Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.
Additionally, the "Savage" rapper, is multi-dimensional, encouraging a lifestyle that balances fitness, education, and doing hot girl shit.
Oh, and being the first rapper on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated SI'.
But guess what, sis got it all from her mama!Her mom Holly Thomas, who was a rapper back in the day and who went by the name "Holly-Wood," died in March 2019 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. But while young, Meg learned early on that she wanted to be a rapper too. She would attend her mother's recording studio sessions, which ultimately solidified that she wanted to be a star while hoping her mom never found out until she was 18. In her latest interview conducted by Tyra Banks for Sports Illustrated, she said:
"I wanted to be perfect to her. I was practicing since I was, like, 7. And then when I got in high school, I was like, 'No, I'm not gonna tell her yet.' But she would have these CDs laying around the house -- like, instrumentals -- and I would take 'em in my room, and I would take the beats and write to 'em in my room. And she would say, 'Megan, have you seen my CDs?' And I was like, 'No. What are you talking about?'"
But when she got to college, she began to pursue music seriously, which she knew she had to come clean about to her mom.
"So I finally came to her. I might have been 20, and I was like, 'I can rap.' And she was like, 'No, you can't.' And I was like, 'Yes, I can.' And she was like, 'Let me hear it. And I was like, 'OK Mama, don't whoop me, but I'm 'bout to curse, OK?' So I started going off and I'm cursing and she's like [gasps], 'Where did you learn all those words?!' .... And she said, 'You're not coming out until you're 21.'"
As soon as 21 hit, Meg released her debut single "Like a Stallion" and went on to release a numerous of SoundCloud mixtapes. In 2018, she signed to the Houston-based label 1501 Entertainment, released her Tina Snow EP, and broke out as a true powerhouse.
And three Grammy wins later, the rest is hot girl shit, history
Meg has spoken about her mother numerous times in the past, once telling Marie Claire that she credits her mother for introducing her to hip-hop. In fact, Meg would witness her mother, who was a bill collector, work on her career around her 9-5 schedule.
"I would see her fit in writing after work and before work. I'm used to seeing that work ethic."
Holly was a part of the Screwed Up Click, a big collective in Houston, and she released music from 2001-2007. One of her biggest hits was a single dedicated to DJ Screw, the leader of the Screwed Up Click, and if you know the history of Houston music, that's huge! Unfortunately, two weeks after the passing of Meg's grandmother in 2019, her mom passed as well, which Meg never publicly took the time to mourn about. She was back on tour a day after the funeral.
She told FADER:
"No matter what I'm going through, I still want to keep going. Just to show people you can still be strong and you can still face your everyday life. Even when everything coming down on you. I didn't cancel none of my shows 'cause I just knew — I know — how my momma is, and I know she wouldn't want me to stop."
She get it from her mama.
Watch the hot tub interview with Tyra below:
Featured image by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Visible
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32-year-old social media influencer and mother of five, Ariel B, did not set out to tell her story; but it was her truth that set her free. Her truth is also the inspiration for her new podcast "This Too Shall Pass," produced by Idea To Launch Productions. The podcast delves into Ariel's life and journey as a single parent and a domestic violence survivor. But it also serves as a window into her past traumas that have fostered her resilience.
In an exclusive interview with xoNecole, Ariel B. reveals that her online following grew after she decided to share the realistic, non-curated parts of her life on social media at the advice of her therapist. "Growing up, I was taught to hide things that made you seem less than," she says. "I didn't mind speaking at the shelter for women and children. I didn't mind speaking in my domestic violence group with other women, but I was ashamed to talk about it with people that I felt had a perfect life. So [my therapist] said 'No, you need to get used to telling your story. If you don't like it or you feel some kind of way, just delete it.' I started first on Instagram, and that was probably the first time I dipped my toe in the social media world of telling the truth."
Ariel's followers became inspired by her honest and raw day-in-the-life perspective: the days when she would be over her budget, her kids' rooms wouldn't be the tidiest, or when she'd be running late for pick-ups and drop-offs. Her relatability made single mothers everywhere feel seen, but there's much more to life Ariel's story that she's found the bravery to open up about.
The Florida native had her first child when she was 16 years old. Growing up in a middle-class suburban family, she says she felt judged by family and peers for having children out of wedlock. "I already had two kids before I got married," she says. "And when I got married, I think that was my parents' sigh of relief. Like, oh my gosh, she's finally married. She's not a single mother of two. She should be safe. It was a disaster."
Ariel says marriage was great in the beginning. Her ex-husband presented himself as loving and was a proud stepfather to her two children. After welcoming two more children with her ex-husband, she says that's when the problems started. "We were arguing all the time. The finances were bad. And then it got to the point where he was consuming a lot of alcohol all the time," she says. "And when the alcohol got bad, it got physical. I was embarrassed. I just invited all of my family to this wedding and everyone's so happy that I'm married, but I'm miserable."
Ariel eventually filed for divorce, and was then forced to get a restraining order after her ex proceeded to stalk her. Though these frightening moments are behind her, she's working every day to address the residual trauma. "It was a lot of trauma to get where we are, and a lot to finally feel safe," she says. "But I just wanted to do whatever I had to do so my children wouldn't have to heal from a choice that I made."
It's clear that Ariel's adorable children, ranging from ages three to fifteen, are her biggest inspiration. She often posts videos of herself teaching them important life lessons like how to create a budget and maintain good credit. It's these important life skills that many of her followers said they wished they had learned growing up. For Ariel, her greatest goal is to fill up their self-love tank. "The world is going to knock you down enough when you get older," she says. "So if I can push them out there at a hundred percent if the world can only knock them down to 80, I'd be happy with that. But if they only go out there at 80 and the world can get them down to 60 or less than half of who they are, that's a problem for me."
When it comes to her new podcast, Ariel isn't afraid of the judgments that may come, both from loved ones and strangers. "When you tell the truth, there's nothing to hide from," she says. "I am a single mother of five. I do have more than one child's father. We are on a budget. And when I was able to just be honest, I think I wasn't shameful anymore. I didn't have to pretend and I was able to tell my truth out loud."
"This Too Shall Pass" is out now!