Megan Thee Stallion has quickly become the female rapper to watch since bursting onto the scene doing cyphers on her college campus, as noted by Vulture. Since then, the rapper has become famous for her infectious confidence and her jaw-dropping lyrics. The star shot to celebrity status with a series of mega hits, including her 2018 project Tina Snow and songs like "Big Ole Freak" and "Cash S**t" (via Billboard), not to mention her 2020 viral hit "Savage." If you’ve been on TikTok, you’ve probably heard the song at least once or twice!
It’s clear that Megan Thee Stallion has the world at her feet. But fame hasn’t always been the norm for the rapper. In fact, she’s come a pretty long way in her journey to the top of the rapping game. Want to find out how Megan Jovon Ruth Pete became Megan Thee Stallion? Here is the stunning transformation of Megan Thee Stallion.
Megan Thee Stallion grew up in Houston and is super proud of it
Megan Thee Stallion, born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, was born on Feb. 15, 1995 in Bexar County, Texas, as reported by E! News. She then spent her early years in Houston.
Megan has always been open about the impact her Texan upbringing has had on her. In 2019, she told Rolling Stone, "I feel like I have to put on for my city, because we have so many legends and so many greats." However, she added, "But I don’t feel like we ever really had a female rapper come from Houston or Texas and shut s**t down." It’s nice to hear that Megan knows the musical legacy of her hometown, and she clearly seems to know her important place within the city’s legacy.
So, is there anything she doesn’t like about her state? As she told Vulture, there’s nothing she doesn’t love about Texas. She went on to explain that she loves the culture and the energy of the state: "I love doing shows in Texas because they be turnt. I already know it’s gonna be a party. It’s just really good energy every time." We love how connected Megan is to her roots!
Megan Thee Stallion’s main inspiration is her mother, a former rapper
It turns out that Megan Thee Stallion may have had a very different life and career if it wasn’t for her mother’s influence. Megan’s mother, Holly Thomas, was a rapper in the late ’90s and early 2000s, who used the stage name Holly-Wood. Apparently, Megan spent her early years soaking up Houston’s rap industry and culture in the studio with her mom.
"My mom is the first female rapper I’ve ever known," she told Vulture in 2019. "I’m thinking, like, ‘Okay, yeah, this is normal. Everybody’s doing this.’" For Megan, the rapping world was always the norm. And Megan was seriously hooked from an early age. She described how she would listen to her mom at work and think about how she would follow in her footsteps.
While Megan did learn a lot from her mom, she certainly forged her own path in the rap world. She explained to The Source, "My mama was more of a gangster rapper than a sensual rapper. I’m a lover." Even though Megan’s style may be different than her mother’s, it’s clear that her mother’s early influence shaped Megan’s life forever.
Megan Thee Stallion was bullied as a kid until her mom taught her to stand up for herself
As a rapper, Megan Thee Stallion is the ultimate picture of confidence and self-assurance. However, as a kid, Megan may have been unrecognizable. In 2019, Megan spoke to Billboard about her experiences with bullying. "I used to get a little bullied in elementary school," she explained.
Apparently, after a while, the bullying eventually started to bother Megan, who didn’t know how to handle it. She eventually told her mom, who encouraged her to stand her ground. "She was like, … ‘Girl, f*** her. You go to school and you say this,’" Megan said of her mom. She took her mom’s advice and explained that "it felt really good" to stand up for herself. Ever since receiving her mom’s words of wisdom, Megan has been nothing but confident. As she explained to Billboard, "You can’t let anybody tell you that you’re not a queen."
Wondering if your kid may be getting picked on? Learn the signs your kid is getting bullied.
Megan Thee Stallion’s dad taught her about healthy relationships
Megan Thee Stallion’s mother wasn’t the only parent who had a huge influence on the rapper. Her father, who has since passed, was also instrumental in her development as a kid. However, her relationship with her dad was a little more complicated. "My dad was definitely my best friend," she explained to Marie Claire, "but for the first eight years of my life, he was in jail." But when he was released from prison, he and Megan became inseparable. "We were together everyday," she said.
