Megan Thee Stallion is an incredible, record-breaking rapper; and she is brimming with other talents.
Songwriter, rapper, college student, empowering woman, horror screenwriter; these are just a few of the titles that can describe rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion. Megan got her start, like many musicians, on SoundCloud but is now one of the most popular names in music, with hits like “Savage” and her latest collaboration with Cardi B, “WAP.”
While Megan is quickly becoming one of the most famous women in the world, it still feels like a majority of people only know a few of her songs and don’t know much about her life/backstory. It’s about time for a Houston Hottie history lesson.
Megan Thee Stallion is originally from Houston, as many of her fans already know. Her mother, Holly Thomas, was Megan’s first introduction to the rap scene. Holly rapped under the name “Holly-Wood” and she frequently brought her daughter to recording sessions with her. Those days spent listening to her mother in the studio inspired Megan to pursue a career in music. Megan often attributes her mother as being her biggest influence.
Although Holly supported Megan’s burgeoning music career to its full extent, she also stressed the importance of her daughter pursuing an education. Megan graduated from high school in 2013 and attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, for her bachelor’s degree.
“I’m the baddest bitch walkin’ round on campus.” – Mustard and Mayonnaise (Make It Hot, 2017)
It was on this campus that Megan first started gaining traction on the internet. Videos of Megan battling her fellow classmates in freestyle competitions began to circulate on the internet and gave some credit to her name. While she was attending Prairie View A&M, she was also chastised for her twerking videos and even had to sit through a meeting with administrators about her “behavior” on campus. Despite her somewhat controversial image at Prairie View, Megan continued to post videos of her freestyling on Instagram. Eventually, she gathered enough praise and fans to put her studies on hold so she could focus on her music.
Megan released some of her first singles, such as “Like a Stallion” and “Stalli Freestyle,” on SoundCloud. Eventually, she released three mixtapes total on SoundCloud: “Like a Stallion,” “Rich Ratchet” and “Megan Mix.”
Her first commercially released mixtape was “Make It Hot” in 2017, with hits like “Mustard and Mayonnaise” and “Last Week in HTx.” “Last Week” was the most popular single off of the album and the music video garnered several million views on YouTube. Shortly after the release of that music video, Megan signed with 1501 Certified Entertainment, an independent record label based in Houston.
Megan quickly began working on her first extended play, or EP as they are commonly called, after signing with 1501. While working on the album, Megan performed at South by Southwest in March of 2018, her first performance as an officially signed artist. A couple of months later, Megan graced listeners with the release of her EP, “Tina Snow,” in June. The EP received positive reviews, drawing in more and more fans with hits like “WTF I Want,” “Neva” and “Big Ole Freak.” “Big Ole Freak” became Megan’s first song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list, debuting at 99 on the list and eventually working its way up to number 65.
“Bitch it’s Tina Snow, they love me ‘cause I’m cold.” – Big Ole Freak (Tina Snow, 2018)
Even though her music career was rapidly taking over her life, Megan never gave up her commitment to finishing her education. After leaving Prairie View A&M, Megan enrolled in online classes at Texas Southern University. In February of this year, Megan told Rolling Stone that she only had a few more classes left until she was finished with her degree in healthcare management. She’s continuing to drop record-breaking music all the while being a part-time college student.
Megan released her “debut mixtape,” “Fever,” on May 17, 2019. The mix featured collaborations with DaBaby and Juicy J. Notable songs from the record include “Cash Shit (feat. DaBaby),” “Pimpin,” “Realer,” and “Sex Talk.” The mix accumulated positive reviews and was called one of the best albums of 2019 by five different publications, including Billboard, Rolling Stone and Paper. Paper even called it the number one album of 2019.
In the summer of 2019, it seemed like everyone in America was determined to have a “hot girl summer” but no one seemed to know where the term came from. Megan originally used the term in a tweet dating all the way back to April of 2018. In an interview with The Root in June of 2019, Megan defined a “hot girl summer” as “women – and men – just being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody got to say about it.” There’s the definition, literally from the horse’s mouth.
Of course, with the catchphrase, came (what I think is) one of the best songs of last summer. “Hot Girl Summer” was a single released by Megan in August of 2019, featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign. The song swiftly rose on the charts, becoming number one on both U.S. Billboard Rhythmic and Rolling Stone Top 100 charts. “Hot Girl Summer” also debuted and peaked at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. In December of 2019, the song became platinum with one million sales in the U.S.
After her Hot Girl Summer, Megan was gaining more and more recognition and 2020 was, and is, no different. On March 6, 2020, Megan released another EP, called “Suga.” The EP featured incredible tracks, like “Captain Hook” and “Hit My Phone (feat. Kehlani),” but the song that enraptured the teens of America was “Savage.” After TikTok user Keara Wilson started the trend, thousands of TikTok users across the country and the world turned “Savage” into a dance challenge and used the chorus to create creative and sometimes humorous videos. In fact, there was even a “Tiger King” parody TikTok video of someone impersonating Joe Exotic and creating his own lyrics to the song. “Savage” eventually became the most listened to song on TikTok for the month of March with over 7.5 billion plays.
