Megan Thee Stallion Kept Her Rap Abilities A ‘Secret’ From Her Mom For Years

The past few years have been huge for Megan Thee Stallion. She scored her first No. 1, lived out her dream of making a song with Beyonce, performed at the Grammys, and just became the first-ever rapper to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit issue. Megan first got into rapping by watching her mother, who made music under the moniker Holly-wood. But despite her mom’s talents, Megan actually kept her rapping abilities a secret from her mom for many years.

Megan recently sat down for a conversation with Tyra Banks as part of her Sports Illustrated cover interview. Banks, who was the first-ever Black woman featured on the magazine’s cover, asked Megan how she knew she wanted to make music.

“I don’t know what I wanna do when I grow up, but I know I want to entertain everybody,” Megan said about her younger self. “I like to see people smile genuinely, I like to see people having a good time. When I finally figured out what it was I wanted to do, I figured out I wanted to rap because my mom was a rapper. She didn’t know I wanted to be a rapper, but I would literally watch her be in the studio all day be like, ‘This lady is just everything.’”

The rapper continued to say she hid her rapping abilities from her mom until her early twenties because she wanted “to be perfect” first:

“I didn’t want to tell her I could rap until I was 18 because I wanted to be perfect to her. I was practicing since I was like seven. When I got to high school, I was like, ‘I’m not going to tell her yet.’ But she’d have these CDs laying around the house, instrumentals. I would take them in my room and I’d write to them. She’d be like, ‘Megan have you seen my CDs?’ and I’d be like, ‘No. What are you talking about?’ So finally I went to college and I was like, I’ve probably held this secret for long enough. I’d start going to the studio by myself, which was probably kind of dangerous because I was like 19, bopping around trying to it out. I didn’t want her to shut me down. I wanted to show her, ‘Look how I’ve been practicing this whole time and look where I am.’ I finally came to her, I might have been 20, and I was like, ‘I can rap.’ She was like, ‘No you can’t.’ And I was like, ‘Yes I can. […] Momma don’t whoop me, but I’m going to curse.’ So I started going off and I started cursing and she was like, ‘Where did you learn all those words?’ I’m grown too, my momma was always treating me like I was a baby. So she was like, ‘You’re not coming on until you’re 21.’ But there was never anything I was passionate about besides music.”

Watch Megan’s full interview with Banks for Sports Illustrated here.

Megan Thee Stallion is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.