If you pay attention to music at all, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about Megan Thee Stallion lately. And if you haven’t, well, you’re welcome, because I’m about to change your life for the better. It’s tough to keep up with all of the up-and-coming artists in the music industry, but Megan Thee Stallion is definitely one who needs to be on your radar. “Who is Megan Thee Stallion?,” you ask. Well, to start, she’s a 24-year-old rapper from Houston, TX, and she’s on a mission to take over the world. She’s been steadily grinding since 2016, and this year, her career has really blown up with her first major project being released. Now, Megan has gone especially viral with the spread of the Hot Girl Summer meme, and it’s time that the whole world knows exactly who she is. Here are five things you need to know about Megan Thee Stallion.
Her Mixtape Needs To Be On Your Pregame Playlist
Megan has been making music for a few years, but she really arrived this year, with her first full-length mixtape, Fever, dropping in May. It debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, and has gotten rave reviews from basically every publication, including as a New York Times critics’ pick. The mixtape is the perfect combination of intricate lyrics and amazing beats, and it’s clear from the jump that Megan didn’t come to play around.
She’s The OG Hot Girl
If you’ve been unleashing your inner Hot Girl Summer lately, you have Megan Thee Stallion to thank. Her nickname has been Hot Girl Meg for a while, and her recent song “Cash Sh*t” helped to kick off the biggest trend of the summer. I wrote a more detailed explanation of the Hot Girl Summer here, but it’s basically all about living your best life and being a bad bitch.
Megan’s attitude in her music and on social media is all about feeling yourself, whether it comes to how you look, your professional successes, or whatever is happening in your personal life. Life is too short not to be a Hot Girl, and Megan knows it.
Her Talent Is No Joke
As fun as Megan’s Hot Girl schtick is, don’t let it overshadow the fact that she’s an incredibly talented rapper. Her new mixtape Fever shouldn’t leave any doubts, but this freestyle that she posted on her Instagram yesterday is fierce as f*ck. Megan doesn’t hold back with her raps, and her flow is mesmerizing to keep up with. With freestyles like that, people won’t be asking “Who is Megan Thee Stallion?” for long.
I’ll be excited to see what she does next, now that her resources and connections in the industry are rapidly expanding. I could easily see her having Cardi B and Nicki Minaj levels of success, because she has the talent to back up her amazing attitude.
She’s Still In School
Megan is booked and busy lately, but she’s still focused on finishing her education. After taking some time off from school, she returned to online classes at Texas Southern University earlier this year. She’s acknowledged to Atlanta Black Star that it’s gotten harder to keep up with her coursework since getting big last year: “Now that I have something to do almost every day, it is pretty difficult. So I’m just doing my best. I’m trying to tell my classmates, ‘Look, y’all, send me my homework.'”
Despite the challenges that come along with juggling fame and college, her recent Instagram above shows that she’s dedicated to getting her degree. I’m impressed with the dedication, considering that I wasn’t famous in college and could still barely drag myself to class.
She’s A Trailblazer
Despite the legacy of successful female rappers going back decades with people like Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, it’s still a completely different game for men and women in rap. When Megan was signed to 300 Entertainment last November, she was the first female rapper ever signed to the label. She was recently announced as a member of this year’s XXL Freshman Class, an annual list of the biggest up-and-coming rappers. She’s one of three women on this year’s list, which, sadly, is way more than usual.
Who is Megan Thee Stallion? Now you know she’s 100% that bitch. Keep an eye on Megan, because she’s not going anywhere. In the mean time, have the best, hottest summer ever, and don’t forget to give Fever a listen. Hot Girl Meg demands it.
Images: Getty Images; theestallion (6) / Instagram
The Los Angeles police department announced yesterday that they’ve arrested the man suspected of killing 33-year-old Grammy nominated rapper and father of two, Nipsey Hussle (born Ermias Asghedom). This is excellent news toward justice for Hussle’s family and fans, but it would be even better news if people just stopped shooting each other (or we fixed America’s gun problem – either/or).
