The 24-year-old poured her spunky confidence into the saucy club banger “Big Ole Freak,” the Tina Snow mixtape highlight released in June 2018 that proved to be a breakout hit, becoming her first Hot 100 entry. The rapper, who is currently a junior at Texas Southern University studying health administration, even wrote down the goal of hitting the Billboard chart as part of a class assignment. The song, produced by LilJuMadeDaBeat, also hit No. 38 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and No. 9 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay.
With its thumping melody that samples Immature’s 1992 deep cut “Is It Love This Time” and explicit lyrics (“I’m finna play with that dick in the car/ I got him swerving and breaking the law”), Megan Thee Stallion has found that the unapologetic spirit of “Big Ole Freak” has resonated with women in particular. “It makes them feel free and sexy, and that’s really important,” Megan Thee Stallion says. “Once you make the girls happy, then you got a winner.” Among the girls she’s made fans of are SZA, who did the #BigOleFreakChallenge during her Dreamville Festival set in Raleigh, N.C. on April 6 and fellow Houstonian Solange. Solange came to Megan Thee Stallion’s New Orleans performance in March, during which the pair tried to meet backstage but ended up making a beeline to a secret bathroom to escape the frenzy. “There were two girls in there and when they saw us they damn near fainted!” Megan Thee Stallion says. “Solange goes to introduce herself and we’re like, ‘Girl we all know who you are!’ That’s my girl now -- she can’t get rid of me.”
Megan Thee Stallion’s skills have also caught the attention of hip-hop legend Q-Tip, whose assistant emailed the rapper’s team earlier in 2019 requesting a meeting. In March, the artist and her mother flew to New York, where the trio rode around in his truck, singing along to fellow rapper Max B’s music. Q-Tip “always encourages me to be myself and not let anybody change me,” she says, calling him her “bestie.” “He makes me feel good about being my ratchet self, because he’s ratchet too.”
Q-Tip aside, a not-so-surprising number of men have shown disapproval of Megan Thee Stallion’s twerk-friendly tunes, hopping on social media to bark comments underlined with misogyny. “It really shows how insecure a lot of these dudes are,” she says. “Half the time it’s an up-and-coming rapper who’s trying to get a reaction so somebody can check out their music [instead]. Or some dude that’s probably been hurt before by a girl who looks like me. Or maybe a guy that I didn’t [direct message] back in 2013? I don’t know what it could be, but that’s just not my problem.”
The rapper isn’t letting this, or anything really, stop her from completing her mission: inspire women to wholeheartedly own their sexuality. “We gotta break these double-standards and get women to loosen up a bit,” she says. “We gotta show them that we can do what we want to do how we want to do it. If someone doesn’t like it, they can get to stepping.”