Almost two weeks ago, Megan Thee Stallion told the world that Tory Lanez was the person who shot her on July 12 after a night of partying in the Hollywood Hills. Since then, her career has continued to skyrocket. But the same can’t be said of her assailant: after Meg named Lanez as her attacker, people stopped listening to his music en masse. Lanez’s streams dropped a whopping 40 percent last week, according to Forbes.
Meg has endured a whole lot of trauma this summer — at the hands of Lanez, the trolls who joked about and sexualized her victimhood, and the male rappers who’ve been conspicuously silent about the shooting. It’s enough to make a “hottie” absolutely seethe on her behalf. There’s no doubt she’s privately processing a lot of painful feelings.
But publicly, Meg has been on fire. Despite what the MTV VMAs might say, “Savage” is the de-facto banger of 2020. (“Rain On Me” won song of the year, but Meg did pick up a Moon Person for best hip-hop.) “WAP,” Meg’s collaboration with Cardi B, continues commanding headlines and just entered its second week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The rapper’s dog content on Instagram is the best thing on the internet these days. She just performed her first live virtual concert of quarantine while wearing a bejeweled bodysuit fit for a queen.
The same can’t be said of Lanez’s career. Meg’s fans came for him even before she divulged the identity of her shooter two weeks ago. On Lanez’s birthday in late July, someone launched a Change.org petition to get him deported. After the “Savage” rapper named him, the cancelations quickly spread. Kehlani and Jojo both dropped Lanez from their forthcoming albums; Kehlani explained her reasoning to Chicago radio station WGCI:
“As someone with a large platform, as someone that people look up to, as a woman that makes other women feel safe and empowered, people were asking me, ‘Are you gonna keep somebody on it who doesn’t necessarily make us feel safe or empowered as a woman?’”
According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data as reported by Forbes, before he shot Megan Thee Stallion, Lanez’s music streams usually fell in the 20 million to 30 million range. But the week after Meg’s livestream naming him on August 20, Lanez’s numbers dropped by nearly 9 million, a 40% decline from his 22 million streams the week prior.
Lanez hasn’t publicly commented on the shooting; it’s possible he’ll be charged with assault. But dang, we love to see the small justice wrought by hitting him where it presumably hurts: his status and wallet. Now everybody stop streaming R. Kelly, Chris Brown and Talib Kweli, too.