The suspect, 29-year-old Eric Holder (not to be confused with former Attorney General Eric Holder), was found 20 miles outside of Hyde Park, the location where Hussle was shot in broad daylight on March 31st. So far, his motive has not been released.
Eric Holder, the suspected killer of Nipsey Hussle, has been arrested and is in police custody. Thank you to both our community for the heightened awareness/vigilance, and our partners at @LASDHQ. pic.twitter.com/0zujy89Yfm
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
At 3:30 PM on March 31st, Hussle was standing outside of his Marathon Clothing Store with three other people when someone (allegedly Holder) opened fire. Surveillance footage shows a figure in dark clothing approaching people standing in a strip mall, before some scatter and others fall the ground. This is an incredibly tragic crime and the fact that the murder occurred outside of his own store, a place where he should’ve felt safe and was specifically designed to give back to his community, is even more upsetting. The person then reportedly fled the scene immediately and entered a car driven by an “unidentified female.” While I’m always down for women taking jobs in male-dominated fields, driving getaways cars from a murder isn’t the progress we’re talking about.
Hussle rose to fame by releasing several mixtapes and collaborating with artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Jay-Z purchased 100 copies of Hussle’s mixtape, “Crenshaw” for $100 dollars each which is a pretty hefty endorsement. Hussle’s first studio album, “Victory Lap,” was nominated for best rap album in the 2019 Grammy Awards.
Hussle grew up in Crenshaw, LA where he played a key role in community activism. On Monday, he was even scheduled to meet with LAPD officials to help draft methods of fighting gang violence. His long-term girlfriend, actress Lauren London posted on Instagram that she is “completely lost.”
Images via Giphy (1), Twitter @LAPDHQ (1), GettyImages
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If you pay any attention to hip-hop music, you’ll know that 21 Savage has become one of the biggest names in the rap game over the past couple years. His last album spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, and he’s had massive collaborations with artists like Offset, Post Malone, Cardi B, Future, I could go on. Basically he’s been unstoppable, and has risen up as the latest huge rap star from the Atlanta scene, but now he’s facing a major problem: he’s been arrested by ICE, and they’re alleging that the Atlanta native we know him as is actually a British national who has overstayed his visa to be in the US.
Black Mirror is so sick this season!
I’m sorry…what? 21 Savage is British? Pardon me while everything I know about the world comes crashing down around me. We’ve never had a ton of details about Savage’s childhood, but he’s always strongly implied that he grew up in Atlanta. For instance, when he was in seventh grade, he was banned from the DeKalb County School District for gun possession. Since becoming famous, Savage has undertaken philanthropic efforts to help out kids in Atlanta, and his hometown has been a major part of his identity. And if you need any further evidence, just listen to a single interview or song of his. 21 Savage’s commitment to his Atlanta accent is stronger than most marriages. I took 21 Savage being from Atlanta for granted like I took the sky being blue. But this is 2019, and nothing is what it seems.
On Sunday, Savage was taken into custody Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE just keeps f*cking up), and they dropped some info that is truly mind-blowing. According to the feds, 21 Savage, aka Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in the UK, and moved to the US in 2005, when he was 14 years old. He originally came legally, but his visa expired after a year. He might have been fine, except that he was convicted in 2014 on felony drug charges. Now, ICE is targeting Savage, and beginning “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.”
So what does this mean? First of all, it tells us that 21 Savage is a master of accents, because seriously, I never would have called this. I really think he needs to get his own adaptation of The Parent Trap ASAP, because Lindsay Lohan’s got nothing on him. But seriously, I can’t wait for the documentary about 21 Savage’s life to come out in 5 or so years.
21 Savage played multiple shows in Canada last year while on tour with Post Malone. When you leave and re-enter the United States, you must have a passport — which ICE is saying wouldn’t be possible since he was on a visa that expired 13 years ago. WHAT?
