The “Big Ole Freak” just dropped her debut project Fever and had a lengthy feature this week in The Fader. Here are a few highlights:
Her relationship with Q-Tip
“In March, Megan posted a short video to Instagram that showed her, her mom, and Q-Tip riding around New York City blasting Max B’s “Movin On Out The Door.” It was justifiably cherished by New Yorkers up and down social feeds, but beyond that, Tip’s presence validated Megan as someone whose skillset was sharp enough to impress the genre’s pioneers.
“She’s just an amazing MC” Q-Tip says of Megan, via an iPhone voice memo sent to The FADER. “She’s barred out. Some people may think her stuff is just over-sexualized, but it is her approach to it. It’s her tact with it. It is very innovative to me — especially to see a young woman like herself being in a position of standing in her power, to stand in her royalty and never let that be shaken. It was just something in her that I really love.” Tip also says that he’s executive producing Fever.”
Q-Tip’s validation carries weight. Even though the ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ rapper is less popular than someone like Drake, Q-Tip’s strengths offer a comparative advantage for Megan. He is well-respected in New York, hip-hop’s largest market. That’s huge for a Houston-based rapper like Megan whose fanbase is strongest in the south. Also, Q-Tip represents hip-hop’s Golden Age. Fans from this era are often reluctant to embrace Gen Z artists. Q-Tip’s cosign extends her reach to potential fans who might not have checked for her otherwise.
Megan Thee Hospital Administrator
Also from The Fader:
“When Megan isn’t busy being a rap icon in the making, she’s face deep in coursework. She’s currently taking classes online to finish a degree in health administration at Texas Southern University. Her goal is to open a string of assisted living facilities around the city with her rap money, and hire her classmates to run them. She says her motivation to do so stems from seeing her grandmother take care of her great-grandmother at a time of life when both of them should have been able to take it easy.”
A number of artists have gone back to school, but how often do they pursue healthcare? Most hip-hop artists start businesses in consumer goods. Megan chose an industry that’s less tied to the economy and will always be needed. Her work would be welcomed since Texas apparently has one of the worst healthcare systems in the United States.
Megan also deserves credit for wanting to put her classmates on as employees at those assisted living facilities. She doubled down on this in a recent interview with okayplayer: “And you know how it’s so hard to get a job after college? So I thought it would be super easy for my classmates if I just opened up something that they could go get a job at.” She sounds a lot like Jay Z, who says stuff like this often, most recently last summer in “Boss”:
“Here we measure success by how many people successful next to you
Here we say you broke if everybody else broke except for you.”
Megan’s healthcare ambitions might not land her on the Forbes list, but there’s still plenty of money and impact to be made.
Thee Hotties Turn Up
Megan has this fanbase thing on lock. She hosts regional house parties that are RSVP-only for ‘Thee Hotties.’ These fans also run informal fan accounts and host their own gatherings.
The Hotties pride themselves on positivity—an unfortunately rare trait in today’s hive culture. From Complex:
This sense of intimacy, perpetuated by curated functions and familiar meetings, has created a very personal fan base. Yeneby, 26, Nara, 18, and LaRaven, 21, all called their connections to the rapper familial. “Megan treats her Hotties like her family, and in a sense, she’s our big sister,” says Nara, who runs Megan Thee Horsey, a fanpage. “It’s just one big love circle over here, and it’s natural for us to want to protect our loved ones.”
Megan has a lot going for her right now. But if there’s any concern, it’s her record label, 300 Entertainment. Last year, Rich the Kid and the Migos both put the record label on blast and have since left. Megan is breaking new ground as 300’s first artist signed. It’s good to see the glass ceiling get broken, but it’s about damn time. According to 300’s website, there are 47 other artists (all men) signed to the label. 47!
Her direct team will need to be aware of the double standards that women in hip-hop face. Megan alluded to these in her Fader interview:
“And then being a girl too — they criticize you harder than they criticize men. If I was out there making little noises like [Lil’] Uzi [Vert] and [Playboi] Carti be making, they would not rock with that.”
Thee Stallion’s willingness to name other rappers might seem like a knock, but it’s actually a call to action for the industry. She’s serious about her goals and wants the respect that comes with it.