How the culture put Megan Thee Stallion on trial for being shot : Louder Than A Riot It felt like the December 2022 trial of Tory Lanez sparked a divide in hip-hop, but it just stoked the flames of a 50-year-long battle for Black women to be heard. In the first episode of our new season, we take you into Megan Thee Stallion's testimony to unpack the impact of misogynoir on rap.

Megan's Rule: Being exceptional doesn't make you the exception

Megan's Rule: Being exceptional doesn't make you the exception

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Megan Thee Stallion. Amanda Howell Whitehurst for NPR hide caption

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Amanda Howell Whitehurst for NPR

Megan Thee Stallion.

Amanda Howell Whitehurst for NPR

In December 2022, one of the biggest trials of the year unfolded in LA. Tory Lanez was facing more than 20 years in prison on charges of shooting fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and the internet was intensely divided: You were either pro-Tory or pro-Megan, and there was nothing else to say about it.

Tory was found guilty of assaulting Megan and now awaits sentencing. But the words of Megan's tearful testimony and what is now her almost three-year fight to be believed is somehow still a subject of debate in the culture. And no matter how you saw the case, the rifts online reveal how deep those tensions run in hip-hop. We are left with so many questions: Has the culture really changed? Is this verdict really a resolution? What will it take to make Black women feel safer in hip-hop? What is clear is that the force being weaponized in the courtroom was the same thing that fueled all of the online hatred: misogynoir, or the sexist prejudice that Black women and people read as Black women face.

In this episode, the first of our new season, we read between the lines and lies of hip-hop's most divisive trial to date with Louder Than A Riot's Senior Producer Gabby Bulgarelli and examine the roots of rap's misogynoir with the creator of the term, sociologist Moya Bailey. Although this isn't the first time a Black woman in hip-hop has spoken out about abuse, Megan's day on the stand revealed the level of mistreatment Black women must endure in hip-hop — and in America.

At this point, Bailey says, "If you're denying misogynoir, then you're just denying reality." The reality is that hip-hop has been denying misogynoir for 50 years. And now is the time to have that conversation.

This season on Louder Than A Riot we're looking into the unwritten rules of rap that are holding the culture back. Click here to read more from hosts Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden on how the double standard became hip-hop's standard.

To follow along with the music in this episode, check out the Louder Than A Riot playlists on Apple Music and Spotify. We'll update them every week.

To connect with us, follow the show on Twitter @LouderThanARiot, or send us an email at

Audio story produced by Gabby Bulgarelli
Audio story edited by Soraya Shockley and Sam J. Leeds
Additional reporting by Sam J. Leeds
Audio story engineered by Gilly Moon
Podcast theme and original music by Suzi Analogue, Kassa Overall and Ramtin Arablouei
Fact-checking by Jane Gilvin