Hot Girl Summer 2021 may have fizzled in contrast to our expectations, but it looks like a Hot Girl September may not be entirely out of reach, Delta variant be damned. Megan Thee Stallion is the latest celeb to score a September issue cover—actually, make that the September/October cover of Essence, hitting stands on August 24.
Megan revisits her alter ego “Tina Snow” for the classic bombshell pinup-themed cover and spread photographed by Chrisean Rose and penned by writer Brooklyn White, who muses:
Who is this outspoken diva who has politicians seething and fans fawning over every line? We know you’ve seen her too—5 feet 10 inches tall, curvy and proud, acrylic nails clipped and filed into a would-be-square shape, but slanted. Does her sexiness offend you? Her weaves are bone-straight, waved, blunt cut, or curly, depending on her mood. She covers her fingers, wrists, and neck with VVS diamonds, ’cause hell, she’s earned ’em. Her outfits, thee outfits, are luxe and form-fitting, often with cutouts that show off her bronze legs and toned belly. “Megan from Houston, I’m naturally sexy,” she rapped in a 2019 freestyle. I’m talking top-of-the-dome, no-slip-ups, every-bar-is-a-bar freestyles, too.
“Sexy” has come to be expected from Thee Stallion—in fact, at this point, it may be an understatement. But as she and contemporaries like Cardi B and Lizzo have proven, there are layers to this shit. The “Body” rapper has also penned a feminist op-ed for the New York Times, and is scheduled to earn her hard-won college degree the same year she earned her first three Grammys. Thee Stallion is not one to be compartmentalized—and it’s not just because she’s so curvy.
“Every time I make a move, I’m like, ‘Okay, how can we be better than Megan last month?’” she tells Essence. “‘How can we be better than Megan last year?’”
With a new album on the horizon, Meg’s fans and followers are no doubt asking that question as well, following the platinum-selling success of her debut studio album, 2020's Good News. Undoubtedly, 2020 taught Meg plenty about the good and bad aspects of success, too—including how to guard herself and her circle more closely after being shot in both feet last summer, reportedly by fellow rapper Tony Lanez.
“There are probably approximately four people around me on a daily basis,” she now shares. “I don’t see a lot of people, I don’t talk to a lot of people, because I feel like it’s not good for me. I figured out that my personal space is what keeps me balanced and it’s what keeps me centered.”
Still, don’t get it twisted; Meg’s not cowering in anyone’s corner. Instead, for her next project she says she’s channeling the Houston-bred ambition that put her on the trajectory to the top.
“I feel like [my new album] will be aggressive,” she tells Essence. “I feel like this project is definitely something very well thought out. This project is me talking my [shit], getting back comfortable with myself, getting back to the Megan that was on the come-up.”
The September/October issue of Essence will be on newsstands August 24. You can read Megan’s cover story in its entirety on Essence.com.