The Guardian says that Megan Thee Stallion, “with easy flow, hard barbs and a magnetic persona,” is “the successor to hip-hop’s old-school heroes,” and there is a good reason for that. Of course, she grew up in the time of female Rap and R&B juggernauts like TLC, Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, and Mary J. Blige, so it would be easy to assume she was influenced by her famous predecessors, and to some degree, she probably was. But there is one particular female rapper who gave Megan the undeniable confidence and inspiration to believe and demonstrate with certainty that the rap game is, without doubt, where she belongs: her mother.
Megan, born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete in 1995, grew up in Houston, TX. Her mother, Holly Thomas, was herself a performer in the Houston rap scene in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Under the name Holly-Wood, Thomas performed and recorded with her daughter Megan tagging along for the ride (via E!).
Megan grew up in the Houston rap scene
“My mom is the first female rapper I’ve ever known,” Megan Thee Stallion told Vulture in a 2019 interview. “I’m thinking, like, ‘Okay, yeah, this is normal. Everybody’s doing this.” The rap world was simply the water Megan grew up swimming in. She described in this interview how she listened and watched closely as her mother worked, and knew for certain she was destined for the same career. While her mother worked in the studio, she assumed Megan was occupied coloring or playing, but Megan says, “Really, I was ear to the door, thinking, ‘Yeah, uh-huh, I’ma do that, too.’“
And while Megan was inspired by her mother’s work and attitude, she freely admits she took her own work and her own personality and tone in a different direction. She told The Source, “My mama was more of a gangster rapper than a sensual rapper. I’m a lover.” And with songs like “Body,” “Savage,” the now-infamous “WAP,” and other songs that famously incorporate body positivity, female ownership of their own sexuality, and unapologetic fierceness and pride, we’d say she’s doing a pretty stellar job at being that powerful “lover.” We’re sure Mama is proud.
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