Once Megan could see her father and her mother’s relationship, she developed a new understanding of love. "I saw how he treated my mom, and I saw how my dad treated me," she explained. His unfaltering love made her realize that she needs to maintain high standards for herself when it comes to love and relationships. Seems that the influence Megan’s father had on her taught her a lot about what a positive, healthy relationship really looks like. We bet Megan knows the signs that a relationship can last a lifetime.
Megan Thee Stallion started rapping at just 14
After growing up in the studio listening to her mother’s raps, Megan Thee Stallion started writing her own bars at just 14 years old. Megan spoke to XXL about how she started writing while she was in the studio with her mom. "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," she explained.
She went on to say that the hobby developed into her stealing her mom’s beat CDs so that she could practice rapping in secret even when she wasn’t with her mom in the studio. Even though Megan started at 14, it wasn’t until she was 18 that she plucked up the courage to share her hidden skills with her mom. Apparently, she was concerned about how her mom would respond to some of the language she was using.
Megan Thee Stallion was nervous to rap in front of anyone when she started
It’s clear that Megan Thee Stallion loved rapping as a teen, thanks to her mom’s influence and connections. Even though Megan frequented a professional studio with her mother who was already in the industry, Megan was hesitant to rap in front of people when she first started out. She explained to Rolling Stone, "I was kind of shy about telling people that I could rap for the longest."
In another Rolling Stone interview, Megan discussed her early shyness in more detail. "I never wanted anybody to know that I could even rap," the star said. "Even when I got to college and I told my best friend I could rap, she’ll be like, ‘OK. Well, then rap.’" Sounds like it took some time for Megan to get comfortable rapping for others — understandable, considering she kept her talents hidden from her mother for four years (via XXL).
Of when she finally started to rap in public, she said, "I was confident in myself, but I didn’t really know how people would react to how I thought about myself on the inside."
Megan Thee Stallion got her nickname in high school
It goes without saying that Megan Thee Stallion’s real name isn’t, well, "Megan Thee Stallion." It turns out, the rapper’s professional name actually came from Megan’s high school experience of being exceptionally tall for her age. The rapper is 5’10", as noted by Entertainment Weekly, and she has presumably been around this height since she was a teen. She told Vulture, "In the South, they call girls that are tall and fine stallion."
She recalled one early incident when an older man said to her, "Damn, you a stallion." Megan immediately told him to back off, saying, "Stop talking to me before you go to jail," as she was just 15 at the time. We absolutely love that Megan reclaimed a nickname given to her by men at a young age and is using it to show everyone her incredible sense of self-worth!
Megan Thee Stallion originally wanted to do this for a living
While Megan Thee Stallion was exposed to rap culture from a very early age thanks to her mother, she didn’t always plan on making it her career. It may surprise many fans to learn that the rapper once thought of pursuing a career in plastic surgery! Apparently, Megan got the idea from watching Dr. 90210 as a kid. She explained to XXL, "I used to watch Dr. 90210 and I would see the ladies would get up after they got their boobs done, or their nose job and they’ll be all happy and s**t." Clearly, Megan was passionate about making women feel and look their best.
However, her fear of blood made her dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon impossible. Luckily, Megan’s killer bars can make women feel pretty good about themselves too. As she said to XXL, she decided that she’d "just make bad b***h music" instead!
Megan Thee Stallion promised her mom to wait until she was 21 to release her music for this reason
When Megan Thee Stallion finally plucked up the courage to drop some bars for her mom, she was 18 and had been rapping in secret for four years (via XXL). She told Rolling Stone how she began recording cyphers and freestyles around the Texas Southern University campus, where she was studying health administration. The cyphers gave her the confidence to share her secret with her mother, who didn’t believe her at first. "I went home and told her I could rap, and she was like, ‘No you can’t,’" Megan recalled.
When she started rapping, Megan’s famously suggestive lyrics caused her mom some concern. Megan’s mom apparently said, "Oh my god! No, you not coming out ’til you’re 21!" Megan respected her mom’s wishes, and her mom became her manager when the rapper came of age.
