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 who criticized Megan over the past two years and even accused her of lying appear to be coming to terms with the verdict.
Some artists, like hip-hop mogul 50 Cent, vocally supported Lanez. Drake appeared to cast doubt on Megan’s story in a controversial lyric and others like 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 false hate crime against himself and filing false police reports – apologized to Megan in an interview with Big Boy that aired on REAL 92.3 Wednesday.
“I’m gonna apologize to Megan Thee Stallion,” 50 Cent said.
The rapper and “Power” actor said that while he was initially skeptical about Megan’s story, he changed his mind after hearing a key piece of evidence from the trial – a recorded jail phone call that Lanez made to Megan’s then-friend Kelsey Harris hours following the incident.
In the jailhouse phone call to Harris, Lanez appears to acknowledge shooting Megan, says he is “deeply sorry” and he was “just so f—— 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.
“That made me feel like, ‘Oh s—, now I know what happened.’ I’m sure that was probably what swayed people in court, too,” 50 Cent said. He also appears to have previously deleted the viral post Office he shared last month on Twitter comparing Megan to Smollett.
Lanez was found guilty by a jury on Dec. 23, 2022, of all three charges for shooting and injuring Megan in both feet 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.
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 the time of publication.
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 rose to stardom.
Bun B, whose legal name is Bernard James Freeman, blasted Lanez in a social media post in December 2020 and called out the hip-hop community for not speaking out.
“We were seeing Black women being abused, Black women being shot and even killed in this world,” Bun B told “Impact x Nightline,” reflecting on the civil rights protests of 2020 that were sparked after the police killing of George Floyd and the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
“To see that type of aggression against a Black woman in hip-hop culture … I just had to say something. I just felt compelled.”
Since 2020, the case became a heated topic of debate among hip-hop fans, many of whom took sides and engaged in discussions on social media, but hip-hop artists – even those who had close relationships with Megan Thee Stallion – were largely silent .
Although advocates for Black women rallied for Megan, there wasn’t much public support for her among hip-hop artists.
“I was somewhat shocked by the lack of public support as the trial was occurring,” Treva Lindsey, a professor of gender studies at Ohio State University who studies hip-hop and Black feminism, told “Impact” – to an ABC News Studios weekly newsmagazine streaming on Hulu.
“Initially, when she was shot there was an outpouring. You saw flowers delivered to her by Rihanna, you saw Beyonce writing her a note, Cardi B supporting her. You saw Houston rappers who really came hard for Tory for harming her like Bun B, and then there was this kind of lulling silence.”
Rapper Joe Budden apologized to Megan during a Dec. 21 episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, which aired amid the trial, for remarks he previously made about her when discussing the case.
“I’m apologetic for the careless manner in which I joked about her mental health,” he said. “… That’s not funny, because whether you believe her or don’t believe her, can you afford to be wrong? The answer is no.”
And in an Instagram Live video following the verdict, rapper Soulja Boy slammed Lanez and criticized fellow rappers for not speaking out in support of Megan.
“Y’all n—– out here shooting b—— out here now, and ain’t nobody saying anything?” he said.
“I’m the only n—- in the whole rap game that’s gonna say something?”
This case spotlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses sexism and racism experienced by Black women in their own communities and in society at large.
And Megan herself, who wore purple to represent victims of domestic violence when she tested against Lanez last month, has become one of the most vocal advocates.
“Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment,” she wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times published on Oct. 13, 2020. “There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman.”
ABC News’ Elizabeth Mendez contributed to this report.