— DJBooth (@DJBooth) February 3, 2019
More importantly, it means that Savage could be deported back to the UK if ICE gets their way. But I’m still trying to process 21 Savage not being American?? If he is in fact British and wants to come back to the US, his best option would be to apply for an EB-1 visa, also known as an “Extraordinary Ability” visa. For most major artists and public figures not from the US, this is the way that they can seemingly stay in the country for however long they want. What’s unclear is the likeliness of 21 Savage getting approved for an EB-1 with his criminal record. @ President Trump, this is one thing that I really need you not to ruin. We need 21 Savage to stay here in the US so he can continue to make more bops… at least until Bobby Shmurda gets out of prison in 2020.
Images: Shutterstock; XXL/ Youtube
Nicki Minaj has been the queen of rap for nearly a decade (don’t @ me), and in that time, she’s rarely let us down. Thus, when the news broke about Nicki and Cardi B’s altercation at the Harper’s Bazaar fashion week party, I knew Nicki wouldn’t stay silent for long. (Side note: I still can’t believe any of this actually happened. We are truly blessed, what can I say?) Well, the Queen has spoken, and it was worth the wait.
On Monday, she was hosting her radio show on Beats 1 (who knew Nicki Minaj had a radio show?), and she had some things to say about her issues with Cardi. Grab the popcorn, because this sh*t is more entertaining than Avatar.
“You’re angry and you’re sad. This is not funny. Get this woman some f*cking help. This woman’s at the highest point in her career and she’s throwing shoes?”
I’m a big fan of the use of “this woman.” Nicki doesn’t have the time of day to even utter Cardi’s name, and I’m totally here for the cattiness. Nicki obviously doesn’t love getting shoes thrown at her, but she also claims that all of Cardi B’s accusations are lies:
“I would never ridicule anyone’s child. so sad for someone to pin that on somebody. I would never talk about anyone’s child or parenting. These lies are ridiculous.”
I love Nicki Minaj, but I have a feeling she’s glossing over some things here. We don’t know the whole backstory of what’s gone down with Cardi and Nicki, but I doubt Cardi just made these things up out of thin air. There are three sides to every story, and baby Kulture is still a little young to tell hers.
Now, let’s get to the best part of this entire thing. After talking about how she would neeeeever speak ill of an innocent child, Nicki had some cute last words for Cardi:
“You put your hands on certain people, you gonna die. Period.”
AHHHHHHH. What does it mean? Are you scared? I’m scared!!! We already know Nicki is out to get Kylie and Stormi after they rudely stopped her from having a number one album (my favorite conspiracy theory of the year), and now Cardi and her daughter might just be next on the hit list. Watch your backs, ladies! Is this the beginning of World War 3? Will there be diss tracks? Stay tuned, because I have a feeling all of this is just getting started.
Sad news for, well, everyone. Rapper Mac Miller died today at the age of 26 in an apparent overdose, TMZ reports. Authorities responded to a 911 call from a male friend at Miller’s home in Los Angeles today and Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His most recent album, Swimming, was released just last month.
Those who have followed Miller’s career will know the rapper struggled publicly with addiction and spoke candidly about his substance abuse issues. In May, Miller was arrested for a DUI after he hit a light pole with his car. Miller spoke about the incident with Beats 1 host Zane Low back in July.
“I made a stupid mistake. I’m a human being. Like, I drove home drunk. But it was the best thing that could have happened…I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally like, have the whole thing stop.”
Sadly, addiction recovery is not an easy road and Miller is just one of the many people every year lost to substance abuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline can be the first stop on the journey to recovery. Call them at 1-800-487-4889.
If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the past, um, decade, you probably know that R. Kelly is a trash human with a horrifying track record of mistreating women. From his illegal marriage to Aaliyah when she was 15 to peeing on a 14-year-old to the truly wild sex cult story, it seems pretty apparent that he’s not a great guy. He should’ve been fully canceled long ago, but for some reason (because people lose their minds for the “Ignition” remix), he still hasn’t been fully canceled. On Monday, he tried fighting back at the haters, in the form of a 19-minute song that was only released on SoundCloud.