Megan Thee Stallion used social media to gain a following
Megan Thee Stallion rose to fame pretty quickly once she started sharing her music. Like a true 21st century star, Megan used social media to find her following of "hotties," as she calls them. She garnered a following by posting videos on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
It all began with her famous appearance in a 2016 cypher. As MTV News explained, Megan dominated the cypher with her confident delivery, and the video soon went viral. Megan then began uploading freestyles on Instagram, although most have now been deleted. The next video to dominate the internet was Megan’s "Stalli Freestyle," which grabbed attention worldwide after she uploaded it in 2017.
The next viral moment for Megan came with her song "Big Ole Freak." The song sparked a social media challenge, dubbed the #BigOleFreakChallenge, which saw women all over the world twerking to Megan’s song. And in 2020, her song "Savage" became the soundtrack to a TikTok dance challenge. It’s pretty clear that social media has helped Megan on her climb to the top.
This DJ was a big part of Megan Thee Stallion’s journey
Megan Thee Stallion has worked incredibly hard to get where she is today — and most of her journey has been fairly independent. However, she has had some help along the way from family and friends. One friend who ended up being instrumental in her journey was DJ Chose. The DJ spoke to AllHipHop.com about his part in her career, explaining that he’d known her since before she became famous. "Megan was family," he said. Apparently, he recognized her talent early on. "I knew she was a star," he recalled, "that’s why I hopped on it so early."
In the end, Megan’s friendship with DJ Chose ended up being pretty important. In fact, he actually produced one of her first viral video, "Stalli Freestyle," as he explained on RealLyfe Productions. "She ain’t really had no videos, no songs, so I just started shooting her videos," he revealed. Wow, sounds like he really helped her get started!
Megan once auditioned for Love & Hip Hop
Before she became a household name, Megan Thee Stallion tried to get her big break on a reality TV series. Love & Hip Hop was broadcast on VH1 and was the jumping off point for several big hip hop stars like Cardi B. Based on Megan’s audition tape, which was shown on The Wendy Williams Show, it’s clear that Megan was always destined to be a huge star — even if the producers didn’t put her on the show. As Williams put it, "She knew that she had it; it was just a matter of getting there."
Watching Megan’s audition, it’s hard to ignore the rapper’s incredible confidence and charisma. In the video, Megan introduces herself from her kitchen, before saying proudly, "Megan Thee Stallion is just gonna become that household name, like when you’re talking about those poppin’ rappers, honey, I’m gonna definitely be in that conversation." It’s so cool to see just how determined Megan has been since the start — and it’s definitely paid off!
Megan Thee Stallion was the first woman to sign with 300 Entertainment
If Megan Thee Stallion’s record-breaking musical success wasn’t enough to earn your respect, the rapper has another impressive claim to fame in the industry. In 2018, Megan became the first female rapper to ever sign with the label 300 Entertainment since it began in 2012. The record label is responsible for stars like Young Thug and Migos. At the time, Megan was pretty nervous, as she explained to Rolling Stone. "Is this really going to happen? Am I really about to be signed?" she remembered thinking.
However, it turned out that the budding star had nothing to worry about. The team welcomed her with balloons and a bottle of Hennessy, and she signed the contract the same day. In an Instagram video of the momentous day (via Rolling Stone), Megan and her mom could be seen celebrating the life-changing contract that would kickstart her rise to international fame.
Megan Thee Stallion’s mother passed away just as the rapper’s career was taking off
Megan Thee Stallion’s mother is a huge part of her story. From inspiring Megan to become a rapper at a young age to taking on the role of her manager when she became a professional artist, Holly Thomas was clearly an immensely important figure to her daughter. In 2019, Megan’s mother tragically passed away after battling brain cancer. At the time, Megan posted a touching tribute to her mother, which has since been deleted, writing, "We were together EVERYDAY, holly was my biggest cheerleader and toughest critic. she taught me enough for 2 lifetimes and if you were blessed to meet her she taught you something too," as shared by StyleCaster.
Later that year, Megan took to Twitter to explain the impact her mother’s death had on her and why she had continued to work so tirelessly. "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," Megan wrote. We think it’s incredible how brave Megan was following this tragic event.