As if the song could get any bigger, Megan dropped a remix of “Savage” with one of the most prominent names in the music industry and one of her personal biggest influences: Beyoncé. The remix was released about a month after the EP and it became a surefire hit within hours. It became Megan’s first number one song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list. It was also number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, Rhythmic Chart, and Rolling Stone’s Top 100. The song has sold over two million units as of July of this year. In addition to all those accomplishments, all proceeds from the remix went to Bread of Life Houston’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Thee Stallion and the B can do it all.
“Texas up in this thang, put you up on this game. IVY PARK on my frame, gang, gang, gang, gang. If you don’t jump to put jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain.” – Savage Remix (Savage Remix, 2020)
Sadly, Megan hit an unfortunate setback in July of this year. After attending a party in Hollywood, Megan was rushed to the hospital. For a while, the police nor anyone else would release information about what happened. Finally, on July 15, Megan issued a statement on her Instagram that described what had transpired: she had “suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me.” Fans everywhere offered Megan lots of love and prayers for a quick recovery.
However, not everyone was nearly as understanding. Apparently there were people all over the internet spreading misinformation and making the light of the situation, which is unfortunately common when something traumatic happens to a celebrity. When Megan should’ve been recovering and dealing with her trauma, she was instead confronted with hundreds of trolls online.
Finally, on August 20, Megan released a series of live videos that clarified the traumatic night. She confirmed that fellow rapper Tory Lanez shot her. She detailed how, even with bullet holes in her feet, she did not want to report her shooter to the police out of fear of how they would react.
Megan issued her statement because she wanted to share her story, establish the facts of the situation and shed more light on police brutality against Black people. She wanted people to believe Black women for once and to understand that violence against women, specifically Black women, is no laughing matter.
“You can keep hating, I’m poppin’ regardless.” – Captain Hook (Suga, 2020)
While what she went through was traumatic and she needed time to heal, Megan did not let the incident stop her from continuing to climb the charts. On August 7, not even a month after getting shot, Megan released the single “WAP” with Cardi B. It’s safe to say the song quickly became a cultural phenomenon.
The song was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, with many fans praising it for its female-centered sex-positive message. Much like “Savage,” “WAP” became another popular dance challenge on TikTok. Best of all, the song greatly angered many conservative politicians and commentators. Ben Shapiro even went so far as to censor and recite the lyrics to “WAP,” which was immediately ripped apart by many, many people on the internet.
“WAP” also broke numerous records upon its release. It had the largest opening streaming week out of any song in U.S. history and it was rapidly topped the Billboard Digital Song Sales, Streaming Songs, Hot Rap Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The jaw-dropping music video featured some of the most talented women in the music industry including Normani, Rosalía and Mulatto.
Megan Thee Stallion is a formidable rapper and musician. This is fact. People know this. What people might not know is that she is also a big fan of the horror genre. In October of 2019, she produced a web series called “Hottieween” in collaboration with YouTube Music. The three-episode series was directed by fellow musician Teyana Taylor and starred Megan as a private investigator. The series featured murder, vampires and lots of spooky energy, all the while being underscored by Megan’s music. It was a beautiful and unexpected project from the Houston Hottie that I, as an avid horror fan, definitely appreciated.
Megan also surprised fans in October of last year by stating that she was working on an original horror screenplay. In an interview with Vogue, Megan shared that she has always been a fan of horror and one of her favorite movies within the genre is Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead.” She also shared, in a different interview, that she would love to collaborate with recent breakout horror director Jordan Peele on her project, something that would make horror fans everywhere scream for joy rather than fear.
Megan has amassed a lot of respect and attention due to her confident and inspiring demeanor. However, Megan has been through a lot of pain to get to the place she is now. In addition to her traumatic injury earlier this year, Megan lost her mother Holly to brain cancer in March of last year. Megan has opened up about her grief via Instagram Live and expressed to the world how hard it has been to be in the spotlight while going through so much pain.
“Everything that I done been through made me who I am right now.” – Pimpin (Fever, 2019)
Despite her heartbreaks, Megan Thee Stallion rides on. She is committed to creating music that inspires young women everywhere to be confident in themselves, on the inside and out. She is proving to everyone that you can achieve a degree while working towards your dreams. And she is making Houston proud every single day.
“Boy I know you wanna come kick it out in Houston, Bitch I’m from Texas.” – Last Week in HTx (Make It Hot, 2017)
Need a place where you can check out all of Megan’s top hits? Listen to “Thee Essentials” playlist on Burnt X’s Spotify (made by yours truly)!