Many people outside of the hot girl tribe are confused about the actual definition of the now popular mantra.

The term went viral after being rapped at the beginning of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion's single "Cash Sh*t" featuring the equally charismatic and bubbly rapper Da Baby. Megan has turned her carefree, fun-filled lifestyle into a blueprint for forward activism for the Gen Z generation and has made it look so effortless in the process.

The 24-year-old rapper has exemplified what it means to be a hot girl in her day-to-day social media antics and sightings in various cities. The hot girl lifestyle has very little to do with sexual exploration (while that can be up to each hot girl's prerogative) and more to do with a continuous upward trajectory of positive energy and growth. The mantra boils down to a concise concept: having fun and living your best life.

A Real #HotGirlSemester

While the Houston-native climbs up the music charts, she still wants to have as much fun as possible while doing so; but Megan makes it apparent that it's not always playtime. With Generation X and Generation Y (AKA Millennials) understanding student debt all too well, Generation Z (including Megan) are also feeling the blunt force of debt more than ever. Currently, the student loan debt now stands at a staggering $1.41 trillion, according to Investopedia.

As a college student herself, the Gen Z artist understands the weight of getting classwork done at all costs. Megan empathizes with what it's like to cram those final papers and exams in at 11:59 PM on their due date, doing the same in between photo shoots and after parties. She majors in Health Administration at Texas Southern University, where Meg Thee Stallion has been transparent about simultaneously being a student and a nation-wide superstar. In an interview with Billboard late last year, she humbly discussed one of her professors pointing out "The Stallion" alter ego.

"Only one of my professors right now knows that I'm like a whole rapper. She followed me on Instagram, and when I came to class she was like, 'Megan, so you got a little alter ego!' I was like, 'Oh my god. Don't follow me!'"

The Vegan Lifestyle

Since she's been in the spotlight, Megan has spoken openly about her dietary choices. She initially transitioned to vegetarianism but became a vegan after researching the treatment of factory-farmed chickens and cows.

In an official report released July 2019, the Plant-Based Food Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute reported that plant-based vegan foods have increased in popularity over 11% in the last year, turning veganism into a $4.5 billion industry. "The plant-based meat category alone is worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10 percent in the past year," the report reads. "Plant-based meat now accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales."

This increase can be partially attributed to Millennials and Gen Zers being more health conscious of the environmental benefits of veganism and plant-based diets than their predecessors. Megan, along with many other vegans, are doing their best to get others to join in on the movement. She even tried to convince fellow rapper, Chance The Rapper, to make the change by challenging him to eat more broccoli (which he struggled to do) after losing a bet.

Eco-friendly Hottie Movement

Following her veganism movement, Megan began to advocate for a more holistic, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. She often tweets tips, helping her followers become "eco-friendly hotties" with simple life hacks, including using recyclable bags, reusing water bottles and food containers, and pushing followers to stop eating meat (or at least less of it).

Last June, the "Sex Talk" rapper put her words into action and hosted a beach clean-up in California with fans. She posted a now-deleted Instagram live urging fans to "come in y'alls bikinis and we gonna go clean up some sh*t, you know what I'm saying?"

Hundreds of fans attended the beach clean up at the Santa Monica Pier. This event was a powerful use of platform and display of community that more celebrities should embrace, especially because causes such as climate change and environmental destruction will affect our Earth for years to come. While these events may seem minuscule in the face of mass, corporate-level disasters we're facing, it's hopeful to see the next generation (including the popular celebrities) caring enough to do something about it.

Respect Thee Stallion

Megan is still new and is already becoming a recognizable name in music, standing her ground alongside other male and female artists in her genre. With her infectious smile and joyful approach to life, Megan noticeably gets along with everyone from fellow rappers and Hip-Hop moguls to political voices.

Artists who stand for their causes and understand the intersectionalities of their platforms will be able to influence the next generations much more significantly than politicians who are talking "at" them and not "to" them. The fact that artists such as Cardi B, Beyonce, and Megan Thee Stallion are standing by important, generation-shifting causes will motivate young adults and politicians alike to pay attention to societal issues which can hopefully spark greater change.

Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com


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MUSIC

Nicki Minaj's Murky Stance on Sexual Abuse

The artist has sided with abusers throughout her career. Should she be held accountable?

Back in 2018, ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer took to his DailyMail TV show to comment on Nicki Minaj's new relationship with a man named Kenneth Petty.

