Megan Thee Stallion gained spotlight from her recent collabs with Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, but she's been rapping since age 14. She's not only a successful rapper but a college student eager to take on the world.
A Hip Hop Icon
Over the course of a few years, Megan Thee Stallion has thrived as both a rapper and advocate for women in music. She's impressed fans with her fearlessness and passion for making the world a better place.
Megan went from watching her mom record music to secretly creating her own tracks, and eventually, was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Find out how Megan Thee Stallion climbed her way to the top.
Before Megan Became Thee Stallion
Before Megan Thee Stallion made her mark on the music industry, the rapper went by the name Megan Jovon Ruth Pete. She was born on February 15, 1995, and grew up in Houston, Texas. Ever since she was a child, Megan hasn't stopped reaching for the stars.
For as long as she can remember, Megan's looked up to other brave and independent women in her life, aiming to achieve things that might've seemed impossible. "I've always seen strong women making it work, so I've always wanted to have that same drive," she explained.
Her Mom Was Also a Rapper
Megan's passion for music didn't just come out of the blue: Her mother, Holly Thomas, also known as Holly-Wood, was a famous rapper in the 90s and early 2000s. "My mom is the first female rapper I've ever known," she explained. Growing up around music, Megan began to think, "Like, 'Okay, yeah, this is normal.'"
So, it didn't come as a surprise to Megan's family that she eventually pursued a rap career. She explained that she spent a lot of time listening to her mother's music, thinking about following in her footsteps while also being her own artist. "My mama was more of a gangster rapper than a sensual rapper. I'm a lover," she said.
Learned How to Stand Up for Herself at a Young Age
Megan recently revealed that she was bullied as a child, and learning how to face challenging situations at such a young age has stuck with her ever since. "I used to get bullied in elementary school," said Megan. She looked to her mother for comfort, who gave her some life-changing advice.
"She was like, 'Girl, f*** her. You go to school, and you say this,'" Megan revealed. Her mom taught her not to let other people's words get to her, and said, "It felt really good." Since that day, Megan's confidence has continued to improve. "You can't let anybody tell you that you're not a queen," she explained.
Learned About Healthy Relationships From Her Father
Megan credits her father for learning how to build a healthy relationship while respecting herself. "My dad was definitely my best friend," she said. "But for the first eight years of my life, he was in jail." However, once he was released from prison, Megan and her dad became incredibly close.
"I saw how he treated my mom, and I saw how my dad treated me," Megan explained. Her father showed her the importance of setting high standards for herself in terms of relationships, as he'd always respected the people in his life. Megan learned never to settle.
Wanted to Be a Plastic Surgeon
Although Megan admired her mother's rap career and was indeed interested in music, she also wished to pursue other dreams. "I used to watch Dr. 90210, and I would see the ladies get up after their nose job, and they'll be all happy and s***," she revealed, of the time she'd once hoped to become a plastic surgeon.
She was drawn to the idea of helping women look their best and feel confident, so Megan figured a career in plastic surgery would give her the chance to do this. She eventually accepted that her fear of blood would prevent her from becoming any sort of doctor, so she decided to "Just make bad b**** music instead."
Started Rapping at Age 14
As Megan watched her mother write and record music in the studio, she started to picture herself doing the same thing. "I was in there writing too. She'll be over her instrumentals, doing her thing, but I'll be in there, secretly putting it together in my head," Megan explained.
At age 14, Megan began stealing her mother's CDs to practice rapping in private. She kept her talent a secret for a few years and continued to write music independently, as she was worried about how her mom would respond to the language in her songs. Once she was 18, Megan finally revealed her music to her mom.
Her Mom Was Worried About Her Suggestive Lyrics
When Megan finally built up the courage to show her mother how hard she'd been working on her music, she didn't get the reaction she'd hoped for. "I went home and told her I could rap, and she was like 'No, you can't,'" said Megan. Her mom wasn't thrilled about the lyrics she'd written, as many of them were rather suggestive.