This is how Megan Thee Stallion feels about women in the music industry
Being a female pioneer in a male-dominated industry is never easy — and Megan Thee Stallion is a prime example of someone who is doing it like a boss. The rapper is not afraid to speak out for female rappers everywhere, and she’s also not afraid to call out an unfair, misogynistic system. She told Billboard that she found it extra hard to forge a career as a woman. "I feel that artists in general, but definitely women — if you are not dating somebody popping or you are not just acting a complete a**, then people nine times out of 10 are probably not going to know who you are," she explained. She went on to note that the industry doesn’t always give female rappers the chance they deserve, and she shared that she wished there was better representation in the industry.
Speaking to i-D in 2019, Megan explained that she would never tear down another female rapper to get to the top. "There’s room for everybody," she said. "I really couldn’t care less what the next girl’s doing. If she’s shining, that’s good." What a positive, refreshing attitude!
Megan Thee Stallion was involved in a shooting in 2020
In July 2020, Megan Thee Stallion was involved in a terrifying incident, one that she called the "worst experience of my life" on Instagram Live, as reported by USA Today. She revealed that she was the victim of a crime that ended in a shooting on July 12, 2020. In her Instagram Live, she said, "I was shot in both of my feet and I had to get surgery to get … the bullets taken out."
Megan explained that the traumatic event could have been a lot more serious if the bullets had hit any bones or tendons. She then added, "I know my mama and daddy, my granny had to be looking out for me with that one."
The horrific incident was clearly quite sobering for Megan. In fact, the trauma caused her to take a break from social media and focus on taking time for herself. Clearly Megan recognized all the signs you need a social media detox.
Megan has learned that she can’t always be strong
One thing that immediately strikes you about Megan Thee Stallion is her boldness and her seemingly inherent, unshakeable strength. Let’s put it this way — she’s not someone you’d want to mess with. However, in a 2020 interview with GQ, the star confessed that she sometimes feels pressured to present strength when she really needs a little support. After the shooting incident, the rapper realized that she couldn’t always project strength. "Like damn," she remembered thinking. "I have to be tough through all this? All the time?"
The incident made her realize that people need to see how their "strong friends" are doing. She explained, "A lot of people, they don’t do that because they think, ‘Oh, this person is just so strong, so I know they got their stuff together.’" The incident also taught her to ask for help when she needs it. Since opening up to her friends, they’ve started "calling me every five minutes," as she put it. Sounds like the horrific incident led to some important personal growth for the rapper.
These are Megan Thee Stallion’s future plans
Even though Megan Thee Stallion is taking the rapping world by storm, her plans for the future may go beyond the music industry. She’s studied health administration at Texas Southern University. She explained to Vulture, "I don’t know if it’s just because I’m Black, but I’ve seen it in a lot of Black households: You have your great-aunt taking caring of her mom, and you have your grandmother taking care of her mother, and then just so on and so forth." This presumably made Megan keen to start helping people. You’ve got to admit it — the fact that Megan might be willing to enter a tough career in health administration when she doesn’t need to is seriously impressive.
And does her plan mean that she intends to give up rapping altogether? Absolutely not! As she told NME in 2020, her plans for her rapping career are big too. "A whole big ole brand, whole big ole company — it’s gonna be worldwide, okay?" she said. "I’m really working on dynasty right now," she concluded. We can’t wait!
Megan Thee Stallion scored four Grammy nominations in 2020
The year 2020 was a huge one for Megan Thee Stallion’s career. The rapper’s popularity and fame continued to grow — and so did her critical success. She was even nominated for a staggering four Grammy Awards. She was nominated for record of the year, best rap song, best rap performance, and best new artist (via Los Angeles Times).
As the rapper explained to British GQ, the nominations came as a bit of a shock. "I have had such a crazy year … I’d say the biggest surprise was getting four Grammy nominations," she said, "especially because I was told live while I was reading nominations." She went on to explain that she never expected so many nominations. "It really caught me off guard and I’m so grateful for the recognition," she added. She definitely deserves it — and we’re sure this is just the beginning!
Working with Cardi B was "smooth" like "butter"
In 2020, Megan Thee Stallion made huge waves when she collaborated with Cardi B on the song "WAP." For Megan, this was a huge career opportunity — and a great learning experience.
As Cardi B explained to Tidal, the collaboration came to be when she reached out to Megan. "When you’re an emerging artist — a female rapper actually — I feel like they want to automatically always try to pin you against each other," she said. However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth for the two artists. As Cardi B explained, "Me working with Megan was really so, like, so smooth, so easy." Apparently, Megan’s entire team collaborated with Cardi B’s team to make the process of choosing outfits, choreography, and songwriting super easy. "It was just like butter," she said.
