She's classy, bougie, ratchet. Sassy, moody, nasty. The ultimate hot girl. And now, Megan Thee Stallion is a three-time Grammy winner for Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best New Artist, thanks to her impossible-not-to-sing-along March 2020 single "Savage" and the remix that officially united her with fellow Houstonian Beyoncé a month later.
But before the trophies, the acceptance speeches with Megan talking about watching Destiny's Child perform as a kid, the New Year's Eve parties, there was a collaboration with another Texas resident that set the chart-topping, critical darling into motion.
It was late 2018 when mega-producer J. White Did It, the beats-crafting pro behind Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" and "I Like It," noticed Megan's freestyles "blowing up," he told E! News, "and I say, 'Yo, she's fire.'"
From there, he continued, "we just started building a cool connection, we'll text back and forth." They met when she was featured on Gucci Mane's 2019 "Big Booty." And, yet, if it weren't for Patrick Mahomes' cannon of an arm, hordes of TikTok teens would have one less song to dance to.
"I haven't told this story before," J. White began his explanation of making the Grammy-winning smash. "But I wasn't going to come to the studio if my Kansas City Chiefs lost that day."
Born in KC, he was in his Miami hotel room watching Mahomes and the Chiefs dig themselves a massive 21-point hole during their January 2020 post season battle with the Houston Texans, contemplating if he'd be up for working that day.
"We came back and won the game, so that's when I came to the studio," he recalled. "If we didn't win that game, I was going to stay in my hotel. I kid you not. I was going to be too hurt. Here's the thing, she's from Houston. I'm from Kansas City, but I live in Dallas. It was Kansas City versus Houston. So if we would have lost that game, ain't no 'Savage.'"
Instead, Mahomes and co. tallied up a massive 20 point win and "I was in such a great mood that day after that," said J. White, "and literally, it just happened organically."
With Megan's lyrics he knew he had a sure winner. "As soon as I heard the lines, 'Classy, bougie, ratchet,' you know, I was just like, 'Wow, what the—'" he recalled. "Wow. Yes, yes you are. Yes you are."
Inspired, he pulled up a sound, aptly called "Diva" and got to work. "After the song was done, man, I literally was like, 'Yo, congratulations on your first no. 1,'" he shared. "I said, 'Megan, this song is gonna change your life. This song is really gonna make them wake up.'"
"'Savage is the gift that keeps on giving," noted J. White. "When we first went on lockdown, that song was a glimpse of light for all of us stuck in our houses. I feel like we carved out a moment in time for ourselves with that song. And I'm happy that 'Savage' gave just a little bit of happiness with all the sorrow and the pain that a lot of other people was dealing with. I'm glad that we could do a little bit of healing with music."
For him, "It was really cool to see people from all over the world dance to 'Savage' and all the remixes," he continued. "My favorite one is the Carole Baskin. I feel like that's hilarious. That was running neck-in-neck with 'Savage.' I was like, 'Damn, maybe this needs to be the damn song!'"
While some singles take months, even years to come together, "Making 'Savage' was really easy," he admitted. "When you have the right mindset and the right energy in the room, you're gonna get everything else done right. It didn't take long. She went in there and knocked it out. She sat there pen and pad writing and I said, 'Damn, you done?' 'Yeah, I'm done.' And it was over."
Already a hit, he didn't know quite what to expect when Megan reached out weeks later promising a surprise. "She was like, 'Just trust me,'" he shared. "I was like, 'Yo, what is it, what the f--k is it?' I was texting her daily."
Her refusal to give in meant that he was floored when he heard the Queen B remix along with everyone else. "This is how I can describe how I felt when that song came out," he said. "I felt like that song is Mike Tyson and I am his opponent in his prime. And that's how I felt. I was knocked out by it. It's crazy as hell. I was knocked the hell out."
Admittedly, he still gets woozy thinking about how the release raised funds to help provide meals for Houston families during the pandemic and led to three Grammy nods, including Record of the Year.
"I said, 'Yo! Are you serious?' I was literally emotional about it," he said of the lofty honor. "It's the most gratifying feeling ever. I feel like a fat guy at a buffet. And the buffet is all by myself. And I'm so happy right now."
Working directly with Beyoncé would be the cherry on top of his happiness sundae. "If Beyoncé asked me, 'Hey, J. White. Can you work with me?' 'Yes, Beyoncé, I sure would.' I've practiced what will I say," he admitted. "I'd probably stare at her for the next two minutes."
But even never having met "The Queen," as he put it, he still feels very satisfied. "Sometimes I go to the grocery store," he shared, 'And I'm like, 'Damn, I have a song with Beyoncé.'"