Although Megan's mother was pleased to see her following in her footsteps, she asked that her daughter wait until age 21 to start rapping professionally. "Oh my god! No, you're not coming out 'til you're 21!" exclaimed her mother. So, at 21 years-old, Megan finally pursued her rap career with her mom as her manager.
Was Scared to Rap in Front of Other People
It may be hard to imagine now, but at one point in time, Megan's biggest fear was rapping in front of other people. "I was kind of shy about telling people that I could rap for the longest [time]," she revealed. "I never wanted anybody to know that I could even rap."
"Even when I got to college and I told my best friend I could rap, she'll be like, 'Ok. Well, then rap,'" Megan continued. Eventually, she came to the realization, "I was confident in myself, but I didn't really know how people would react to how I thought about myself on the inside."
Wanted to Succeed for Her City
Megan takes a lot of pride in her Texan roots, and ever since she started rapping, she's dreamed of making her hometown, Houston, proud. "I feel like I have to put on for my city because we have so many legends and so many greats," the rapper explained.
"But I don't feel like we ever really had a female rapper come from Houston or Texas and shut s*** down," she added. Megan also explained, "I love doing shows in Texas because they be turnt. I already know it's gonna be a party," she told Vulture. "It's just really good energy every time."
How She Got Her Name
Megan was first called "Thee Stallion" when she was in high school; As she explained, men would call her a stallion because of her figure. "Since I was younger, probably about 15 or 16, I've always had the same body," Megan explained. "Older guys would always be like, 'Oh, you a stallion.'"
"So I finally had to ask like, 'is that a good thing?'" Being 5'10, she eventually learned to embrace her body, and "Megan Thee Stallion" was born. "Everybody pretty much took it and ran with it, and then I put it as my main name on Twitter, and ever since then, everybody's been calling me Stallion," Megan revealed.
Making Her Mark
After graduating from high school, Megan enrolled at Prairie View A&M University, which allowed her to broaden her horizons and see what else she was capable of. "When you go to college, you can just be whoever you wanna be. So I got there, and I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm a rapper,''' Megan explained.
"One day I was at this party, and these dudes were freestyling, and I was like, I could rap, and they were like, 'No, you can't." So, she showed these guys what she could do, and "They were like 'Oh!' So then everybody around school knew me as Thee Stallion. And she could rap."
Used Social Media to Promote Her Music
Once Megan began writing and recording her own music, she used social media to build her fanbase. In 2016, she appeared in a YouTube series, The Cypher, which highlights various Houston-born artists. As MTV News put it, Megan dominated the video with her confidence, and the video instantly went viral.
After that, Megan began posting freestyle videos on Instagram, and before she knew it, her video, Stalli Freestyle, also went viral. She continued sharing videos on all social platforms, and in 2020, her song Savage became the soundtrack to one of the hottest TikTok challenges.
First Top Single
Megan made it onto Billboard's Top 100 chart with Big Ole Freak, which was number 99, and eventually climbed up to number 66 last April. This was quite the accomplishment and only the beginning of the self-made rapper's domination. Shortly after, she released a remix with Beyonce for Savage, and in no time, it became a Tiktok sensation.
People worldwide, from influencers to ordinary users, were sharing videos of themselves dancing to the song. In May, the track jumped to Billboard's number one spot. "WE F****** DID IT," Megan shared. "This is our first, but it damn sure won't be our last! I love y'all so much."
Sued 1501 Certified Entertainment
In March of 2020, Megan filed a lawsuit against her former record label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, as she claimed her contract was "Not only entirely unconscionable but ridiculously so." She explained the label "Literally did nothing, while at the same time taking for themselves the vast majority of [her] income from all sources."
"All I did was ask to renegotiate my contract, then it became a whole big thing," Megan added. Once she spoke with Roc Nation and realized the circumstances, she took legal action against 11501 Certified Entertainment. "I will stand up for myself and not allow two men to bully me; I am NO ONE'S PROPERTY," said Megan.
