Texas based rap­per Megan Thee Stal­lion has become one of the defin­ing artists of her gen­er­a­tion. An artist with a mul­ti­fa­ceted resume and a com­mit­ment to black fem­in­ism in which she cen­ters the desires, exper­i­ences, and wishes for black women and girls without apo­lo­gies. Her unique blend of rap, soul, and pop plus her fierce uncom­prom­ising desire to stay true to her­self has made her a legend at the age of 27. She is fur­ther­ing a tra­di­tion often for­got­ten in hip hop and that is of female MCs that can rock the mic and hold their own.

She is beloved in many circles but unfor­tu­nately she has become a tar­get for hate, mock­ery, and at times abuse even with­in hip hop. By now most know about July 2020 when artist Tory Lanez, allegedly shot at her after leav­ing a Hol­ly­wood party hos­ted by Kylie Jen­ner. Accord­ing to reports, they had an argu­ment as they were leav­ing the party and after Megan got out of the car, he then shot her at her feet. He has been charged with assault with a fire­arm and car­ry­ing a loaded fire­arm in a vehicle. He also received an order to stay at least 100 yards away from Megan. Lanez has denied the charges and the tri­al is set to begin some­time soon.

Since then, Megan has been the sub­ject of vicious ridicule from fel­low artists and on social media claim­ing that she is lying about the incid­ent. Most not­ably Drake, one of the most tran­scend­ing artists of this era, recently put out a song entitled “Circo Loco” ft. 21 Sav­age of his latest album Her Loss in which appears to mock Megan. The song makes ref­er­ence to a woman that ‘lie bout get­ting shots, but she still a stal­lion”. This imme­di­ately set off a firestorm on social media includ­ing Megan who tweeted “since when it is cool to joke about women get­ting shot?”

Oth­er artists includ­ing DaBaby, brought out Lanez on stage at the Rolling Out Loud Fest­iv­al, even after he col­lab­or­ated with Megan on her song “Cry Baby”.

Big names with­in hip hop seem to pil­ing on Megan and say­ing she is fab­ric­at­ing her being shot. It seems as if she is all along, but at least one group led by prom­in­ent black women is stand­ing up for her when she needs it the most. The South­ern Black Girls and Women Con­sor­ti­um, an organ­iz­a­tion com­mit­ted to pre­serving the rights and dig­nity of black women and girls in the United States released an open let­ter on Novem­ber 11 in sup­port of Megan.

In part it read:

It must be said that our cul­ture has failed you, one of its most brightly shin­ing daugh­ters. In July of 2020, you exper­i­enced a viol­a­tion of the highest order at the hands of someone whom you con­sidered a friend. Since then, you’ve had to endure pub­lic har­ass­ment and taunt­ing not only from that per­son but from oth­ers choos­ing to stand with him. Blog­gers have cir­cu­lated rumors and excitedly repor­ted on the most trau­mat­ic exper­i­ence of your life as if it were juicy gos­sip, often per­petu­at­ing the idea that you’ve got a reas­on to lie, that you shouldn’t be believed. You’ve con­sist­ently been clear about what happened to you, but instead of being met with wide­spread sup­port, people who should have had your back have chosen to stay out of the matter.

 Viol­ence against women is still entirely too com­mon and accept­able in our world. We make excuse after excuse to explain away even the most hein­ous acts, espe­cially when the per­son accused is a celebrity of any sort. Being a celebrity, how­ever, will not guar­an­tee a woman any sym­pathy when she is a victim.

 Black women are also often fear­ful of what will hap­pen to their assail­ant if they choose to involve the law–as you your­self were afraid to do–and are left unpro­tec­ted by the sys­tem and the com­munity alike. If someone as influ­en­tial as you can be belittled and mocked as noth­ing but a liar for stand­ing up for her­self, that speaks a volume about what a woman who doesn’t have your resources or fame can expect to endure when she’s found her­self in a sim­il­ar position.

 We salute you for the bravery it has taken to defend your­self in the court of pub­lic opin­ion, though you shouldn’t have had to do so at all. We raise our voices against those who have made light of this hein­ous example of viol­ence against women and will drown them out with our demands for soci­ety to take what hap­pens to Black women ser­i­ously. You are not alone. You are believed, loved, and supported.

 We stand with you Megan.

 Among the sign­ees were Tarana Burke (#MeT­oo Founder), Latosha Brown (Black Voters Mat­ter), Taylor Crump­ton (Cul­tur­al Crit­ic and Journ­al­ist), Angela Fer­rell-Zabala (Everytown for Gun Safety), Alex­is McGill John­son (Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­ica), Tami­ka D. Mal­lory (Women’s March), Angela Rye (IMPACT Strategies), Con­gress­wo­man Max­ine Waters (D‑CA), and Con­gress­wo­man Shelia Jack­son Lee (D‑TX).

A not­able male ally to sign was Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Temple Uni­ver­sity Professor/Journalist.

There doesn’t need to be a tri­al to see the clear case of miso­gyn­oir that is being rendered against Megan. Miso­gyn­oir, a term coined by schol­ar Dr. Moya Bailey, is defined as “how sex­ism and racism mani­fest in black women’s lives to cre­ate inter­sect­ing forms of oppres­sion”. In oth­er words it speaks to how soci­ety as a whole deval­ues and degrades the lives of exper­i­ences of black women and girls.

A 2019 study from Geor­getown Law’s Cen­ter on Poverty and Inequal­ity found that black girls exper­i­ence high levels of “adul­ti­fic­a­tion bias” com­pared to their white peers. Simply put, black girls are seen as older than are and not as inno­cent, there­fore are not see as worthy of protection.

Also black women and girls are highly sexu­al­ized, vil­i­fied, and seen as not “womanly” in the eyes of soci­ety. In 2019, the ACLU released a report that that black women of all sexu­al­it­ies and iden­tit­ies have largely been failed by the leg­al sys­tem when it comes to exper­i­en­cing gender based viol­ence and access­ing prop­er resources and sup­port.

The 50th anniversary of hip hop is next August, a mile­stone that is one worth cel­eb­rat­ing. But that should also be a time for hip hop to take a hard look and see where it is when it comes to the treat­ment of women and espe­cially black women whom since the days of Queen Lati­fah, Moni Love, MC Lyte, and Salt N Pepa have been car­ry­ing the cul­ture on their shoulders. Megan Thee Stal­lion should be giv­en the prop­er love and sup­port from the com­munity as Takeoff was deservingly so after he was recently killed.

Fail­ure to do so is a fail­ure to hip hop.

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
I am a viol­ence pre­ven­tion edu­cat­or, act­iv­ist, journ­al­ist, aspir­ing film­maker, adjunct pro­fess­or of social justice and civic engage­ment at Domin­ic­an Uni­ver­sity in River Forest, Illinois. I am based in Chica­go, Illinois.

About Zachary Draves

I am a violence prevention educator, activist, journalist, aspiring filmmaker, adjunct professor of social justice and civic engagement at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. I am based in Chicago, Illinois.