Dipping back into the Hip Hop Hero’s Old School Archives, to provide some light entertainment, we step back to 2019 when the American rapper Megan Thee Stallion picked her top five female performers who inspired her to embark on this journey, during an interview with The Cruz Show in Los Angeles.
The Houston-based artist first fell in love with the art of rap inside the studio walls where her father, Thomas, used to record under the name of “Holly-Wood.” Thomas, who scorned daycares, took little Megan with him on every recording, unknowingly making a strong impression on the young mind. Although Megan quickly evolved into a pro rapper at the age of sixteen, while still in school, she was asked to wait until 21 to officially launch her career by her mother, who thought that the suggestive content of her compositions went against her image.
However, it was hard to stop her from being noticed. In 2013, harnessing the power of social media, Megan went viral after posting a video where she was freestyling in a battle against male opponents. With increasing followers and peaking views, Megan was soon a sensation. But taking her mother’s advice, she didn’t face the studios until she was an adult. Debuting in 2016, the rapper delivered a series of hits that not only sold like hotcakes but bagged numerous accolades. Rightly called the “stallion”, the feisty rapper is popular for her explicit lyrics and sensuality. In an interview with Pitchfork, she explained, “It’s not just about being sexy, it’s about being confident and me being confident in my sexuality.”
Megan’s favourites list comprises Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Eve and Missy Elliott – all of whom though contemporaries, are senior in terms of their careers. This leaves one searching for the fifth name. The ever-confident rapper took her own name while listing her favourites. Though some might consider it to be narcissistic, Megan’s self-belief is inspiring.
Kimberly Denise Jones, AKA Lil’ Kim, resembles Megan in her fiery personality, sexual prowess and exceptional freestyling abilities. Discovered by a fellow rapper The Notorious B.I.G., the Brooklyn-based rapper started her career with B.I.G.’s group Junior M.A.F.I.A back in 1994. Though new in her game, Kim produced a double-platinum album named Hard Core, within two years of her arrival. With Notorious Kim and La Bella Mafia in 2000 and 2003 respectively, she established herself as a strong competitor.
Foxy Brown’s influence is traceable in Megan’s lyrics. Centring on the themes of sex, mafia and fashion, Brown’s lyrics had been described as “intriguingly seductive.” There were constant comparisons between Brown and Kim as they arrived in the music scene at the same time. Though not an iconic figure like Kim, Brown’s work has a distinct personality that changed the course of mainstream rap.
Nicki Minaj fans took it personally when Megan didn’t take her name. After her interview surfaced on the internet, Megan faced a backlash from the very audience whose support made her journey possible. Megan though restricted her response on this matter got back to one particular troll by stating “It’s funny how you’re making nothing into something…I can’t like the OG female hip hop artist? I can’t show love to more than one woman?”
Megan Thee Stallion’s 5 favourite rappers:
- Lil’ Kim
- Foxy Brown
- Missy Elliott
- Megan Thee Stallion