Music

Everyone’s Obsessed With ‘Hot Girl Summer’, Here’s Why You Should Get On Board

Yes, 'Hot Girl Summer' works in an Australian winter.

Megan Thee Stallion's 'Hot Girl Summer' explained

Over the past few months, you’ve probably seen more than a few Instagrams captioned with ‘Hot Girl Summer’: sometimes, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but in others, neither girls nor summer is present. But that’s because ‘Hot Girl Summer’ is more than a caption — it’s a mantra.

‘Hot Girl Summer’ has become so ubiquitous that many (especially in wintery Australia) aren’t even aware it comes from Megan Thee Stallion, one of 2019’s breakout rap stars. With Megan finally releasing a song called ‘Hot Girl Summer’ in the last few days, now’s the time to jump on board. Here’s everything you need to know about the mantra, and the artist that inspired it.

To be frank, if you don’t get ‘Hot Girl Summer’ as a concept immediately, there’s a chance you never will. But, if you need it spelt out, Megan did so this June: “It’s just basically about women — and men — just being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody got to say about it,” she told The Root. “You definitely have to be a person that can be the life of the party, and, y’know, just a bad bitch.”

Feeling yourself comes through pretty strongly in Megan’s music. Inspired by the likes of Lil Kim and her own mother Holly Wood, Megan has been rapping since she was a kid living in Houston — but her mum said she had to wait till she was 21 to pursue it, given how explicit her lyrics often were. Which she more or less did, though a few freestyles and a bombastic presence on Instagram saw her gain traction while she was still a teenager, gaining a troupe of fans called ‘Hotties’.

In fact, Hotties, not Megan, seemed to have started the whole ‘Hot Girl Summer’ thing via thirst trap captions. Still, Megan is their leader: as the cover art for mixtape Fever declares, “She’s thee HOT GIRL and she’s bringing THEE HEAT.”

In 2016, she released a self-made mixtape — but it was last June where she started to really gain traction for Tina Snow, a 10-track EP which features a song called ‘Hot Girl’ (“Don’t get mad hoe/get a bag hoe“). That saw her signed as 300 Entertainment’s (Young Thug, Fetty Wap) first female rapper.

This July, she dropped Fever, her first full-release. It landed with a lot to hype, thanks to pre-release single ‘Big Ole Freak’, which made the US Billboard Viral charts thanks to the dedication of the Hotties, and a couple of high-profile press moments, such as landing on XXL‘s coveted Freshman cover.

Combining Houston rap with the legacy of female rappers using explosive flows to reclaim their sexuality away from the male gaze, Fever was celebrated as a declarative arrival. It’s really good — trap-indebted music that makes you want to feel yourself hard, and sweat it out.

Arriving last Friday, ‘Hot Girl Summer’ is a victory lap — one co-signed with a feature from Nicki Minaj. Oh, and Ty Dolla $ign is there too. It’s also a reclaiming of the phrase, one which, as Vox note, has been co-opted by Wendy’s, Forever21 and even the DuoLingo owl.

But it’s not used for capitalist body positivity and ‘self-care’ consumerism, ideally — as Pitchfork say, the mantra is for all genders and all people, but strikes a resonance with black women like Megan, whose bodies are disproportionately politicised and objectified.

Of course, it’s winter in Australia — and soon, at the end of the month, it’ll be autumn in America. And while one Twitter account is excited for the start of Christian Girl Autumn, true Hotties know Hot Girl Summer knows no limits. Hot Girl Summer is a state of mind (and one Megan is planning to trademark), though it’s not working out for everyone.

Decimate your seasonal sadness, and listen to ‘Hot Girl Summer’ below.