On Dec. 12, Megan Thee Stallion was given a Powerhouse Award at the 2019 Billboard Women in Music event at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium. As Billboard reports, she arrived late because she had a final exam due. The next day, she flew to Dallas to headline the sold-out My Mixtapez Most Wanted Fest at Bomb Factory.
Critics have fixated on Megan’s status as a woman in a male-dominated industry, but as Friday’s show proved, she’s more than woman and more than human. She's successful, diligent and a self-realized artist who does whatever she wants. God help anyone who tries to impede her efforts.
The hip-hop artist is a senior at Texas Southern University, where she's studying health administration. Megan’s mother, who died of a brain tumor in March, supported her musical endeavors but asked that she pursue a career at 21 and finish college. Now 24, the Houston-based rapper reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign collaboration “Hot Girl Summer.” Her debut mixtape, Fever, debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 200.
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who has had a 2019 as eventful as Megan’s, and it would be even harder to find another person who can soldier through immense grief and exhaustion only to come out stronger.
The rapper's as enigmatic as they come, but she just wanted to party at Bomb Factory as did everyone else at the show. A half-dozen preceding acts helped to grease the wheels.
Around 8:20 p.m., Oak Cliff rapper Trapboy Freddy took the stage for a 15-minute set that partially consisted of him hyping up the crowd as the DJ spun cuts from other artists. In his defense, “Lil Quita” achieved an impressive viral lifespan over the past month, and it’s rather difficult to milk 15 minutes out of hype surrounding a song that’s not even 20% of that length. Some artists performed before Trapboy Freddy, but if the girl in front of me who vomited on the balcony during his set was any indication, his set was the true catalyst of the party.
Ten minutes after Trapboy Freddy exited the stage, Rich Homie Quan came out of nowhere to perform a surprise set that kicked off with “Type of Way.” He had the good sense to conclude his set just as the luster of his special appearance started to wear off, but we would've been better off hearing Quan play more than just two songs if it meant not having to hear the DJ's selection: songs with levels of compression that make Rick Rubin sound like Anne Murray.
Moneybagg Yo’s set provided some much-needed relief to the excruciating DJ sets, but even with the electrifying twerk fest his set was fueling, some audience members chanted, “MEGAN! MEGAN! MEGAN!” If those people were truly Megan fans, it's curious they didn’t seem aware that she collaborated with Moneybagg on the song “All Dat,” her latest single. Sure, Moneybagg could have abstained from rapping offbeat, a la Blueface, during his set, but even if the chanting came from only a handful of people, he still didn’t deserve the disrespect.
Between Moneybagg and Megan were two crushers of sets by Yella Beezy and Boosie Badazz. It’s a bummer that the former didn’t play the Pharrell-featured single “Rich MF,” but hearing songs like “Swish” made up for it.
Megan was the perfect artist to give the party a grand finale. With her assertive presence she was able to get virtually the whole room to let go and twerk. Even after wrapping up one of her final semesters and flying in from Los Angeles for the show, she was relaxed and in her element. At the end of the most turbulent year of her life, the fire in her belly still burned.
This may be the last Dallas show we will see from her until she graduates. She may stick with music for the rest of her life or get bored and devote her time to opening and managing assisted living facilities. She may venture into some completely unrelated field just for the hell of it. Who knows? Megan does whatever she wants, and on Friday, she wanted to make a sold-out crowd in Dallas party to raunchy, sexually empowered anthems. So she did.