Rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Representative Maxine Waters discuss being Black women, the hit song “WAP,” and more during a new interview.
In December 2020, Megan Thee Stallion shared a letter she had received from Rep. Waters on social media after writing an op-ed for the New York Times. theGrioreported the column titled “Why I Speak Up for Black Women” explored Black women’s complexity and societal responsibilities. Waters applauded her for the piece.
She shared on Instagram, “One of the highlights of my year was getting a letter from Congresswoman Maxine Waters.” She continued, “I am so honored to be recognized by such an amazing woman, and I promise to keep using my voice and encourage others to use theirs!”
“I read the op-ed you wrote that appeared in the New York Times recently and I can’t thank you enough for bringing much-needed attention to the plight of Black women, not just here in the United States—but everywhere,” wrote the congresswoman of Megan’s article.
Now the two women have come together for an inter-generational conversation featured by Harper’s Bazaar.
“I’m so nervous,” the rapper said as the California representative assured her, “oh, no, you’re not,” to kick off the discussion.
The women began by talking about the aforementioned letter the politician wrote to the 26-year-old rapper.
“To receive any type of recognition from the wonderful Ms. Waters, it really blew my mind. Because I know that, me being a young Black woman in my generation, the things that I fight for, the things that I talk about every day, it seems new for us because we’re just now going through it,” Megan shared.
“But to be recognized by a woman that has always spoken out about these issues and has always been an advocate for Black women and just the whole Black community, I felt overwhelmed. I felt seen,” said the “Savage” rapper.
Rep. Waters added, “oftentimes, particularly happens with entertainers, they put you in a box. And somehow they don’t see you as a person who has a life that includes a family, that includes decisions that you have to make that has nothing to do with your performance, but about living.”
She continued with, “And so they don’t see you as thinking about the plight of Black women or civil rights or any of these issues. So that’s why I was very pleased that you wrote it because they need to know that you are smart, you’re intelligent, you’re strong, and that you have something to say.”
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The congresswoman also shared how she found the raunchy hit single “WAP” by Bronx rapper Cardi B that features Megan Thee Stallion. The song drew criticism for sexual lyrics and imagery.
“I listen to the young people around me and they may tell me something maybe you ought to pay attention to. But then they told me to look at, was it WAP?” Waters said.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry. I said, “Now that’s audacity. That is audacity.” And that is the ability for women to take charge of what they want to say. I had paid attention to the young gangster rap time when men were in charge. They said whatever they wanted to say about women, what have you. But women didn’t say, for a long time, what they could say or wanted to say or dared to say. And so I thought “that’s audacity.”
Megan Thee Stallion responded, “Oh my gosh. I love it here,” after Rep. Waters continued to empower women in hip-hop rapping about what they want fearlessly.
The duo also discussed building community among Black women, the 2020 presidential election, and what it looks like to be confident. Watch the full conversation below: