For weeks the curious case of Megan Thee Stallion’s shooting has brought shockwaves throughout the media. Such an implausible story of two friends, the Quarantine Radio power duo, leaving a Kylie Jenner function and met with a sudden shooting. One a victim, the other a perpetrator. Many speculated a possible lovers’ spat, others, a turf war gone wrong.
Well, after efforts to defame the ‘Savage’ rapper’s credibility, Megan Thee Stallion hit back at the rumour mill to debunk any misconceptions we may have had. In an Instagram Live, the rapper alleged that Tory Lanez’s team were circulating misinformation of the case to news outlets and blogs. Here is why the ‘strong black woman’ trope delegitimised Megan Thee Stallion’s victimhood.
First of all, many might wonder why the rapper stayed silent on the matter for so long. Because of fear. “I’m scared, all this shit going on with the police… The police is shooting motherfuckers for everything. The police was literally killing black people for no motherfucking reason,” Megan explained on Instagram, adding, “I didn’t tell the police right there, immediately what happened because I didn’t want to die. I don’t want the police to shoot me. I didn’t want to tell the police nothing because I didn’t want us to get in any more trouble than what we were about to get in.”
When a black woman pleads to the masses for compassion, it is glaringly difficult as a black woman, not to recognise the suffering and follow it with a sigh. Not out of a lack of empathy but of the apathy of others. For so long the cries of black women in society have resembled a sort of convulsion into a haunted house of mirrors, where the mirrors are two-sided; you on the side of the glass and society performing their own victimhood on the side of the mirror. There’s a tiny opening overhead but you can’t quite reach it with the weight of black men clambering through on your shoulders.
When Norwegian sociologist and criminologist Nils Christie spoke about the ideal victim, he framed his argument on personal characteristics; white womanhood. Yet, the conclusion of the study ultimately resulted in the confirmation that society is responsible for legitimising or refuting claims of victimhood.
Men sat on the internet to stake a claim in knowledge of an incident they did not witness, some women even went on podcasts and social media to contest Megan’s trauma to the point where she felt no other choice than to show proof of her injuries. Again, compassion was still not extended. Why? Misogynoir, which defines misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles in bias, coupled with size discrimination.
Had Megan Thee Stallion been dainty and unassuming, a singer and not a rapper, perhaps then she would have been met with a little more grace. By no means is she overweight. However, by being voluptuous, five foot ten and brown-skinned black, that all amounted to the masculinisation of a woman who had been a victim of gun violence. According to society, Megan is not near enough to being a damsel in distress for her trauma to be handled with care.
In addition to fear, the rapper commented on her innate need to protect and put the needs not only of others, men specifically before her own. “Even though he shot me, I tried to spare him.”
One constant criticism of the fight against police brutality among the black community is how outrage pales in comparison when gender is considered. According to Statista, in 2020 111 black people were killed in the US at the hands of police. Of those most widely known was the murder of George Floyd, which reignited global Black Lives Matter protests. A triggering point in time for black people on the internet especially to be inundated with race-based trauma porn at a higher rate than ever before. Black women were at the fore and mobilised the black community to get to work, as we do and should.
Then came Breonna Taylor and we continued to march. But when the lens was shifted to Oluwatoyin Salau, then Mercy Mack and once Black Lives Matter was extended to Black Trans Lives Matter (too), some believed that too divisive a cause to stand behind. Focus on the men first (as always), then we can focus on (cisgender-heterosexual) women, because violence against black womxn at the hands of black men is too political and undermines the work of liberation for others.
This is why we say, ‘say her name’ because if not we, then who? Time and time again our male counterparts show us that protection comes with conditions—conditions black women cannot afford to consider when the shoe is on our foot and their foot on our necks.
This Morning, 7 August, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released their new track ‘WAP’ along with a music video just in time for the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the song and the new video are both as extra and in-your-face as the two rappers. With surprise appearances from Kylie Jenner and Rosalia, here’s everything you need to know about ‘WAP’ and why it is the greatest celebration of women we’ve seen so far this year.
‘WAP’ stands for Wet Ass Pussy. The track is Cardi B’s new single for her upcoming second studio album, Tiger Woods. It’s the first collaboration between Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion as well as Cardi’s first release of 2020 since her solo single ‘Press’.
On 29 July, Cardi B teased the existence of new music with a promo for her website on Instagram, and on 2 August, uploaded a video to her Instagram suggesting there would be an announcement the following day. Finally, on 3 August, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion both revealed the song’s name, cover art, and release date on their Instagram.
Yesterday, on 6 August, Cardi B revealed that the music video would be released alongside the song, and posted a teaser for the video later that day. Minutes before the release of the song, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion did a live-stream on YouTube titled Live with Cardi B.
The music video for ‘WAP’ takes place in a luxurious mansion and starts with a shot of a fountain out front featuring two female statuettes, which is just a little teaser of what’s to come over the next 4:12 minutes. Hint: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have never been scared to show a little bit of skin.
“I just want to let y’all know, I wanna give y’all the heads up, the music video is going to be the censored version of the song, because the song is so nasty that YouTube was like, ‘Hold on, wait a minute, someone might be too Goddamn nasty,” Cardi B revealed on Instagram before the release, encouraging fans to listen to the full ‘nasty’ version on streaming services.
Many will have spotted cameo appearances from Kylie Jenner—we’re not joking, Normani, Rosalia, Rubi Rose, Sukihana and Mulatto. The video is full of two things: females and latex, and we’re so here for both!
Appearing on New Music Daily for Apple Music, Cardi B said: “I wanted a lot of different females, not just female rappers. Y’all going to see it on the music video as well, from models to influencers and everything.”
Speaking about the lesser-known artists featured in the ‘WAP’ video, including Rubi Rose, Sukihana and Mulatto, Cardi B said “These are the girls that I personally like. That I like their music. That I really feel they are going to go mainstream.”
Kylie Jenner can be seen in the video walking in the house’s corridors in a tiny leopard body while Rosalia appears dancing in a dark room in a dreamy red latex outfit towards the end of the song.
The song’s crude lyrics highlight Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s aim to make women feel empowered by their sexuality. The lyrics “There’s some whores in this house” celebrate the fact that women get horny too. Feeling like you want more? Do you want to get freaky? Well, ‘WAP’ tells you: just do what you want, get it, no shame.
Women are still underrepresented in the world of hip-hop, without a doubt. Female artists either stray closer to pop or to R&B, playing it safe. Cardi B doesn’t care about any of that. She proves once more to be an empowering voice for women, along with the impressive Megan Thee Stallion.
Both rappers are not afraid to sound loud and proud in a genre ruled by men who objectify women as a selling point for their music. This time, they’ve turned the narrative around. ‘WAP’ sounds, looks and feels like the start of a long-needed change in music.
It looks like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion just saved 2020.