In 2013, a video of an 18-year-old college student went viral as she battled alongside male counterparts in a rap cypher. Three years after rapping on a rooftop carpark in Houston, Texas, the student would compete in the annual Houston Cypher, proclaiming to viewers, “Name a b*tch you know who f**king with my flow,” over the head-bopping 808s of Drake’s “4 pm in Calabasas.”
Since 2016, Megan Pete, now known as Megan Thee Stallion, has gained acclaim thanks to her ride or die fanbase called “(The) Hotties,” This year, she released a video for her breakthrough, club-banger single “Big Ole Freak” from her 2018 EP, “Tina Snow.” The song would go on to become an instant hit, debuting at number 99 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, before climbing up to number 65.
The H-Town native signed to the New York-based 300 Entertainment record label in 2018, becoming the first female rap artist signed to the label since it was founded in 2012. In May of this year, Megan released “Fever,” her 14-track debut mixtape on the label. With her Blaxploitation styled album jacket and visuals and the introduction of her alter ego “Hot Girl Meg,” Megan Thee Stallion proves that feminism isn’t just about picketing outside of the White House but also by making your mark in a male-dominated industry.
On March 22, Megan announced on Instagram that her mother and manager, Holly Thomas, had passed away, later stating that she succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer. Megan’s mother influenced her in many ways, as she was also a rapper, who performed under the stage name Holly-Wood. Thomas sometimes took Megan along to the recording studio instead of putting her in daycare. She also encouraged Megan to further her education and pursue a degree in health administration at Texas Southern University, so she could accomplish her dream of building housing facilities for the elderly in her hometown. In a post on Instagram, Megan called her mother, “The best mom in the whole world. The strongest woman on the planet.”
On April 14, 2018, Megan introduced the catchphrase “Hot Girl Summer” to the world via her Twitter account. At the time this was written, the term is one of the most popular trends of 2019. The hashtag #hotgirlsummer has been used more than 170k times on Instagram and 2 million times on Twitter.
The rise of Hot Girl Summer has also inspired the creation of “nerd girl autumn” and “cold girl winter” making the saying a never-ending, year-round term for women.
Despite having to deal with the traumatic death of her mother, Megan still continues to make major moves in her career. The rapper was selected for the prestigious 12th Annual XXL Freshman Class, a collective of 11 up and coming hip hop artists. On September 13, she posted a photo of her with rapper Jay-Z, announcing she had signed a management deal with the Brooklynite’s Roc Nation label.
Alana Brown-Davis is a sophomore student at South Pike High School in Magnolia, Miss. She is passionate about music and writing about Black culture.