Editors’ Notes Two things about Megan Thee Stallion—she’s always going to rep for Houston, and she’s always going to put on for the ladies. She spent the better part of 2020 doing exactly those things while keeping social media throughly entertained through quarantine and releasing some of the year’s most fun and charismatic music—making her an easy pick for the 2020 Apple Music Awards’ Breakthrough Artist of the Year. It should come as no surprise, then, that Megan’s performance film to mark her award focuses on both H-Town and women as she runs through songs like “Realer,” “Cash Shit,” and “Savage.” Backdropped by the quintessential Texas activity—the rodeo—the short film symbolizes freedom, speaks to the growth and evolution of Megan—her realness, rawness, and grit—and celebrates the glory of both her home and the female body-ody-ody. Below, Megan talks about the Awards and plenty more.

On her Apple Music Awards performance:
“It was very important to perform this set of songs because these are songs that I've been performing since before the pandemic, before quarantine, and these songs touched my Hotties in so many different ways. I remember actually being able to perform face-to-face with the Hotties, and it didn't matter if it was 50 people in the crowd, 500 people in the crowd, a thousand people in the crowd—the Hotties was going up every time. To see the progression is insane. This performance is one of my favorites, because I'm still that same Megan—it's just now it's on a more organized, grand scale.”

On Southern women in rap:
“Right now, this era of women, there are more just Southern female MCs, period. And I'm super proud of it because we poppin', we came out of nowhere, and we really taking over. I feel like just the Southern swag, the Southern culture, the twang, the accent, the voice—I didn't realize this at first, but Southern women, we have a deeper voice. It's not a high-pitched squeaky type of tone—we are meaning what we say, and it's a very dominant tone. I feel like that adds a spicy ingredient.”

On being confident and empowering women:
“I feel like people try to make women be cookie-cutter: ‘This is how you should talk. This is how you should act. Be this way. Be seen, not heard.’ And it's like, damn, so what you're saying is I can do the work, do the twerk, but you don't want to hear me speak? That's crazy. Now it's more common to see women speaking out, and it's more normal to see women being comfortable with themselves. I feel like I am beautiful and I am smart and my body is perfect the way it is because this is what I grew up thinking. I’ve learned that a lot of people probably weren't getting that as a child, and they don't feel super comfortable with their body. They don't feel super confident with themselves because you look at Instagram or Twitter or in the magazines and everybody seems so perfect. And it's like, 'Oh my gosh, how can I strive to be like this,' when really, this whole time, you been beautiful. You've been perfect. You were meant to look like this, and don't try to change it because you saw what you liked on somebody else. So if I could do that in my music, or even if I could do it when I speak, I'ma do that, because everybody need love. Girl, you bad, you beautiful. Don't change.”

On protecting Black women:
“When you go through certain things, you are able to speak more passionately about it because you experienced something that made you be able to go hard about that topic. 2020 put me in a lot of positions where I felt like I wasn't protected. So now it's easier for me to speak out because I realize there are a lot of instances where Black women are not protected. And I felt it firsthand. So it's like, OK, now I can come from a place of experience more so [than] just observing somebody else. This has happened to me. I’ma talk about it, because I know I'm not the only person going through it. I'm just a person with a platform. So I will use my platform every time they give me one to scream it: Protect Black women, protect Black women, protect Black women! That's not something that should be offensive. That's not something that should be controversial. That is the thing that needs to be done in general. So, like I said: Protect Black women.”

Contains explicit content.

Apple Music Awards 2020 Intro
Realer (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Girls in the Hood (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Megan Says: Pt. 1
Cash Shit (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Don't Stop (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Megan Says: Pt. 2
Savage Remix (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Body (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)
Work That (Live: Apple Music Awards 2020)