There’s really no reason you should waste 19 minutes of your life listening to this boring mess of a song, because I already did, and I’m going to break it down for you. First of all, no song in the world ever needs to be this long. It’s really just lazy. Instead of being creative and making, like, six different songs, R. Kelly just picked one beat and did for like, 14 verses in a row. This is like the musical version of when I had to write a 15-page paper in college and only had enough material for four pages. The main difference? My professor was going to fail me if I didn’t hit 15 pages, while literally no one cares about how long R. Kelly’s new song is.
The song is called “I Admit,” which is obviously supposed to be a provocative title. You’d think he’s going to own up to all of the crazy accusations over the years, but you’d be wrong. He addresses everything, but he clearly still has a lot of issues with saying he’s done anything wrong. He does admit to lots of other things, and here are some of my favorites:
“I admit I love Steve Harvey”
“I admit that she was underage. I admit that I was feeling her and she was feeling me.”
“I admit they love me to talk dirty when I pull they hair.”
“I admit I loved Hugh Hefner.”
“I admit that I’ve told the truth.”
I’ve gotta say, it makes total sense that R. Kelly’s idols include Steve Harvey and Hugh Hefner. I mean, what did I expect, Ruth Bader Ginsburg? The part about the girl being underage could refer to literally so many different incidents, because R. Kelly’s favorite trait in a woman is her being younger than 18. And speaking of telling the truth, let’s get into the parts of the song where he addresses some of the serious allegations made against him.
First, R. Kelly having sex with minors:
“I admit I f*ck with all the ladies, that’s both older and young ladies (ladies, yeah)
But tell me how they call it pedophile because that sh*t is crazy (crazy)
You may have your opinions, entitled to your opinions (opinions)
But really am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion”
Ah yes, opinions. Personally, I don’t feel that adult men should be having sex with 14-year-olds, but that’s just my opinion. Funny enough, it’s also the opinion of THE LITERAL LAW, but somehow R. Kelly hasn’t wound up in prison for any of this yet. Also, Kels, we call it “pedophile” because it is the DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE WORD. Lord, this man is something else.
Now let’s get into some of the really fun stuff.
“But I admit that she asked me, can I get a little Hennessy? (yeah)
We both turned off our phone, we drinked, I smoked, we talked
I admit that I tore it off (our phone, we talked, it off)
From my good points to my faults (faults)
She said ‘What about Aaliyah?’
She said ‘What about the tape?’
I said hush
I said my lawyer said ‘don’t say noth”
But I can tell you I’ve been set up (up)“
Ugh, don’t you hate when you’re on a date and the other person just has to bring up that time a video leaked of you peeing in a 14-year-old’s mouth? Or that time when you married a minor when you were 27? Same. I’m glad to know he’s just been set up, that makes me feel a lot better. The sad thing about this is that there are probably lots of women out there who would still kill to sleep with R. Kelly, just in the hopes of getting some little sliver of fame. It’s tragic.
But now, what we’ve really been waiting for: the sex cult.
“I admit that I am not perfect, I never said I was perfect (perfect, perfect)
Said I’m abusing these women, what the f*ck that’s some absurd sh*t (what?)
They’re brainwashed, really? (really)
Kidnapped, really? (really)
Can’t eat, really? (really)
Real talk, that sh*t sound silly (yeah)”
Okay, I just need to say that “silly” doesn’t really feel like a strong enough word choice here. If someone accused me of kidnapping women and making them my sex slaves, I would probably work on a stronger defense than “omg, that’s so silly!” Silly is a dumb word in general, but that response is more appropriate for your friend messaging guys from your Hinge profile, not allegedly committing sex crimes. Also, you don’t need a creative writing degree to perform a close reading and conclude that R. Kelly’s entire defense essentially amounts to the word “really”.
