She has a risqué roll, but other female MCs paved the way.
In her latest hit, “Don’t Stop,” Megan Thee Stallion continues to drop “real hot-girl s - - t” with her incessant sexual swag.
“Don’t stop, pop that cat/Mm mm, just like that,” she raps in the chorus. Clearly, she’s not referring to a puss of the four-legged variety, delivering bawdy boasts such as “I’m gonna blow him like AC” throughout the track.
Of course, “Don’t Stop” — a single from Megan’s much-anticipated debut album, “Good News,” out Friday — comes on the spike heels of “WAP,” her raunchy smash with Cardi B, another female rapper who is a “certified freak.” And proud of it.
Megan Thee Stallion may have gotten on her risqué roll with hits such as 2019’s “Hot Girl Summer” and this year’s Beyoncé-boosted “Savage (Remix),” but other female MCs paved the way for all the titillating, twerking and tongue-wagging that she and Cardi B have been doing lately.
In fact, it goes all the way back to Salt-N-Pepa, the pioneering pair who, after breaking out of New York in the mid-’80s, were the first to really prove that female rappers could be both street and sexy, fierce and feminine — and still have cred in the male-dominated hip-hop game. Early hits such as their signature anthem “Push It” put them in charge of how they worked their bodies — and for whom they worked them. No doubt, they were calling the shots.Megan Thee Stallion
Marcelo CantuSalt-N-Pepa in 1990
Getty ImagesSalt-N-Pepa perform at Radio City Music Hall in 1994.
RedfernsEve sings at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2017.
Getty ImagesNicki Minaj
Salt-N-Pepa continued to lead the way for sexual empowerment in female rap with ’90s hits such as “Let’s Talk About Sex,” which inspired an important conversation in the middle of the AIDS crisis, and “Shoop,” which showed that they could be just as horny as any dudes.
Then came Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown, the rap rivals who both sexed up ’90s hip-hop and kept bringing that femme fire into the ’00s. Lil’ Kim, in particular, became an iconic sex symbol famous for her scandalous style as much as her lewd lyrics in hits such as “How Many Licks?” and “Magic Stick.”
I mean, who could forget the purple pastie jumpsuit Kim wore to the 1999 VMAs? Certainly not a boob-grabbing Diana Ross.
Other female rappers would keep rocking their sex appeal in the ’00s, including Eve, who flexed her rhyme skills while flaunting her seductive powers on songs such as 2002’s “Gangsta Lovin’,” a pop-crossover collaboration with Alicia Keys.
But when looking at the raw raunchiness on display by Megan and Cardi today, there are two other, less mainstream ’00s touchstones: Trina, who, like Houston native MTS, brought a Southern ratchetness to her sex-positive style; and Khia, whose “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” became an underground anthem that never fails to inspire some truly dirty dancing.
And let’s not forget Nicki Minaj, who, before Cardi and Megan came along, held it down for female rap for many years. And she did it with a lyrical delivery that few men could match while becoming a booty-bumping superbabe with a Barbie persona.Missy Elliott
Getty ImagesLil' Kim in 1999
Getty ImagesLil' Kim in an undated photo.
The LIFE Picture Collection viaCardi B
Then Cardi took that to another level by embracing her stripper past, first as a reality-TV star and then as a rapper. Proving any doubters wrong, her pole-dancing days didn’t hurt her credibility as an MC. In fact, she used her real-life story as an empowering springboard in her message and music, making a strong statement about sexual freedom.
She was a woman comfortable in her own thong — and letting the whole world see her twerk in it. There was no slut-shaming her.
And now, as Megan Thee Stallion continues to ride high with “Good News,” ladies will surely keep making it drop to the top of the charts.