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Megan Thee Stallion

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Megan Thee Stallion
Pete in 2019
Pete in 2019
Background information
Birth nameMegan Jovon Ruth Pete
Also known as
  • Meg Thee Stallion
  • Tina Snow
Born (1995-02-15) February 15, 1995 (age 25)
Bexar County, Texas, U.S.[1]
OriginPearland, Texas, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2016–present
Labels
Associated acts

Megan Jovon Ruth Pete[2] (born February 15, 1995),[1] known professionally as Megan Thee Stallion (pronounced "Megan the Stallion"[3][4]), is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born in Bexar County, Texas and raised in South Park, Houston, Megan Thee Stallion began writing and performing raps as a teenager. She first garnered attention when videos of her freestyling became popular on social media platforms such as Instagram. She has released three EPs since 2017—Make It Hot, Tina Snow, and Suga—with the latter two charting on the US Billboard 200. She signed to 300 Entertainment in 2018, and released her first full-length mixtape, Fever, in 2019 to critical acclaim.

In 2020, her single "Savage" went viral on the social media app TikTok and reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart following the release of a remix with Beyoncé. She has won two BET Awards, two BET Hip Hop Awards, a MTV Video Music Award, and a Billboard Women in Music Award.

Early life

Megan Jovon Ruth Pete was born on February 15, 1995 in Bexar County, Texas,[1] and raised in the South Park neighborhood in Houston.[5] Her mother, Holly Thomas, rapped under the name "Holly-Wood" and would bring her daughter with her to recording sessions instead of putting Pete in daycare.[6] Pete and her mother moved to Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston, when she was 14 and lived there until she was 18.[6]

Pete began writing raps at age 16.[7] When she told to her mother that she wanted to rap, Holly required that Pete wait until she was 21 to pursue rapping as a career.[8] Her mother commented that her lyrics were too suggestive for her young age.[9] Pete graduated from Pearland High School in 2013.[10]

In 2013, a clip of Pete (now "Megan Thee Stallion") went viral, where she was battling against male opponents in a "cypher" while she was a student at Prairie View A&M University. The viral video helped Pete gain a larger digital presence and following on social media.[5][7][8][11] She garnered fans by posting her freestyles on her Instagram while in college. She refers to her fans as "hotties", and credits her hyperactive fan base for her early success.[12] She adopted the stage name "Megan Thee Stallion" because she was referred to as a stallion during adolescence due to her height (5'10"[8]) and looks.[11]

After taking time off school, she resumed her studies at Texas Southern University in health administration, where she is a third year student as of 2019.[8][12][13][9][14]

In her songs "Cocky AF" and "Freak Nasty" from her EP Tina Snow, she makes mentions to being part Creole.[15][16] She mentioned this again in a tweet in September 2017.[17]

Career

2016–2018: Early beginnings and Tina Snow

In 2016, Megan Thee Stallion released her first mixtape, Rich Ratchet. Her first single, "Like a Stallion", was produced by TA.[18] The next year, she released her first EP, Make It Hot.[19] One song on the EP, "Last Week in H TX", has four million YouTube views. In 2017, she released a song, "Stalli (Freestyle)", that is a rework of XXXTentacion's "Look At Me!"[7][19][20][21] In early 2018, Megan Thee Stallion signed with 1501 Certified Certified Entertainment, an indie label in Houston owned by former baseball player Carl Crawford.[5] She was the first female rapper signed to the label. She then performed at SXSW in March 2018.[22]

In June, she released a 10-song EP under the label titled Tina Snow. The EP was named after her alter ego, "Tina Snow," who she describes as "a more raw version" of herself.[8] She stated in an interview with Mic.com, that she is not afraid to talk about sexuality, nor does she feel boxed in to either the "intelligent" or "freak" dichotomy.[23] The EP was positively received by critics. Eric Torres of Pitchfork.com wrote: "she provided plenty of freak anthems with quotable lyrics to wield against ain’t-shit men"[24] and Revolt referred to her flow as "effortless".[25] Nandi Howard of The Fader referred to her ability to rap with "electrifying pace and precision".[5] In November 2018, Megan Thee Stallion announced that she had signed with 300 Entertainment; making her the first female rapper to be signed by the label.[26]