Sounds like Megan found a brilliant collaborator in Cardi B — we can only hope they come up with more music soon!
Megan Thee Stallion faced backlash for this song, but she defended herself
Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s song "WAP" was a massive hit in 2020. In fact, the song secured 93 million streams when it debuted, shooting it straight to the No. 1 position on Billboard Hot 100 (via Entertainment Tonight). However, despite the overwhelming response to the song, not all of the listeners enjoyed the song — including a few prominent conservative politicians. As Megan told the Los Angeles Times, she received a fair amount of backlash after releasing the explicit and suggestive song.
However, Megan refused to apologize. "This is my body; why can’t I talk about it?" the rapper said. She went on, "Men have been doing it for years." She added that her lyrics "should not be making the boys cry this hard." We have to admit — it’s totally empowering how unapologetic this star is about her controversial lyrics.
The 2020 pandemic changed Megan’s view of herself
For most of us, the 2020 and 2021 pandemic changed a lot about our lives. For Megan Thee Stallion, it was no different. As she told the Los Angeles Times, her time in lockdown helped her to learn a little more about herself. "I always thought I was the type of person who had to be out and about," she confided. However, when a lockdown was enforced, she suddenly found herself becoming more of a homebody. "I’m like, ‘Wait — I like being by myself in the house,’" she explained.
In an interview with KiddNation, the rapper explained how she had spent her time in lockdown. "Everybody knows that I love anime, so I’ve definitely been binge-watching a bunch of anime," she confessed. She also revealed that she’d been playing a lot of Mortal Kombat and other fighting games. Sounds like her lockdown wasn’t actually that different from most of ours!
Megan Thee Stallion’s debut album was all about bringing happiness to her fans
Not only did alone time teach her more about herself, but it also gave Megan Thee Stallion the chance to focus on her work. As she explained to the Los Angeles Times, her lockdown was largely spent writing the songs that eventually went onto her 2020 album. Megan shared that her album probably would have been pretty different if it hadn’t been for the lockdown. "Before, I was doing a show in a different city every single day, squeezing in my writing where I could," she said. However, thanks to the downtime, she was able to "sit and write and marinate with the songs." The result? Megan ended up writing about "things that make me feel happy." Makes sense that the album ended up being called Good News.
As Pitchfork put it, the album is a "celebration of life." The album was released in November of 2020, and based on its chart success, it seems as though it did succeed in bringing joy to millions of fans.
In 2021, Megan teamed up with Ariana Grande for a remix of "34+35"
Megan Thee Stallion teamed up with two famous artists for a 2021 remix that sent shockwaves through the pop world. Along with Doja Cat, Megan appeared on Ariana Grande’s remix of her song "34+35," as noted by Billboard. On the day the song came out in January 2021, Megan wrote on an Instagram picture of her with her dogs, "Thee boys said stream #3435remix to make your puppies smile."
The song was similar to Grande’s original version, but it featured additional lyrics from Doja Cat and Megan. In Megan’s section, she brought her usual raunchy and unapologetic self to the table. No one expected anything less!
The collaboration was certainly another major step in Megan’s journey towards superstardom — after all, Grande is one of the world’s most successful pop stars. Who knows who Megan Thee Stallion will collaborate with next!
In 2021, Megan Thee Stallion wants to stay healthy
As of 2021, Megan Thee Stallion is still relatively new to being a superstar — and she’s started to learn a few things about the importance of self-care. As the rapper explained to British GQ, she decided to commit to healthy living in 2021.
Her resolutions, as she described them, were "eating healthy and maintaining my skincare regime." She went on to explain to GQ that healthy living would be a challenge. In the past, she’d found it difficult to stick to a healthy routine alongside her busy schedule. "But," she said, "I’m determined to nail it down consistently because I want to stay healthy with a flawless complexion!" Fair enough — don’t we all?
We have to say, we’re pretty impressed at Megan’s mature, healthy outlook on life in 2021 — and we’re sure she’ll continue to handle all of the pressures of her growing stardom like a total boss.