Actual footage of R. Kelly in court denying the sex cult allegations made against him:
The judge: I hereby sentence you to life in prison.
Anyway, back to the song.
“What’s the definition of a cult?
Whats the definition of a sex slave?
Go to the dictionary, look it up
Let me know I’ll be here waiting”
R. Kelly has clearly not heard of the wonder that is dictionary.com, but he also doesn’t seem like he’s trying that hard to say that the sex cult stuff didn’t happen. I mean, we all basically know it happened, but this is a weak effort. It’s like if you ask your friend if she hooked up with her ex, and her response is just “what does ‘hook up’ mean?” Whether or not there was penetration, her ex was definitely involved. And to sum up R. Kelly’s feelings about everything:
“I’m not trippin’ on all these rumors, that don’t bother me.”
Two things. First, if you’re accused of sexual assault/child porn/statutory rape/kidnapping/etc. and it doesn’t bother you, I have concerns. Second, nothing says “I’m bothered” like recording a literal 19-minute song responding to your haters.
Please don’t bother listening to the song, because it’s not even catchy, and you could spend that time doing literally anything else. As for R. Kelly, now that he’s had a chance to respond to all the allegations, can we please cancel him forever? Is that too much to ask?
Images: Giphy (2)
Welcome back to another installment of “songs I just discovered that you should add to your playlist”. The reception to last week’s list was positive (special thanks to all two people who commented), so I’ve decided to return with another, longer list. Please note that you will not see the new Drake on this list anywhere, because that is a given. If you want someone to tell you to listen to Scorpion, just like, walk outside. Anyway, here’s some new stuff that came out within the past week or two that you really need to get on if you want to impress your friends.
Valee feat. Jeremih – “Womp Womp”
Pitchfork called “Womp Womp” “the song of the summer,” which I’m not sure about just yet, but I do see this song blowing up. Valee is from Chicago, but this song has a very Atlanta rap vibe—one constant flow throughout the song, simple production, Walmart references. If I smoked weed, this would be a song I’d smoke to. But I don’t, so I’ll just day drink to it.
YG feat. 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Nicki Minaj – “Big Bank”
This track came out around Memorial Day, but the video only dropped earlier this week, so it qualifies. Any song that has YG and Nicki Minaj is all but guaranteed to be a hit these days, and then you have Big Sean, who I don’t feel super strongly about but I get that other people love him, and 2 Chainz, who as I’ve mentioned before, is my religious leader. If I could provide some visual imagery for a sec: If I were living my best life, I’d be listening to “Big Bank” while driving a vintage car with the seat all the way back with one hand on the wheel. Feel me? As you’d expect, this song BANGS. Are the kids still saying songs bang, or are we only calling things a “bop” now? Whatever.
Moss Kena, THEY., Rapsody – “Problems”
Full disclosure, this is not a good day drinking song unless you’re tryna mix vodka and emotions. But I’m including it anyway because I want everyone to know about R&B duo THEY. But on another, truer level, I want nobody to know about THEY. so I can continue to feel like I’m in on this big secret and have amazing taste in unknown artists. #HipsterProblems. Anyway, “Problems” is their newest release in conjunction with Moss Kena and Rapsody. (Sidenote: Rapsody is also criminally underrated.) “Problems” is mellow and easy to listen to, and it’s very catchy. At the same time, the subject matter is brooding. This is the type of song that you’ll listen to at first while zoning out and doing other shit, until you stop and listen to the lyrics one day and you’ll be like, “shit. Am I feeling emotions rn?”
JHart – “Put It To Bed”
Let’s continue on the SS Feels for a sec with this next pick. You might have heard J Hart on Kygo’s “Permanent”, and I can tell you right now that this dude’s about to be everywhere. His voice is so fucking good, and I predict him being the new Sam Smith. You heard it here first. JHart’s brand-new single, “Put It To Bed”, is going to put you all the way in your feels. The vocals are so smooth, and the syncopated rhythm basically makes you involuntarily move to the beat. Yeah, one glass of red wine and you’re gonna be belting this song at the top of your lungs while going through dating apps.