2019–present: Fever and Suga

On January 22, 2019, Megan released "Big Ole Freak" as a single from her EP, Tina Snow, and also filmed a music video for the track.[27] The single, "Is It Love This Time", is sampled throughout the single.[28] On April 15, "Big Ole Freak" charted at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 giving Megan her first chart entry,[29] with it later peaking at number 65 on the Hot 100.[30]

Megan Thee Stallion released her second mixtape, Fever, on May 17, 2019.[31] The album received generally positive reviews. Taylor Crumpton of Pitchfork rated the album 8/10 and wrote in the review, "Megan's delivery of perfectly executed bars are comparable to successions from a fully automatic machine gun; a carefully studied aim of fiery stanzas that could only be carried by a rapper with extensive knowledge of the genre's early practices of battle rap."[32] The album was selected as a NYT Critic's Pick, and reviewer Jon Caramanica wrote, "Before this album, Megan Thee Stallion's standout moments have come via radio-appearance freestyles — a familiar proving ground for rappers of an earlier generation, and one where she has thrived... Fever, however, is more cohesive, polished and forceful than her previous releases. The production — especially the songs by Lil Ju ("Ratchet", "Cash ____", "Realer") — is ominous and spacious, a foundation that's sturdy and not distracting."[33] Writing for Fader, Amani Bin Shikhan stated in a review, "That's the magic of her appeal, and the magic of Fever: listening to Thee Stallion feels like listening to the advice of your most entertaining girlfriend, lovingly scolding you to both get your shit together and fuck it up for a real one."[34]

On May 21, 2019, she released the music video for the opening album track, "Realer", which is inspired by the blaxploitation film style.[35] On June 20, 2019, she was announced to be one of eleven artists included in the 12th edition of XXL's "Freshman Class".[36] Her freestyle in the cypher was praised.[37] In July 2019, Chance The Rapper released his debut studio album, The Big Day, and Thee Stallion was featured on the track "Handsome".

Megan Thee Stallion in Lagos in October 2019

On August 2, 2019, A Black Lady Sketch Show premiered on HBO; the show uses Megan Thee Stallion's song "Hot Girl" in the opening title sequence.[38][39] On August 9, 2019, Thee Stallion released the single "Hot Girl Summer", featuring fellow American rapper Nicki Minaj and singer Ty Dolla Sign.[40] The song, an ode to her viral "hot girl summer" meme, came about after an Instagram Live session between the two rappers.[40] It peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Thee Stallion's first top 20 hit, and topped the Rolling Stone 100.[41][42] The week thereafter, she featured on Quality Control compilation album, Quality Control: Control the Streets, Volume 2, on the track "Pastor", alongside Quavo and City Girls.

In September, Megan Thee Stallion signed a management deal with Roc Nation.[43] In October, she created and starred in a horror series, Hottieween, directed by Teyana Taylor.[44] In December, she performed a NPR Tiny Desk Concert.[45]

In November 2019, Time placed Megan Thee Stallion on their inaugural "Time 100 Next" list.[46]

In January 2020, Megan Thee Stallion released the single "Diamonds" with singer Normani, for the soundtrack of the superhero film Birds of Prey (2020).[47] That same month, she released the single "B.I.T.C.H.".[48] and featured on "Fkn Around" by Phony Ppl.[49] She appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on February 13, performing "B.I.T.C.H.".[50] In March, she announced that her debut album, Suga, was delayed as a result of her attempting to renegotiate her contract with 1501 Certified. She started the hashtag "#FreeTheeStallion" to raise awareness of the issue, noting that "[she did not] understand some of the verbiage" when she signed the initial contract with 1501.[51]

