To Megan Thee Stallion on her 28th birthday
OPINION: The Houston rapper, much like other women in hip-hop, has been repeatedly mistreated in an industry where she has had a huge impact. Today, here's a love letter to the H-Town Hottie on her 28th birthday.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
Birthdays are one of the few holidays I honor every year.
There is nothing more sacred than a personal new year. The number of times we have been around the sun should be celebrated at the highest level — especially when you consider the fact that we lose a lot of our peers along the way.
Megan Thee Stallion turns 28 years old today.
The Houston rapper has been out of the public eye since Canadian rapper and menace to society Tory Lanez was convicted in December for shooting her in July 2020.
Before, during, and after the trial, Megan had her entire life scrutinized under a microscope by those who victim-blamed and wanted to make her the villain instead of directing their ire at her abuser and attacker. It was an unfortunate state of affairs, and the pressure of it all drove Megan to make herself scarce as soon as the trial was over. She has not been seen in public. She has not posted on social media. She has not dropped any new music. She has made herself disappear, and it’s understandable, because who would want to be out here in the streets when people are treating you the way she has been mistreated?
And so to her, I write these words.
Today is your 28th birthday. Happy birthday to you, you long, leggy, beautiful doll.
You have accomplished so much in your 28 years on this eroding ball we call Earth, and you should be so proud. I know your mother and grandmother are looking down on you and smiling. We lift you up for them.
Let’s be clear: You came on the scene and changed the game. You have left a mark on the hip-hop game that will not easily be erased.
You have been breaking records since you came into the game. As Texas Monthly noted in December 2020:
In addition to racking up myriad awards and Time covers, Beyoncé collaborations, and fashion collections, Megan has also broken quite a few records in the past twelve months: most streams for a song in its first week. First woman to lead the rap songwriters chart. First female rap collaboration to nab a top single in the U.K. First person to think that 2020 was (for the most part) actually pretty good. And this week, the Houston rapper had yet another landmark achievement, with her recently released “Body” making Megan the first woman to ever land three number-one songs on Billboard’s streaming charts in a single year. It’s an achievement that puts the Houston rapper in exceedingly rare company, bested only by Drake’s nabbing five number-one singles in 2018—and, just to put it out there, the year’s not over yet.
The emphasis above is Texas Monthly’s, not mine, but it should all be emphasized.
You have a wicked pen game. You can freestyle. Your knees are legendary — and that emphasis is all mine. We all want to be able to twerk like Megan, but we all ain’t able.
You have had fire collaborations with just about everyone. My favorites are “WAP” with Cardi; “Savage” with Beyoncé; “Get It On the Floor” with J Fonz as Lil Murda; and “RNB” with Young Dolph (RIP). All of these are in heavy rotation in my car.
There is something about the way you take a beat and make it your bitch that is awe-inspiring. You haven’t met a beat yet that you couldn’t skate on, and your wordplay is immaculate. You have shown time and time again that women deserve a prominent place in hip-hop.
My favorite thing about you is the way you are so self-empowered — especially when it comes to your womanhood and your sexuality.
You don’t shy away from talking about sexual topics in your lyrics, but the difference is you are the center of them, not the men you may reference, and these dudes hate you for that.
To them, there is nothing more terrifying than a woman who is in full control of her own sexuality and doesn’t need a man to validate it for her. They feel powerless in your wake, and that is their issue, not yours, but they have attempted to make it your issue by relentlessly attacking you for it. They have weaponized you against you, and frankly, you deserve better.
In my head, you are my little niece, and I feel so protective of you. You deserve more than what you have been given by the world of hip-hop.
You should be surrounded by love. You should be protected. There should be an army of men — especially the so-called “protect Black women” collective — speaking out and calling their fellow men out when they denigrate you, but we don’t see that. Everyone wants to toe the line because, at the end of the day, they are more worried about money, losing clout and what their peers will think of them if they do speak out than they are about doing the right thing.
You deserve so much better.
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It’s your 28th birthday. You should be out celebrating and doing hoodrat things with your friends. You should be driving the boat, shaking your ass, working a fabulous-ass buss down and smiling for your selfies.
Instead, you are on a self-imposed hiatus because the pressure of being Megan — and of being a woman in a hip-hop game that still doesn’t respect us even though we contribute just as much to the culture as anyone else — got to be too much.
I hope you are resting. I hope you are drinking water. I hope you are letting as much sunshine as possible touch your beautiful skin. I hope your spirit is healing. I hope you are meditating. I hope you are being loved on. I hope you are being surrounded and protected by people who truly have your best interests at heart.
Take all the time you need to rest and heal, sweet niece. Take all the time you need to recharge.
Whenever you decide you are ready to come back, just know that all your “aunties,” “big sisters,” “little sisters,” play cousins, fans and the entire Hot Girl community will be waiting here with open arms.
We love you, and we miss, and we appreciate you.
Happy Birthday, Megan.
You may not be in the mood to celebrate right now, but just know, we are celebrating you.
Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.
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