You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase so remember her name: Megan Thee Stallion.s
The 24-year-old rapper from Houston, Texas, turned a meme into a viral hit with her Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign collab “Hot Girl Summer,” officially inspiring a cultural movement and catchy phrase this season.
“You have to be confident, you have to be kind, you have to be a great friend, you just have to be unapologetically you,” Megan told PEOPLE about being a “Hot Girl Summer” ahead of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday.
It all started on May 17 when Megan Thee Stallion released her debut mixtape Fever and its leading single “Cash S—,” on which she confidently raps: “Real hot girl s—.” And then in August, Megan dropped the single “Hot Girl Summer.”
“I’ve been having a hot girl summer already and told Nicki, ‘We need you to go ahead and help us close out the summer.’ She literally went into the studio that night, recorded and sent it back to me,” Megan told PEOPLE about the hit collab. “I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe Nicki Minaj is on my song!”
Here’s everything to know about the artist (real name Megan Pete) who also moonlights as a college student studying for her degree in health administration.
What is a Hot Girl Summer?
“It’s about women and men being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up their friends, doing you,” the rapper told The Root in June. “You definitely have to be a person who can be the life of the party and just a bad bitch.”
That same month, she told Elle: “A Hot Girl exudes self-love and self-confidence. A Hot Girl is somebody who’s super confident; somebody that’s just unapologetically them. A sassy attitude and doesn’t care what nobody has to say about them.”
All in the Genes
Megan started writing raps when she was a young teen when she spent most of her time with her mother Holly Thomas, known as Holly-Wood, at the recording studio.
“I would be in the little lounge area, chilling on the couch, just going, ‘Wow, this is so interesting!'” she told XXL magazine in October 2018. “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.”
But she didn’t keep her talents a secret any longer.
“When I was probably 18, I came to my mom and was like I want to rap. She [told me], ‘You can’t rap.’ I don’t even know why I was hiding it from her,” she recalled to Billboard in December 2018. “So I rapped for her, and she was like, ‘Oh you ain’t coming out until you 21!’ So that’s how we got Megan [Thee Stallion] started.”
In March 2019, Megan announced her mother died of a brain tumor. “The best mom in the whole world. The strongest woman on the planet. I can’t even put complete sentences together rn RIP mama,” she wrote on Instagram.
At age 16, she adopted the stage name Megan Thee Stallion due to her 5′ 10″ height. “I’ve always had the same body. Older guys would always be like, ‘Oh, you a stallion.’ So I finally had to ask like, is that a good thing? Everybody pretty much took it and ran with it, and then I put it as my main name on Twitter, and ever since then everybody’s just been calling me Stallion,” she told Houstonia magazine in 2017.
Her popularity grew online and on social media in 2013 after a clip of her dominating at an all-male cypher went viral.
Megan continues to be a full-time student at Texas Southern University amid her rising career.
She now takes online courses at TSU due to her travel schedule not allowing her to be on campus, according to a New York Times profile in June.
“College is really stressing me out right now,” she recently told Vulture. “I’m gonna have to figure out how I can convince my teachers to give me my work ahead of time or cut me some slack if I’m not at school because I’m off being a rapper.”
But before fame, she had her school work under control. “It was kind of easy, because I wasn’t so booked. I only had to go to school two days out of the week, but I’m there all day long,” she told Billboard back in 2018.
She loves to post updates about her beloved dog Foe Thee Frenchie, who also has his own Instagram account.