First Woman to Sign With 300 Entertainment
The record label 300 Entertainment was created in 2012 and has signed some of the industry's hottest artists. However, the label hadn't signed any female artists until 2018, when they decided to bring Megan Thee Stallion on board. Megan was extremely excited to take this significant step in her career, but she was also quite nervous.
"'Is this really going to happen? Am I about to be signed?'" the rapper wondered. In the end, Megan had nothing to worry about, as 300 Entertainment welcomed their newest artist with open arms, and signing this contract essentially jumpstarted her successful career.
Lost Her Mother as Her Career Was Taking Off
In 2019, Megan's world fell apart when her mother, Holly Thomas, passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. "We were together EVERYDAY; Holly was my biggest cheerleader and toughest critic," Megan explained. "She taught me enough for 2 lifetimes, and if you were blessed to meet her, she taught you something too."
But, as heartbroken as she was, Megan pushed herself to accomplish all that she'd spoken about with her mom. "After my mom passed, I promised myself I was going to keep going hard [because] not only is music my dream, but it was her dream for me too." Clearly, Megan's done just that, as she became an iconic, unstoppable rapper.
Controversial Collab With Cardi B
For years, Cardi B's had a lot to say about Megan and has viewed her as an incredible artist who's bound to succeed. "Look at Megan Thee Stallion. She got that voice that sticks," said Cardi B. "Not only does she rap good… but she got that voice, and she got that confidence that sticks. So now, there's no excuse for it."
So, when it came to the two artists collaborating on their groundbreaking song WAP this past summer, they were both thrilled to top the charts together. WAP certainly had some controversial lyrics and resulted in a wide variety of commentary from listeners, though.
Cardi and Megan Praised for Their Song
Ever since WAP was released, many female fans worldwide gave an overwhelming amount of positive feedback since it was meant to empower women. The song was truly unlike any other, and according to Christina Aguilera, it "Made her feel some type of way."
Halle Berry, too, tweeted that she loved going into her car to enjoy the song and get some "me" time away from her children. Other stars, including Halsey, Remy Ma, JoJo, and Azalea Banks, have also expressed their love and support for Megan and Cardi's latest collab; But evidently, some people did not approve of the song's lyrics.
Negative Reactions to 'WAP'
"Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure," one listener expressed. "Their new 'song' The #WAP (which I heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears, and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model."
Clearly, not everyone had the same feelings of empowerment as Christina Aguilera and Halle Berry. "If @iamcardib & @theestallion think that their vile #WAP song did anything to empower women, they are completely wrong," another person tweeted. "No radio station should play that trash, censored or uncensored."
Collaborated With Nicki Minaj on Instagram Live
Fans were mesmerized by Megan's collab with Nicki Minaj in Hot Girl Summer, but truthfully, Minaj wasn't originally meant to have a role in the song. During the song's production, Megan was pleased with how it was coming together with the help of Ty Dolla $ign's vocals, but she felt that something was missing.
"The song was already recorded and ready to go, and then [Minaj and I] just went [on Instagram Live] together, and she literally recorded her verse that night," Megan revealed. After this spontaneous addition, "They sent the [finished song to me and I was like, 'This is not real life,'" she said. "It was amazing."
Pitted Against Cardi B and Nicki Minaj
Megan has worked closely with both Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, two highly-accomplished female rappers. However, Megan revealed that the three women weren't always encouraged to support each other. "In every industry, women are pitted against one another, but especially in hip-hop," she explained.
"It seems as if the male-dominated ecosystem can handle only one female rapper at a time," she added. "Countless times, people have tried to pit me against Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, two incredible entertainers and strong women. I'm not 'the new' anyone; We are all unique in our own ways."
Currently a College Student
Megan left Prairie View A&M University to focus on her music career, but in 2019, she transferred to Texas Southern University to complete her degree in health administration. "I'm doing it for me, but I'm also doing it for the women in my family who made me who I am today," she explained.