Teyana Taylor – “WTP”
Teyana Taylor’s updated version of K.T.S.E. came out this week, so now I can finally talk about it. All her songs are fire, but a particular favorite of mine is “WTP,” which I firmly believe should be in every club in America. The fast-tempo track features Teyana’s smooth vocals laid over the refrain “work this pussy”. YES BITCH! It is 2018. If he cannot work this pussy, he can GTFO. That is my 2018 energy.
Casanova feat. A Boogie With da Hoodie – “Down Bitch”
Casanova, friend of Betches and guest at the Meme Gala, released his debut project today, with appearances from the likes of OT Genasis, G-Eazy, Rich the Kid, Chris Brown, and more. “Down Bitch” is, in my opinion, one of the most likely radio hits. It’s easy to listen to and it’s got a catchy hook, making it solid daytime listening music.
Baily – “MYOB: Or Whatever”
This song is like, kind of a lot, but also it’s been stuck in my head since I watched the video?? And I think that means something. So I’m including it here. New York native Baily just dropped this video that feels very DIY, which in turn is relatable. This song is extremely high-energy, and I guarantee that after you listen to this song once you’ll be scream-singing “MIND YOUR BUSINESSSSSS!” It’s perfect for a rowdy rooftop party when your neighbors try to file a noise complaint.
Lizzo – “Boys”
Cool so basically Lizzo is who I want to be when I grow up. She’s super confident, she’s unapologetic, and she’s body positive, sex positive, and all-around an advocate. She is every definition of a boss. Any Lizzo song that you put on is going to make you feel yourself so fucking hard, and she’s incredibly talented. I would admit that I’m biased because I’m obsessed with everything Lizzo puts out, but at the same time, everything she puts out is incredible, so…?? Anyway. The video for “Boys” dropped exactly one week ago, and this is precisely the song you’re going to want to put on to dance like crazy with all your friends.
Drake, aka the nicest fanboy in rap, has taken his reputation as hip-hop’s over-eager bar mitzvah boy to the next level with his latest tattoo. I mean, it’s honestly hard to think of a member of the hip hop community who Drake is not low-key obsessed with. Nicki, Rihanna, Kanye (in a love-hate sort of way), the list goes on and on. While we have no problem with a light bromance here and there, Drake has officially taken his
unholy obsession relationship with Lil Wayne to the next level. No, I don’t mean that they’re hooking up with each other (though that would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it?), I’m talking about the fact that Drake got a giant tattoo of Wayne on his arm. Which is like…more than a little strange. I mean, this is some Kylie & Tyga shit for sure. Don’t rappers usually reserve the tattoo memorials for people in their life who has died? As far as I know, Wayne, despite being a literal walking bottle of cough syrup, is still alive. I mean, I get that Wayne was a huge influence for Drake, but this seems a little extreme for friendship. Like, I love my besties, but I’m not going to get any of them tatted on my body anytime soon. Unless one of them gets married – anything can happen at a bachelorette.
Apparently, Drake got the tattoo a few months ago and immediately showed it to Wayne for approval, but he didn’t reveal it publicly until he hosted an event this weekend in a sleeveless basketball jersey, kind of like girls who wait until prom to reveal that they’re pregnant.
Drake is really great at simultaneously being the best and the worst, and this is one of his most questionable decisions. Wayne has long been a mentor to Drake, all the way back to when he signed him to his label in 2009. When Lil Wayne first saw it, he was apparently “beyond floored and honored, since loyalty’s a big deal with him.” Loyalty is great and all, but yeah, we’re still never going to get the Tito’s Vodka logo tattooed on our arm.
So yeah, we’re not sure how we feel about Drake’s latest ink, but we’re pretty sure we hate it. Nope, we’re positive we hate it. 100% positive. Sorry Drake, but you might need to wear sleeves from right now. You’ll live.