The 24-year-old rapper has had a monster 2019.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 02: Megan Thee Stallion performs during Summer Jam 2019 at MetLife Stadium on June 2, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Hearing Megan Thee Stallion talk about how successful her year has been shows why her fans, affectionately known as the Hotties, look to the Houston native for a prime confidence boost. “I feel like I took over a whole season,” the 24-year-old rapper, born Megan Pete, explains to EW. “You can’t even think about summer without thinking about the hot girl. We did what had to be done.”

While she is, of course, referring to the Hot Girl Summer movement she launched that’s since turned her into a household meme (if not yet name), the real fire comes from Megan’s standout 2018 mixtape Tina Snow, along with her first full-length release Fever, which dropped in May. Both projects are filled with the kind of brash, independent anthems that give her fans the extra push they need to ask for that raise, or send that break-up text. Megan’s energetic shows have gained notoriety as well, with the artist carving out a safe place for her Hotties to gather and twerk the night away. Videos of Megan perched on stage dancing — all reinforced by her enviable “Vibranium knees,” which she jokingly notes feed off of “a mixture of D’USSÉ, stamina, and vitamins” — often go as viral as her trademark phrases like “Drive the boat” (the alert of an incoming shot) and her empowering, tongue-in-cheek rhymes. (“Yeah I’m in my bag, but I’m in his too,” from “Cash S–t” with DaBaby).

Breaking out has its drawbacks, though, as Megan has already learned of how the internet can be, as she describes, “a f—ed up place in general.” The rapper considers herself an easygoing person who’s hard to make blush, but was not prepared for the microscope she’s been put under this past year, with people of both good and ill intentions openly messaging her about her face, her hair, her makeup, her body, her lyrics, her answers in interviews, and — worst of all — how she’s handling the recent loss of her mother to brain cancer.

Though she has a bond with the Hotties close enough to where she direct messages many of them, Megan admits to greatly benefiting from the solidarity she’s found among other musicians whose lives have been altered drastically by newfound fame, like Lizzo and City Girls. “I feel like us as artists, if we don’t talk to each other, then we would feel like ‘Oh we going through you know this type of struggle by ourselves,’” notes the rapper. “When we started finally linking up, and we get to have these conversations, I feel like we make each other feel better because it’s like, ‘Okay girl, I thought I was tripping. I didn’t know that happened to you too.”

Despite a whirlwind spring, Megan is likely to hold off on longer projects for the rest of the year. “I don’t think I need to put out [one] right now because there’s so many singles here and there coming out,” she says. That includes the just-released “Ride or Die,” which is prominently featured in the upcoming film Queen and Slim. And while the rapper might have another mixtape up her sleeve along the same lines as Tina Snow, she tells EW that she could be ready to make an album in 2020.

However, one of the greater mysteries involving Megan Thee Stallion is that, for all the new music she’s put out since her 2018 mixtape, the Fever short film she teased in July, directed by Hype Williams, has no release date in sight. “Everybody knows that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my videos, so if I don’t like it, I will reshoot it like five times until I get it right,” she explains. The short was meant to double as a music video for “Cash Sh–,” but Megan finds herself in a dilemma where she wants to reshoot it, but both her and fellow rap rookie of the year DaBaby have zero openings in their busy schedules. If they ever do find time to shoot the video again, as Megan knows her fans are dying for, she says “we might incorporate some of the scenes that we have from the video with Hype, but I think we’re going to collab with another director as well.”

To add another layer to her story, throughout her rise Megan has also been pursuing a degree in Hospital Administration at Texas Southern. Her music career has become the an unpredictable of educational setbacks, but Megan emphatically states “I don’t care how long it takes me to finish, I’m going to finish [college].”

Thinking about the message she wants to carry for herself and her Hotties going into 2020, the inspirational rapper gives a reminder to stay confident, and to “Always keep your head up, and just know that you that bitch.”

To read more from the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly featuring The Rise of Skywalker and other untold stories from the Star Wars universe on the cover, pick up the new issue at Barnes & Noble on Friday — or buy your choice of covers now featuring stars of the prequels, original trilogy, or current saga. (The issue will be on newsstands starting Nov. 28.) Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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