On March 6, 2020, Megan Thee Stallion released the EP, Suga, against the wishes of 1501, after a judge granted a temporary restraining order against the label.[52][53] The EP received mainly positive critical reception and has a 80/100 score on review aggregator Metacritic.[54] That same month, the song "Savage" from the EP went viral on TikTok, when popular user Keara Wilson used it for a dance challenge video, which racked up 15.7 million views and 2.4 million likes as of March 20, 2020.[55] A remix featuring Beyoncé was released on April 29, 2020.[56] The song became Thee Stallion's first top 10 hit in the United States shortly after the remix's release,[57] eventually becoming Thee Stallion's first chart topper in the United States.[58] "Savage" also helped boost Suga's sales, propelling it up to number 7 on the Billboard 200.[59] Proceeds from the song went to a Houston nonprofit, Bread of Life, which provides disaster relief for residents affected by COVID-19.[56] She released the song "Girls in the Hood" on June 26.[60]

Artistry

Megan Thee Stallion is known for her confidence, sensuality, and explicit lyrics.[61] She presents her sexuality throughout her lyrics, videos, and live performances.[9] In an interview with Pitchfork she stated, "It's not just about being sexy, it's about being confident and me being confident in my sexuality."[62]

In an interview with Rolling Stone she noted, "I don't feel like we ever really had a female rapper come from Houston or Texas and shut shit down. So that's where I'm coming from."[63]

She cites Pimp C, Lil Kim, Biggie Smalls, Three 6 Mafia, and Beyoncé as her biggest influences.[11][7][64][12][62][65]

Public image

Alter egos

In multiple interviews, Megan Thee Stallion has referred to herself as Tina Snow, one of her alter egos and also the name of her debut EP, Tina Snow. Tina Snow was influenced by Pimp C's alias Tony Snow, and has similar confidence and an unapologetic sexually dominant delivery.[66]

"Hot Girl Meg" is another alter ego who is described as embodying Megan Thee Stallion's carefree and outgoing side, which she compares to a "college, party girl."[67] Megan Thee Stallion stated that she introduced "Hot Girl Meg" on her album, Fever.[68]

On her Instagram, Megan Thee Stallion has also referred to herself as "Thee Hood Tyra Banks" while promoting her song "Pull up Late" from her EP Make It Hot.[69]

Hot Girl Summer

Megan originated the viral catchphrase "hot girl summer" on social media.[70][71][72][73] She first used the phrase in a tweet on April 14, 2018.[74] It later appeared on the Fever album cover, which read, "She's thee HOT GIRL and she's bringing THEE HEAT." She defined the term as "...women and men being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up their friends, doing you."[75] She has applied to trademark the term.[76] A song of the same name was released on August 9, 2019.[77]

Personal life

Megan Thee Stallion's mother, Holly Thomas, died in March 2019 from a longstanding cancerous brain tumor and her grandmother died in the same month.[78][79][80] As well as acting as her daughter's manager, Thomas had influenced Megan Thee Stallion's decision to study Health Administration and also helped foster her wish to establish assisted-living facilities in her hometown of Houston, Texas.[62]

Discography

Mixtapes

Tours

Supporting

Awards and nominations

Award Year[A] Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
BET Awards 2019 Herself Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Nominated [82]
2020 Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Won [83][84]
Fever Album of the Year Nominated
"Hot Girl Summer" (featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla Sign) Video of the Year Nominated
Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award Won
Best Collaboration Nominated
BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 Herself MVP of the Year Nominated [85]
Hot Ticket Performer Won
Best New Hip Hop Artist Nominated
Fever Best Mixtape Won
Billboard Women in Music 2019 Herself Powerhouse Award Won [86]
MTV Video Music Awards 2019 "Hot Girl Summer" (featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla Sign) Best Power Anthem Won [87]
Soul Train Music Awards 2019 "Cash Shit" (featuring DaBaby) Rhythm & Bars Award Nominated [88]
Variety's Hitmakers 2019 Herself Breakthrough Artist Won [89]
Libera Awards 2020 Suga Best R&B/Hip-Hop Album Pending [90]
"Hot Girl Summer" Marketing Genius Pending

Notes

  1. ^ Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.

References

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External links