This past Sunday, Megan Thee Stallion was at the center (along with Charlie Puth) of a new Super Bowl ad by Frito-Lay celebrating one of her favorite chips, Flamin' Hot Cheetos. On a recent Zoom call, Megan gushes over her love for the tongue-burning chip. "I really feel like I manifested this commercial," she says, smiling. "I’ve been eating Hot Cheetos all my life and it finally paid off."
Megan is in full-on business mode — evident by the people swirling around the frame to make sure the picture looks good, her makeup is right and prep is underway for the next interview. The 26-year-old rapper also recently released an accompanying track for the Flamin’ Hot commercial, "Flamin' Hottie," that works well as a piece of that rollout — but even better as a standalone single.
She realized her fans were anxious for more of her, so she secured a brand deal and provided them with a new song — one that interpolates the hip-hop classic "Push It!" by Salt-N-Pepa.
"Cheetos told me, 'Meg, this is what you got to use,'" Megan says. "'You got two minutes, go off.' I asked them if there was anything that I can’t say? And they told me, 'No, just be you.'" She continues, "So I really had a good time making it. I feel like I went right in the studio, wrote it, and recorded it the same day and sent it back."
For the Hotties, Megan’s latest is just a preview of what’s to come. It’s been nearly two years since Megan released her acclaimed debut studio album, Good News, and it couldn’t feel like longer ago. Back then, she was just coming into her superstardom. After a tense shooting allegedly at the hands of Tory Lanez (which still has fallout coming out), Megan was garnering just as many tabloid headlines as she was noteworthy ones for her slew of awards at shows like the BET Hip Hop Awards and People’s Choice Awards.
By the time 2021 rolled around, Megan eased her foot off the gas — slightly. After starting off the year with collaborations with DaBaby ("Cry Baby") Ariana Grande ("34+35 [Remix']'' with Doja Cat) and Maroon 5 ("Beautiful Mistakes"), Megan won multiple Grammys at that year’s awards (including Best New Artist). Afterwards, she released the standalone track "Thot Shit" and continued appearing on pretty much everyone who’s anyone’s songs — she collaborated with Lil Durk for "Movie," dropped a verse on Lil Baby's "On Me (Remix)," appeared on Marshmello’s "Bad Bitches" and more.
Through it all, Megan’s star has continued to blossom. But as the cavalcade of Hotties grew and continues to grow, more fans have begun to ask the question: when will Megan’s inevitable sophomore album come? Megan, of course, is tight-lipped. This isn’t what our conversation is supposed to be about, but she decides to explain what she can about it without giving too much away — after all, who knows when this thing will arrive?
"Making this album has been so crazy," she says. "But what I will say is this: I feel like I watch people tell my story for me a lot. And I'm finally ready to open up and talk about things that I don't usually talk about and say things that I don't usually say, especially in my music." Megan makes it clear that her story should ideally only be told by her. "I'm taking control of my own narrative this year and in this album, so I'm excited for the hotties to hear that."
Part of Megan’s narrative is that she’s a new college graduate after crossing the stage at Texas Southern University in December. It’s been one of her most humanizing traits — the fact that she started school pre-fame, set a goal to honor her late mother and grandmother, and stuck through it, even as she became a household name without the time to probably handle her classes in a non-stressful manner. "I want to get my degree because I really want my mom to be proud," Megan told Peoplein 2020. “She saw me going to school before she passed.”
Now, it’s time to put that bachelor of science degree in health administration to work by creating assisted living facilities in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She first revealed her wish in December when speaking to Rolling Stone, but now she explains exactly how going to school will help her with this in ways that rap can’t. "I feel like when I’m in the room with these people, I’ll know what I’m talking about since I’ll be hands-on in the facility," she says.
"I've watched my grandmother take care of my great-grandmother all my life, so I know what it feels like have that family environment," she continues. "That's what I want to have when people come to stay in my facility. I just feel like I'll be well versed and educated on everything I'm supposed to be doing behind the scenes, as well as just in the field."
That’s an ambitious goal — one that’ll take some time to come to fruition in the years to come. But for right now, Megan has one wish for this year: a plan that has to come true, so she can continue being the artist everyone expects of her. "Before 2022 is over, I definitely just want to be in the best mental space that I’ve ever been in my life."
Photo via Getty
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