Mario built up goodwill after his Verzuz win against Omarion last month. But, that all seemed to come to an end on Monday (July 11) when the “Let Me Love You” singer announced that his new single, “Main One,” would feature Tory Lanez.
The backlash was swift especially after Mario had addressed Lanez’s alleged shooting of Megan Thee Stallion in August 2020. “This @theestallion & @torylanez situation got me in awe. Sad AF? Knowing Tory personally this sh*t crazy to me. Black men we gotta learn how to control our ego, anger etc. at some point the switch gotta turn off! Protect black women! Heal black men. Love & respect each other!,” he tweeted.
During a livestream on Monday, Mario addressed the backlash saying, per VIBE, “As an independent artist doing his thing, it’s a lot of artists that don’t work as hard as he do so regardless of whatever, the music is what it is […] the music is what you love people for. If y’all f**k with the music, f**k with it. If you don’t, we’re just gonna keep creating.”
Lanez has been charged with one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and one count of carrying an unregistered weapon. His trial is scheduled to start September 14. If convicted he faces up to 22 years and eight months in prison.
The announcement of the single came just after Mario also announced that he would be partnering with Femme It Forward—a joint venture with Live Nation Entertainment, that is a female-led music and entertainment company that centers its mission in celebrating, educating, and empowering the industry’s most creative and accomplished female visionaries through multi-format, multi-market consumer experiences.
Femme It Forward produces music festivals, concerts, original content, comedy shows, panels, college engagements, philanthropic endeavors, and more, according to the official website.
Mario will appear with Omarion and Pleasure P at the next Femme It Forward event in Washington, D.C. on July 29.