I love Megan Thee Stallion. For a couple years, I’ve been following “Thee H-Town Hottie,” and her rise to ultimate superstardom, and it’s been a joy to see. Women in rap are often overlooked, underrated, and not taken seriously. Yet, some manage to rise above the most horrible of critics and make a name for themselves with support from fans, determination, and a whole lot of nerve. Enter: Megan Pete, who managed to graduate college and perform at the Grammys during the same time.
So let’s take a quick look at how Thee Stallion became the badass record-breaking star we all know today. Spoiler alert: She always had it in her. It’s quite an interesting tale of how having the talent to backup going viral can make your dreams a reality.
In 2013, when Megan Pete was 14, she began rapping. She’s mentioned before that she was insecure about her passion—she didn’t want anybody to know, especially at school. By the time she got to college, though, seeing her male counterparts freestyling inspired her to do the same. So, she started doing cyphers around campus and posted them online.
Megan Thee Stallion, Houston Cypher 2016 pic.twitter.com/Ju8zfYiVzU
— björk’s acclaimed breakup album “Vulnicura” (@yungdevotion) May 23, 2019
These videos of her rapping on rooftops or in the suburbs made rounds online. And I mean, rounds. I remember first seeing one of her cyphers on Twitter around 2016. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know who she was. I just thought she was good. And I hoped she could make it, because music is a hard business, and making it in hip-hop as a woman is damn near impossible. But, wouldn’t you know?
So let’s talk about where Megan is now (three Grammys later).
Thee record breaking
With catchy beats and lyrics that promote equality, sex positivity, independence, and being from Houston, Megan’s music is not only infectiously catchy and fun, but also has a knack for being super timely and relatable. Rap and hip-hop is nothing if not both, and Thee Stallion’s music is no exception.
And trust, she’s caught heat for her explicit lyrics. But her response is always something along of the lines of, “If men can rap explicitly about sex, why can’t I?” It’s a double standard, one of many that women in rap are constantly fighting.
Even so, Megan’s historical accolades support her talent. As of the time I’m writing this, she was the only female artist in 2021 to have the most top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with five. Mind you, at this point, she has one album and a handful of mixtapes out. Blazing the charts. That’s insane!
Not only that, but with “W.A.P.,” she earned the most streams for a song in its first week, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard. The song also led to Megan and Cardi B. earning the title of first female rap collab to go No. 1 in the United Kingdom. Additionally, due to having three songwriting credits on the Hot Rap Songs ranking on Billboard, she became the first woman to lead the rap songwriters chart. On top of all that, she became the first woman ever to have three No. 1s on Billboard’s streaming charts in one year.
Let’s not forget that “first female rap song in 28 years to hit No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart,” credit, either. And casually releasing a song with Beyoncé.
So, yeah, great year for Thee Stallion. Mostly. But smashing records isn’t all she’s known for.
Thee charity work
Not only is Megan actually making history, but she’s a humanitarian. On top of being a rapper, in 2019, she organized beach cleanups around California in an effort to lower her carbon footprint and become more serious about helping the environment.
The Cali hotties literally cleaned everything so fast!I had so much fun and drove the boat with everyone Comment what beach needs cleaning pic.twitter.com/nGkHhT7L9I
— TINA SNOW (@theestallion) June 7, 2019
Also, it’s no secret that education is important to Megan. When she accepted Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” award in 2021, she introduced herself as “Megan Pete, college graduate.” In recent years, she’s begun to give out collegiate scholarships to honor hard-working women.
For her 27th birthday, she founded the Pete & Thomas Foundation, which, according to ABC, “supports cancer care, mental health, and food insecurities,” as well as scholarships. Plus, the proceeds from her hit song “Savage,” (you know, the remix with Beyoncé), went to Bread of Life, which helps the homeless in the Houston area, where both women are from.
Additionally, never forgetting where she came from, a portion of the proceeds from Megan and Popeye’s limited-time hot sauce collaboration, “Hottie Sauce,” were donated to Houston Random Acts of Kindness, which promotes selfless acts around the area.
It’s obvious that giving back is of the upmost importance to Megan, and at a time where empathy is needed among our community, country, and around the world, it’s really uplifting to see someone so prolific be so dedicated to using her platform to help make the world a better place.
So, when it comes to Megan Thee Stallion, there’s a lot to talk about. She’s making her mark on the rap game and is on course to change the game. Making history before 30 is no small feat, and there’s no signs of her slowing down any time soon. In fact, she’s got a song with Dua Lipa that just dropped, which only adds to the list of A-listers she collaborates with frequently. So let’s give it up to the H-Town Hottie, and believe her when she says something that happened to her actually happened to her.
Don’t forget to check out our previous Women in Music series artist, WILLOW.
Photo via Rolling Stone