Every artist's love for their craft comes from somewhere. Luckily for Houston hip-hopper Megan Thee Stallion, it all started at home. As the daughter of a rapper, she decided to surprise her mom with her "hidden" talent—getting bars off—when she was 18. This big reveal helped get the ball rolling, with a flurry of Instagram freestyles and a few projects along the way. Now 23, Megan is the people's champ, with her 2017 song "Stalli (Freestyle)" racking up more than 2 million plays to date. This year, she's starting to truly arrive, picking up fans and taking over Instagram and Twitter, one video clip at a time.

Megan started writing raps when she was 14 years old, a hobby she picked up from spending time in the studio while her mother recorded. "I would be in the little lounge area, chilling on the couch, just going, 'Wow, this is so interesting!'" she tells XXL. "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."

This eventually blossomed into Megan stealing her mother's beat CDs so she could spend more time coming up with lyrics. Once she turned 18, she felt she could share her new skill with her mom, but was pretty hesitant because of the foul language she was using. "So then I let her hear me rap, she was like, 'Oh hell naw, you aint coming out 'til you 21.'"

As a college student at Prairie View A&M University (about an hour north of Houston), Megan was already popular for her looks and personality. But once a YouTube video began circulating that showed off her rap abilities, she became Big Stallion on campus. Despite her sexually explicit lyrics that center a woman's desires over men's, she has male fans in droves. "Sometimes dudes don't wanna say they like me, because of how I'm talkin'," she says with a laugh. "They know they like me! It gets me real hype when a man will be excited to say, 'Megan, I fuck with your music.'"

From there, she started hitting the studio, eventually doing so under the tutelage of her mom. Out of that came her 2016 mixtape, Rich Ratchet, followed by the 2017 EP, Make It Hot. The EP did well and features "Last Week in H TX," a song that has a nearly 5 million YouTube views.

Megan's true big leap came in this era, with the aforementioned "Stalli Freestyle" blowing up late last year. Megan reworked XXXTentacion's "Look At Me!" with strong flows, cocky lyrics and a dexterity that made it clear that she's put in work on her craft.

This year saw the release of her latest EP, Tina Snow, which is more polished than her previous work—"Cocky AF" and "Big Ole Freak" are standouts. Coming up next is her new project Fever, along with working on plans to go on a tour of her own soon.

Hear all about the H-Town hottie's journey in XXL's The Break.

Age: 23

Hometown: Houston

I grew up listening to: "Pimp C, Three 6 Mafia—all the raunchy music. My favorite song used to be 'The Nasty Song' by this dude named Lil Ru. That was my jam! [Laughs] I'm definitely in love with Biggie [Smalls]. The way he puts his words together when I'm writing, I'm thinking, 'Would Biggie think this is cool?'"

My style’s been compared to: "When I was first coming out, I was definitely getting a lot of comparisons to Trina. But it's definitely because, in this generation, people are so quick to judge without doing no type of research. Then I started getting the Pimp C comparisons and I was like, 'That's what I was going for! I love him!' That's my guy. I definitely got the Pimp C comparisons. Q-Tip told me that he feels like I remind him of a Nas, how I be rhyming my words and stuff like that."

My most slept-on song: "'Cognac Queen,'" but a lot of people are starting to catch on to the song. I'm just like, look, y'all need to appreciate how this man put this beat together. The beat's so live. And I'm not a singer but I can get on there and I can make it sound good. So I was in the booth like, 'I'm in this hoe singin'!' I'ma drop a video to it, too."

My standout records to date have been: "Definitely 'Stalli Freestyle,' 'Last Week in HTX,' 'Freak Nasty,' 'Big Ol Freak.' Everybody loves 'Big Ol Freak,' but I feel like everybody keeps gettin into the project, they're loving 'em all."

My standout moments to date have been: "I feel like the biggest thing hasn't happened yet. But definitely, every stepping stone that I been through, dropping Make It Hot, getting signed to 1501 [Certified Ent.], then dropping Tina Snow. Those are really big things for me. Definitely getting featured in all these magazines. Everything that's happened to me is happening very organically. It's nothing that we paying for, nothing that we asking for. Just all the love that we be getting is just off the strength. I'm so blessed, thank you Jesus!"

Most people don’t know: "I'm in school—I'm a college student. Some people are just now finding that out and my major is health administration. So every time I tell somebody that, They're like 'What? What do you wanna do with that?' Well, I wanted to do this before rap. I definitely wanna open up some assisted-living facilities around my city."

I’m going to be the next: "Big female artist of this generation."

Follow Megan Thee Stallion on Instagram, Twitter and SoundCloud.


"Stalli Freestyle"

"Last Week in H TX"

"Freak Nasty"

"Make A Bag" Featuring Moneybagg Yo

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