During an intimate interview with Tyra Banks for her Sports Illustrated 2021 swimsuit edition cover, Megan Thee Stallion opened up about the early stages of her hip-hop career, including her nervousness rapping in front of her late mother Holly Thomas.
The Houston Hottie appears on one of three issues of the highly coveted SI swimsuit edition alongside tennis champ Naomi Osaka and model/actress Leyna Bloom with their own history-making magazine spreads.
In her sit down with Banks, the first Black woman to cover the SI swimsuit edition in 1996, the 26-year-old rapper discussed hiding her hip-hop dreams from her mom. Thomas, who was a rapper herself, passed away in 2019 after battling cancer, just as the “Hot Girl Summer“ artist’s career began to heat up.
“My mom was a rapper. She didn’t know I wanted to be a rapper, but I would literally watch her in the studio all day,” the Grammy award-winning artist shared with Banks. “I’m like, ‘This lady is everything.’ I didn’t want to tell her that I could rap until I was eighteen. I wanted to be perfect to her.”
“Finally, I went to college. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve probably held this secret in long enough,'” the rapper continued. “I started going to the studio by myself…I didn’t want her to shut me down. I didn’t want her to say, ‘You’re not serious about this. You don’t know.'”
The Savage rapper continued to describe performing explicit lyrics in front of her mother for the first time.
“I finally came to her—I might have been 20—and I was like, ‘I can rap.’ She was like, ‘No you can’t…let me hear.’ I was like, ‘Okay, Mama. Don’t whoop me, but I’m about to curse, okay?’ So, I started going off and I’m cursing.”
Megan Thee Stallion also discussed her professional goals outside of music and entertainment. As she spits on Thot Sh*t, “2021, finna graduate college.” The rap star is nearly finished with her degree in health administration from Texas Southern University.
“My grandmother was a teacher. She was like, ‘Megan, I don’t care what you do but you need to get that education,” she recalled.
One of her ambitions is to open an assisted living facility where she can hire her classmates from TSU to care for patients and ensure the company is in order, explaining to Banks, “I want to create an environment where the elderly can go…but still be treated like family.”
Still, the platinum-selling artist will keep busy on stage. As music festival season begins and COVID-19 restrictions begin to relax, Megan Thee Stallion has been booked to perform Rolling Loud Miami, taking place July 25, Lollapalooza in Chicago on July 31, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee on September 3, and Made In America in Philadelphia from September 4 to 5 among a handful of other stages globally.
Watch the full conversation between Megan Thee Stallion and Tyra Banks below: