Shotcaller Stallion : Why Megan The Stallion Is Breaking Barriers in Texas Music
Written by Kolin Miller
Bar for bar, female rappers of today are rapping circles around the majority of current male rappers. Why? As women in a historically male-dominant and unabashedly misogynistic industry, there is definitely quite a bit to prove for each female MC stepping up to the mic. I think it is safe to say that the generation I personally belong to, as well as the generations younger than my own, is much more accepting overall than the generations older than us. Now, that’s not to say our generation isn’t without it’s own set of flaws, or that we are without ignorance and intolerance; but I think it is pretty safe to say that we are much more accepting than the “me me me” generation our parents and their parents belong to.
With that being said, with our generational culture-identity of acceptance, we know that historically disenfranchised demographics have just as much to offer the artistic world of expression, as we were taught, not only in principle but also practice, that everybody - regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, skin color, economic standing, religious beliefs etc. - were just as equal as ourselves.
As a current 20-something with many years of extensive media-consumerism, I don’t know why I am still shocked at when the older generations, whom have, through an albeit slipping, grip over the majority of media outlets and respective artistic industries, surprised when they learn of the fact that a black man wrote, produced, and directed one of the most successful horror movies to date – as well as being the first black American to be honored with trifecta Oscar nominations – or that a woman was the first rapper to perform in historic Carnegie Hall, or any other major achievement by a black person, woman, kid, former homeless citizen, member of the nation of Islam, LGBTQ citizen, or any other grouping of people who have historically been given the short-end of the stick to put it lightly – and I mean VERY lightly.
Point is, I don’t know why I’m surprised when people in the media or people, in general, are surprised that anyone other than the “norm” we are used to in each industry is good at something. So whenever I come across a dope female artist, I know I am bound to see/hear the qualifier “…for a girl” following any recognition of her talent somewhere on the internet or out in the real world. This doesn’t upset me so much as it disappoints and exhausts me. When are we as an entire consumerist industry going to let women be talented in their own right without making it about their sex?
“But articles like these are making it about the sex of this female art-“ stop right there, because simply stopping the discussions before they are had and letting things “figure themselves out” will not fix anything. Until we can let women be talented, until we can let black people be successful, until we can let children have a voice, until we can let everybody and their dogs just do what they do without using their many “labels” we place on them quantify or define our appreciation for them and their work, every chance to bring discussions like this to the floor should be taken.
Okay, so now that you’ve made it this far, you can exhale. Take a deep breath, maybe go make some coffee and relax a bit before you dive into the rest. This article is about Megan The Stallion, and because of the obvious fact that she is indeed a female in hip-hop, I felt it necessary in my heart-of-hearts to start the article off by addressing these unpleasant truths of our overall perception of female artists so that we can further appreciate Megan as an artist without falling into the habits of downplaying her talent or body of work which seems to be the norm in terms of how we as an entire consumer base treat female MCs.
Megan is making some major waves in the industry. Where some of her predecessors laid the lanes out, she is absolutely blazing said lanes and leaving a major wake in her trail as she is distinguishing herself as a quite unique artist in her own right. Her newest release, Tina Snow, instantly made me into a major fan. Though not every single track on the album spoke to me or stood out to me as memorable, there are tracks that provide quite important insight into the absolute raw talent and visceral appetite Megan has. Megan is here, she has a voice, she isn’t going anywhere, she has men she toys within the same vein as male rappers’ boasts about the women they toy with, she reflects the historical male misogyny right back onto males from her standpoint as a female with the same vulgarity and tenacity, she spits absolutely nasty bars that cause my face to replicate what I call the “Big Quint” face, and lastly, she simply makes good hip-hop.
Her Stalli Freestyle is probably one of the hottest verses I heard from an underground artist in 2017. Here we have a lyrically and sonically proficient rapper absolutely killing it in their lane, who flaunts their obvious sex appeal in such a refreshingly self-aware way, with overt disregard for where their preconceived “place” in the industry is in regards to a qualifier that plagues our perception of artists of the same demographic and who is actually one of our own as Houstonites. This artist also just so happens to be a female, and brandishes this label proudly without letting it limit her image or style in anyway, which is not always the case with other female hip-hop artists but is somehow a reality as a product of how our artistic world works.
Megan Thee Stallion certainly is not alone in this invigorating wave of female artists who are taking the world of hip hop by storm and surprising listeners who may have dismissed or qualified the talents of a female rapper in the past as “prEtty gOOd…foR a gurl.” Among others, some notable artists who are making a name for themselves in the same way as Megan are
Molly Brazy, and Saweetie.
These women are blatantly casting off the labels and limitations we as a male-dominated consumer industry are guilty of propagating or allowing, and thriving to boot. With Megan Thee Stallion leading the southern side of the industry from her homestead here in Houston, we can all hope that she, as well as all of her peers, stay hungry for more fame, stay vigilant, and keeping making dope music.