Megan Thee Stallion’s newest album Traumazine is filled with the typical twerk bops and nasty talk that fans love. But she also raps about the pain she has faced over the last few years. From the passing of her mother when her career was just beginning to take off to allegedly being shot by Tory Lanez and dealing with the public criticism that stemmed from it and her ongoing legal battle with her label 1501 Certified Entertainment, Megan has experienced a lot of trauma. Traumazine, which debuted at number five on Billboard’s R&B/ Hip-Hop charts, is a reflection of everything that the Houston native has been through over the last few years–success, love, and tragedy.
In an interview with The Cut, the “Pressurelicious” artist talks about her mom/ manager Holly Thomas and how her passing affected her, holding the reins in her career and the meaning of Traumazine.
While the Grammy award-winning artist has never been shy to vocalize how she feels in her music, she is in a place where she is focused on being on her grown woman sh-t in her music and outside of music. With her songs such as “NDA” and “Not Nice,” it’s clear that Megan is taking aim at those who have a lot to say about her.
“When you are nice for so long and you don’t really ever give too much back talk and nobody’s ever seen you step out of character, they assume what your character is,” Megan explained. “They assume you’re not going to stand up. That’s when people start to try you.”
Before Meg’s mom, Holly passed from a brain tumor, the self-proclaimed H-town hottie always had her mom in her corner. Holly was not only a supportive mother but she was also Meg’s manager. Since her death, the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper has had to learn to not only navigate her personal life without her mom but also her career. “Me and my mom had this good-cop, bad-cop thing going on,” Megan said. “So she would come in the room like, ‘This what we ain’t doing. F–k that.’ And I’d be like, ‘Okay, so, guys, she means …’"
“But now I don’t have the luxury of having somebody who could be my bad cop. Now I have to be both,” she added.
While she has had massive success from sold-out shows to countless awards, her hard work is sometimes overshadowed by drama. The Texas Southern University graduate has been going back and forth with 1501 Certified and claimed that she fulfilled her contract and accused them of withholding payments and royalties. She has reportedly filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Houston-based label for damages.
And she is also due in court soon after allegedly being shot by singer Tory Lanez in 2020. Megan referenced the shooting in her song “Who Me” from Traumazine where she raps “I feel like Biggie, who shot you?/ But everybody know who shot me, b–h.” In the interview, she defined Traumazine as “the chemical released in the brain when it is forced to deal with painful emotions caused by traumatic events and experiences.”
“I might have been pissed off one month and so the name of the album was something angry, and I might have been super-sad another month so the name of the album was something sad,” she explained.
“Everybody has gone through their own trauma in their own way, and to me, Traumazine is me facing the things that I’ve been running from about myself.”
Megan is hoping that her album title is a reflection of not just what she’s been through but for other people who are experiencing hardships. “It’s comforting to know that other people are going through the same thing that you might be feeling. When something happens to people, they feel like, Oh my gosh, this is only me. This is not normal, or I’m probably the only person in the world that feels like this,” she said.
“But to hear somebody else talking about something that you’re probably feeling, it’s more comforting and more familiar. That’s why people resonate with hearing other people’s stories.”
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Featured image by Noam Galai/Getty Images for ABA