boyz n the Hood characters, with Meg as the slain Ricky; a photoshopped Lanez holding the shotgun. Christy Teigen didn’t offer well wishes, but spoke out to make a corny unrelated joke she later apologized for. Internet personality and kind-of-reality tv star Draya appeared on the Weed and Wine podcast where she guessed that the shooting was the result of a passionate lover’s quarrel that she would enjoy having.
"I predict that they had some sort of Bobby and Whitney love that drove them down this ... type of road," Draya said. "I'm here for it. I like that. I want you to like me so much you shoot me in the foot, too,” she added after tragically being goaded on by the male hosts. Black twitter canceled Draya around the same time that Meg finally broke her silence.
“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,” she posted.
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.— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) July 17, 2020
It would be negligent not to observe that during this time one of pop culture’s biggest celebrities, Kanye West, was in the middle of a very public mental health crisis.
West, who is currently running for president, continued his habit of anti-Blackness in crisis mode when he disrespected Harriet Tubman and dismissed a young Black woman at his campaign rally for asking a question. There’s been plenty of think pieces, but “prayer’s for Kanye” was the general consensus. All commotion was, ironically, during a renewed push to center the victimization of Black women spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement and the “Say Her Name” campaign.
But it appears that, “saying her name” is only applicable if a Black woman actually loses her life. If she gets shot and lives? Not only should you not say her name, the natural response is to laugh at her physical and emotional pain. Though Meg has yet to verify (to the public) if Torey Lanez pulled the trigger, the layered dynamics of sexism, racism and the community priority of protecting Black men leaves Meg in an almost impossible position. And none of those positions absolves her from public ridicule, despite her being the victim.
Most recently, the unproblematic “Hot Girl Summer” artist jumped on her Instagram Live to share details of her injuries and her vow to remain positive.
"I know my mama and my daddy, my granny had to be looking out for me with that one because where the bullets hit at, it just missed everything, but the motherf*****s was in there,” she said.
“On a positive note, just taking some time to myself has definitely made me realize how to move forward and how to protect my energy. I’m so nice," she continued. "Imagine being 25 and you don't have both of your parents — my mama was my best friend, you know, I'm still really not over that — so you got to try to fill your space with a bunch of people that you think is making you happy."
The video, in which at some points she becomes choked up, prompted a few shows of empathy. 50 Cent apologized, saying he didn’t know she “was really hurt,” even though she was reportedly shot. Rhianna sent her flowers while allegedly dropping Draya from Savage X Fenty sponsorship. The hosts of Weed and Wine (featuring some random white man), said they didn’t think shooting a Black woman was domestic violence, while Miguel lamented how cancel-culture had grown out of control.
And while fans shower her with well wishes and the majority of her colleagues publicly remain hush, Meg continues to choose her words wisely.
Lanez, born Daystar Peterson, has been radio silent since the shooting and the public revelation that he is 5’3. A change.org petition was started in an effort to have him deported from the US “back to Canada.”