While Minaj told listeners yesterday on her Queens radio show that the couple had obtained a marriage certificate, the relationship has been steeped in controversy since its early stages. After rumors of the couple began to swirl, it was revealed that Petty was a registered sex offender in New York. When he was 16, he was convicted of using a "sharp object" to force sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl. To quell the growing backlash, Minaj took to Instagram and said the charges had been trumped up. "He was 15, she was 16...in a relationship. Y'all can't run my life," she wrote. Palmer noted that this response wasn't "the first time Minaj had defended a sex offender," saying Minaj also supported her older brother, Jelani Maraj, when he was accused of sexual assault back in 2017. Maraj was ultimately found guilty of repeatedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter. Minaj denied that she ever supported her brother during his trial and said she was prepared to sue Palmer for defamation.

While Palmer may have misspoken, Minaj's stance on sexual abuse and domestic violence has historically been murky. Minaj's brief Instagram rebuttal to the backlash against Petty is no doubt problematic, as it loosely implies that since the victim and Petty were dating, her claims of rape are somehow invalid or "trumped up." Minaj claims not to have supported her brother during his trial but was known to have allegedly wrote to him on Instagram, "I love you more than you will ever know."

She was also spotted visiting him in prison, though Minaj claims she only did so to support her mother. Minaj's mother believes Maraj to be innocent. "We have the affidavits to prove that [the jury] was busy talking about his sister [outside the courtroom.] If his sister didn't show up that means he was guilty," she said in an interview with Hip Hop Hood Report. "They totally ignored the evidence that there was no evidence to prove this man guilty." A juror misconduct inquiry was opened in October of 2018, although Nassau's DA office has stood firmly by the conviction. DNA evidence found on the victim's pajamas matched Maraj's and the victim's 10-year-old brother took the stand to graphically describe, under oath, what he saw when he allegedly walked in on the 40-year-old raping his sister. Maraj's attorney, John Labau, said he agreed that he doesn't believe there is enough evidence to convict his client, but noted, "Do I think maybe something happened? Probably."

6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj, Murda Beatz - “FEFE” (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


Minaj's stance on violence against women has repeatedly been called into question. She has continually supported Chris Brown and Tyga, both of which have extensive rap sheets of sexual misconduct and faced a slew of negative backlash when she collaborated with controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine in 2018. Fans were upset with Minaj's ability to overlook 6ix9ines guilty plea of raping a 13-year-old earlier that year—an ex-girlfriend of 6ix9ine additionally told The Daily Beast in 2019 that he physically and sexually abused her during the entirety of their relationship. Minaj further announced that 6ix9ine would be co-headling her NICKIHNDRXX tour with her and Future—who has also faced multiple accusations of being misogynistic towards women.

"It is one of the more egregious examples of an artist sacrificing principles for profit," wrote The Daily Beast of Minaj's decision to work with 6ix9ine. "When the queen of rap picks out a 22-year-old to collaborate with…[she's] legitimizing a man who's legally copped to—while continuing to lie about—some pretty vile behavior." Minaj faced further backlash later that year for "slut-shaming" female celebrities in an interview with Elle Magazine. "Maybe I was naïve, but I didn't realize how many girls were modern-day prostitutes," she said. "These are girls are so beautiful and have so much to offer. But I started finding out that you give them a couple of thousand dollars, and you can have sex with them...it makes me sad as a woman." Fans noted that Minaj has historically used her sexuality in order to help her career. In 2010, Minaj admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone that she lied about being bisexual in order to attract media attention.

However, it's important to note the controversies that Minaj has faced—including Palmer's swiftness to classify her as a supporter of sex offenders—exhibit a double standard in popular culture. Chris Brown, who has extensively been accused of violence against women, was accused of raping a woman in Paris in January, and as a response he printed and sold T-shirts that read "This Bitch Lyin!,'" directly profiting off the accusations. While the trial is still ongoing, the shirts are currently sold out. Additionally, Ammer Vann of Brockhampton was accused of sexual misconduct and subsequently was kicked out of the group—only to go on and continue making music. His last Soundcloud release, "I'm sorry," addressed the allegations, its comment section filled with fans showering praise and respect on the artist. Tyga, Sheck Wes, Kodak Black, and Nas are just a few of the other male artists who have recently been accused of violence against women.

Is Minaj's own hesitance to condemn abusers based on her personal disbelief of the accusers? Or has she just been conditioned to look the other way in an industry that has historically objectified women? Is it a little bit of both? "As a [black] woman in a male-dominated industry, Minaj has faced a great deal of adversity," wrote Flare Magazine. Minaj has openly advocated for female empowerment and has "demonstrated fearlessness in pointing out institutional racism," which makes her handling of abusers and sexuality that much more confusing. "Minaj's support of the wrong people showed me that she might not have the iron-clad morals that I have come to expect from her," wrote Flare. "[It] actually helped me humanize her. It is now evident to me that I wasn't actually in love with Minaj as a person—I was in love with her feminist boss-ass-bitch image, and was filtering out the rest." Should we continue to "filter" our artists in 2019?