"I want my big mama to be proud. She saw me going to school before she passed," said Megan. "My grandmother that's still alive used to be a teacher, so she'd on my butt about finishing school." As of now, Megan's planning to graduate next year and is hoping to throw an elaborate graduation party to celebrate her accomplishment.
Plans to Open an Assisted Living Facility
Since Megan will soon have a degree in health administration, she's started thinking about how she can better the world with her education. "I really wanted to be an administrator over a hospital, but I knew I still wanted to be Megan Thee Stallion," Megan explained. "I was like, 'What can I do?'"
"You know what, I'm gonna open an assisted living facility and use the money that I make from rapping to open it. Then I'm gonna let my classmates run it," she added. Megan explained that she's been splitting her time between studying and her music career and admitted, "College is a lot of stress."
Severely Injured This Past Summer
In July, Megan posted a tearful video on social explaining a traumatic incident that had occurred and put her life at risk. "On Sunday morning, I suffered gunshot wounds as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me," Megan revealed.
"I was never arrested; The police officers drove me to the hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the bullets," she explained in an Instagram post. Megan later revealed that she had been shot by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. "I'm incredibly grateful to be alive and that I'm expected to make a full recovery," Megan later shared.
Lanez Denied Committing the Act
In his most recent album, Daystar, Lanez addressed the shooting that had left Megan with a bullet in her foot. In one of the album's songs, Money Over Fallout, he rapped, "Megan people tryna frame me... Girl, you had the nerve to write that statement on the affidavit, knowing I ain't do it, but I'm coming at my truest."
Lanez also questioned whether or not Megan even got shot; "How the f*** you get shot in your foot, don't hit no bones or tendons?" In the end, Lanez was charged with shooting Megan several times, as well as carrying a loaded firearm that wasn't registered. He denied the charges, and the case was taken to court.
The Struggles of Being a Female Rapper
Megan has undoubtedly earned the respect of millions of fans, but she admitted that it hasn't been an easy journey - especially as a woman in an arguably male-dominated industry. Like she explained about her relationships with Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, there are so few female rappers, and they're often pushed to compete, not support one another.
"I feel that artists in general, but definitely women - if you are not dating somebody popping or you are not just acting like a complete a**, then people nine times out of 10 are probably not going to know who you are," Megan explained. She said that she hopes for better female representation in the industry in the future.
Named One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People
This year, at the height of her career, Megan was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. "It's invigorating to see her become a platinum-selling artist with the viral hit Hot Girl Summer and multiple No. 1 songs in the past year, Savage and WAP," said Taraji P. Henson.
"But you would be a fool to think that's all there is to her. She's deep," Henson added. After all that she's accomplished in her career thus far, Megan shared, "Still I rise. A young black woman from Houston, Texas, on the cover of Time Magazine as one of the Most Influential People in the world."
Becoming an Inspiration to Fans
Being a rapper and a college student simultaneously sets Megan apart from other artists, and she hopes to inspire others through her journey. "You're gonna get the job that you want eventually. You worked hard enough to complete school, so I know that you can work hard enough to complete whatever your next goal in life is," she said.
"If I am somebody's role model, I want them to take away that you can still go to school, you can still pursue your dreams, and you should still be you, no matter what the circumstances are," Megan explained. "If that's what they're taking away from me, then I feel I'm doing a good job."
Thee Unstoppable Stallion
So, aside from continuing to thrive as a rapper and opening up an assisted living facility, you might be wondering what else Megan Thee stallion has in store for the future. "A whole big ole brand, whole big ole company - it's gonna be worldwide, okay?" said Megan. "I'm really working on my dynasty right now."
Megan's working on her merch line, 'Girls In the Hood,' to create a scholarship program, as she's a firm believer in the importance of education. The highly motivated rapper is determined to keep making positive changes. "Even though I haven't already come out with a song with that messaging, I definitely plan on it."