Tory Lanez awaits sentencing as some in hip-hop come to terms with verdict

Tory Lanez awaits sentencing as some in hip-hop come to terms with verdict

As Tory Lanez awaits his sentencing after being found guilty of shooting and injuring fellow hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion on July 12, 2020, some in the hip-hop community have criticized Megan over the past two years. last and even accused him of lying, appear to agree with the decision.

Some artists, like hip-hop mogul 50 Cent, have been vocal in their support of Lanez. Drake appeared to cast doubt on Megan’s story in a controversial lyric, and the likes of DaBaby brought Lanez out on stage after Megan’s set during the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami in July 2021.

Now, 50 Cent, who once compared Megan to Jussie Smollett – the actor who was convicted of staging a fake hate crime against himself and filing false police reports – has apologized to Megan in an interview with Big Boy aired on REAL 92.3 on Wednesday.

“I’m going to apologize to Megan Thee Stallion,” 50 Cent said.

In this Dec. 13, 2022 file photo, Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, makes her way from the Hall of Justice to court to testify in the trial of rapper Tory Lanez for allegedly shooting her, in Los Angeles. , CA.

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, FILE

The Power rapper and actor said that while he was initially skeptical of Megan’s story, he changed his mind after hearing a key piece of evidence from the trial — a recorded jailhouse phone call Lanez made to Megan’s then-girlfriend Kelsey Harris hours earlier. after. The incident.

In the jailhouse phone call with Harris, Lanez appears to admit to shooting Megan, says he’s “so sorry” and that he was “so drunk.” The recording was a key piece of evidence presented by prosecutors to the jury in the trial of Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson.

“It made me feel like, ‘Oh, now I know what happened.’ I’m sure this was probably what influenced the court as well,” said 50 Cent. He also appears to have previously deleted the viral tweet he shared last month comparing Megan to Smollett.

Lanez was found guilty by a jury on December 23, 2022, of all three counts of shooting and wounding Megan in both legs in an incident in the Hollywood Hills. Lanez pleaded not guilty, and his trial attorney George Mgdesyan told ABC News that Lanez’s legal team plans to appeal.

In this Dec. 13, 2022 file photo, singer Tory Lanez returns to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for his arraignment in Los Angeles.

Damian Dovarganes/AP, FILE

Earlier this week, a judge granted a request by Lanez’s new defense team, attorneys David Kenner and Matthew Barhoma, to delay Lanez’s sentencing from Jan. 27 to Feb. 28. ABC News reached out to Kenner and Barhoma for further comment and did not receive a response by press time.

Houston rapper Bun B — one half of the legendary rap group UGK — was an early and vocal supporter of Megan, a fellow Houston native who he mentored before she became a star.

Bun B, whose legal name is Bernard James Freeman, attacked Lanez in a December 2020 social media post and called out the hip-hop community for not speaking up.

“We were seeing black women being abused, black women being shot and even being killed in this world,” Bun B told Impact x Nightline, reflecting on the 2020 civil rights protests that erupted after the murder of George Floyd by the police and the police shot for the death of Breonna Taylor.

“To see that kind of aggression against a black woman in hip-hop culture… I had to say something. I just felt compelled.”

Bun B performs during the Future and Friends One Big Party Tour at Toyota Center on January 7, 2023, in Houston, Texas.

Prince Williams/WireImage via Getty Images

As of 2020, the issue has become a hot topic of debate among hip-hop fans, many of whom have taken sides and engaged in discussions on social media, but hip-hop artists—even those in relationships tight with Megan Thee Stallion – were mostly silent. .

Although black women’s advocates rallied for Megan, there wasn’t much public support for her among hip-hop artists.

“I was kind of shocked by the lack of public support as the trial was going on,” Treva Lindsey, an Ohio State University gender studies professor who studies black hip-hop and feminism, told Impact — a magazine of news weekly ABC News Studios. streaming on Hulu.

“Initially, when she was shot, there was an outpouring. You’ve seen flowers delivered to her by Rihanna, you’ve seen Beyonce write her a note, Cardi B supporting her. You had the Houston rappers that really got noticed by Tory because they hurt him like Bun B, and then there was this silence.”

Rapper Joe Budden apologized to Megan during a Dec. 21 episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, which aired in the middle of the trial, for remarks he previously made about her when discussing the case.

“I apologize for the careless way in which I joked about her mental health,” he said. “… This is no laughing matter, because whether you believe it or not, can you afford to be wrong? The answer is no.”

And in an Instagram Live video following the verdict, rapper Soulja Boy blasted Lanez and criticized other rappers for not speaking out in support of Megan.

“You all n— out here shooting b—- here now, and nobody’s saying anything?” he said.

“I’m the only n– in the whole rap game that means something?”

In this May 15, 2022 file photo, Megan Thee Stallion arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP

The case highlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses the sexism and racism experienced by black women in their communities and in society at large.

And Megan herself, who wore purple to represent victims of domestic violence when she testified against Lanez last month, has become one of the most vocal advocates.

“Even as a victim, I’ve faced skepticism and judgment,” she wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times published on October 13, 2020. “There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you’re a woman of color. .”

ABC News’ Elizabeth Mendez contributed to this report.

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