Houston-bred rapper Megan Thee Stallion rose to fame at a difficult time in her personal life. Not long after her mainstream breakout in 2019, both Megan’s mother and great-grandmother died within two weeks of each other. But before her death, Megan’s mother encouraged her to chase her dreams.
Megan Thee Stallion’s mother was also a rapper
For Megan Thee Stallion, hip-hop is a family business. Her mother was a rapper herself who went by the name Holly-Wood.
In a 2022 interview with Gayle King, Megan opened up about being inspired by watching her mom work.
“I wrote my first rap when I was 7. And I didn’t tell my momma — well, I did tell my momma the rap, but I didn’t tell her I wanted to be a rapper,” she recounted. “I saw her rapping, and I would go to the studio with her, and I would sit in the waiting room waiting at the door listening to what she’s in there saying, and I’m like, ‘O.K., yeah. That sounds fire. I like that.’”
Megan’s mom gave her encouragement about her career before she died
As Megan’s fame grew in the late 2010s, her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Megan was conflicted on whether to stay home and take care of her mother, but she encouraged her daughter to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true.
Megan was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles for a show when her mother learned that she had a brain tumor. But she pushed her daughter to go perform anyway.
“She was like, ‘Megan, I don’t want you to miss this opportunity just because I’m sick. I don’t want that to stop you from being Megan Thee Stallion,” the “WAP” rapper recalled in a 2022 interview with Rolling Stone. “You need to take [longtime manager] Farris and y’all need to go to L.A.’”
Megan didn’t heed her mom’s advice and refused to leave her there. “Hell no, I wasn’t leaving my momma,” Megan says. “I just didn’t want to stress her out. I just wanted to go home, take a bath real quick, and I was going to come back.” She got a phone call two hours later that her mom was unresponsive, and died soon after.
Megan’s mother was her manager before she died
Megan continues to take the lessons that her mom taught her with her every day. That includes her work when writing new songs.
“When I make music, I always scratch the first draft because I feel my momma would’ve scratched it for me. So I’m like, ‘OK, go harder than that,’” she said.
The death of her mother has been especially hard for Holly’s mother, Megan’s grandmother Madlyn. “Ever since my mom and my great-grandma passed, she’s been really depressed,” she lamented. “I don’t want to show her that anything is getting to me because I don’t want it to get to her.”
Megan’s mom had a hands-on role in the early days of her daughter’s career: she had become her de facto manager.
“Sometimes when we’re in the studio, I get her so hyped that she’s like, ‘Megan, I’m about to get in the booth and come out with another mixtape,’” she told Vibe back in 2018. “I don’t think [a joint album] will happen because we bump heads, and we would definitely bump heads trying to write together.”