“Real hot girl shit.” Megan Thee Stallion has defined the summer for women (and like-minded men) across the globe. At a time when women in the music industry are pitted against one another, Hot Girl Meg has claimed her space center stage. She’s entered the rap game with her unique Houston swag–a Stetson cowboy hat placed cutely on her multi-colored hair.
Though she’s been working on her bars for literal years–the world got their first glimpse of the “Shake That” rapper back in 2017 when a video of a cypher that she was in–the sole woman in a sea of men–went viral.
At the time, Megan was a full-time student at Texas Southern University. Her career has exploded since then, forcing her to leave school on the backburner for now. Exuding sexuality, positivity and a feminist-minded focus, the world has learned who Megan is–and we’ve learned quick. “I’ve been writing since I was maybe seven,” she told Rolling Stone. “I was kind of shy about telling people that I could rap for the longest.” It’s clear with her thunderous 2019 mixtape Fever, Megan isn’t shy anymore.
Born Megan Pete in 1995, the “Simon Says” rapper’s global debut on that roof in Houston where she declared, “Name a bitch you know that’s f—king with my flow,” didn’t come by accident. The “Big Ole Freak” lyricist has the rap game in her blood. Her mother was Holly Thomas a.k.a. Houston rapper Holly-Wood. From an early age, Megan was mesmerized watching her mother go hard in the studio. She also gravitated toward legends like Pimp C and Three Six Mafia. “There wasn’t anything I couldn’t listen to, so it definitely made me more free to say anything I wanted to say,” she told Elle Magazine. “That’s what I feel like my music represents—having no limits or restrictions.” Though Holly’s popularity was confined to Houston and the South, watching her mother’s grind and work ethic in an attempt to start her own label gave Megan the confidence to go after her own rap dreams.
The same year of the viral cypher, the “Freak Nasty” rapper debuted her first mixtape, Make It Hot. The following year she dropped Tina Snow–based on the late rapper Pimp C’s alias, Tony Snow. The second body of music was enough for Megan to garner the attention of 300 Entertainment, the record label who put Migos on the map. In Nov. 2018–Meg became the first female artist to sign with 300 since 2012.
More often than not, women, no matter what industry they are in, feel a sense of restriction and confinement. In a recent Instagram post commemorating the 12-year anniversary of her first mixtape, Rapper Nicki Minaj suggested that she can’t speak as freely as other artists–especially white artists outside of hip-hop. Perhaps that’s why so many women across all aspects of life gravitate toward Hot Girl Meg. The 24-year-old rapper represents authentic freedom and sense of self that isn’t often afforded women and certainly not Black women.
For Megan, the goal has always been to give people –especially women– a certain feeling when they listen to her music. “The feeling that [Pimp C’s] music gave me,” she told Elle. “I was like, Hell yeah, I want to give people that feeling. I’m a pimp, too.” Though hip-hop is about freedom, power, and truth– there’s a history of misogyny and violence towards women interwoven in it, one that can be troubling for any rap fan–let alone women.
What Meg did for her fans–now dubbed “hotties” is flip the script. Her songs are about women taking control of all aspects of their lives, while regarding men as replaceable–especially if they aren’t providing anything worthwhile (ie: money, sex, experiences). On her single “Cash Shit” featuring DaBaby, Megan raps in he flawless southern drawl,
He told ’em send me a pic ’cause he miss me
I told him send me a stack if he really
I don’t be trusting these tricks ’cause they tricky
Send him a pic of somebody else titties
Of course, because she’s a woman–the “Rachet” lyricist hasn’t been able to escape sexism completely. People have called everything from her music to her in-your-face style, “offensive.” This noise echos loudest from male rap fans. Megan has something to say about that too. In her Apple Music, Up Next: Beasts 1 Interview Documentary she declared, “Girls, we have to go 10 times harder than guys. We are still expected to give you the bars, give you the look, give you the routine. This is me—I wanna be a rapper, this is it.”
“My music is me letting the world know how confident I am in myself, and me basically telling other women—and guys—how confident and how comfortable I believe they should be,” she told Elle. “I just want [the fans] to feel as good as me and know that there’s nothing wrong with being unapologetically themselves.”
Megan delights in the fact that she’s pissing off some male listeners. “The dudes get to say whatever they want to say; they can say they want to come shoot your granny’s house up, or have sex with however many women in their rap,” she told Elle. “If I say how I’m going to come over and ride it, then I’ve said the worst thing you could ever say? You just can’t please everybody.”
Though she’s known for being uber positive and unbothered in the face of any negativity that’s thrown her way, Thee Stallion is human just like us. Meg’s mother, Holly, the woman who has been inspiring her from day one–recently passed away after a battle with brain cancer. She had been a lifeline as Megan’s manager when it came to long-winded negotiations, contracts, and everything in between. She’d also been a grounding force in Megan’s “new” life, even when their perspectives on things didn’t mesh. “I’d rather get into it with my mama than get into it with a stranger,” Meg told RollingStone before her mother’s passing.
Shortly after Holly’s passing, Meg paid tribute to her mama on Instagram saying, “We were together EVERYDAY, holly was my biggest cheerleader and toughest critic. she taught me enough for 2 lifetimes and if you were blessed to meet her she taught you something too. My mama is still my rock, my world and my inspiration. ima go 100x harder because I kno that’s what she would want me to do.”
Meg’s wild ride has just started–but she was made for this, so all we need to do is buckle up.