"My best friend showed me her phone and was like, ‘Look at this dance.’ I was like, ‘We gotta learn that,’" Megan Thee Stallion tells PEOPLE

By Darlene Aderoju
April 23, 2020 07:00 PM
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While the “Savage Challenge” is inspired by Megan Thee Stallion’s songSavage,” the star says she actually needed some practice before she nailed the viral dance and joined in on the social media fun.

“I was clowning around in my hotel room and we had made our own little version of ‘Savage,’” says Megan in PEOPLE’s latest issue. “I was dressing up in a bunch of different clothes and I saw a lot of people doing it the way I did it.”

That’s when choreographer Keara Wilson’s moves caught her attention. “I saw people doing dances on TikTok, and my best friend showed me her phone and was like, ‘Look at this dance.’ I was like, ‘We gotta learn that.’ When we saw Keke do it, it seemed like she really broke it down. We literally sat in the kitchen for like 20 minutes trying to get this dance down pat.”

Once Megan posted her video, both the song and its corresponding challenge “went super crazy.”

She also dropped Suga one week before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. With listeners practicing social distancing, the “Savage” challenge rapidly erupted among Megan’s more than 12 million total social media followers, who she affectionately calls “hotties.”

Speaking on whether she was nervous to release her tracks amid the health crisis, Megan tells PEOPLE: “The internet has always been my friend when it comes to my music catching on. My hotties are always so supportive. They usually just keep a lot of things going. One of my favorite hotties, Keke, came up with a dance to ‘Savage,’ then another hottie came up with a challenge to ‘Captain Hook,’ so that’s going. The hotties really keep the music alive for me.”

Ultimately, Megan had one goal in mind when she released her latest singles. “I like to surprise my hotties so I was like, ‘I need to drop this music.’ I had already been recording [because] I’m working on my album. These are the songs I really wanted to hurry up and get out because I really wanted something for my fans to have, to hold them over.”

“I just want people to listen to my music and feel good,” Megan adds. “When I’m listening to my favorite artists, they make me feel good. Music, in my opinion, can change your whole vibe. Music can set the tone for the day.”

“I want my hotties to be able to put on any of my songs and boom, they’re going out the door and they know, ‘Today’s gonna be a good day, I was listening to Meg Thee Stallion and can’t nobody tell me s—,'” she says. “That’s really what I want my fans to get with my music.”

As she continues spreading fun energy to her listeners, Megan is adjusting to her rapid rise to fame. “It’s still new to me,” says the rapper. “I’ve always been acting like this, but it’s always been around people I’m cool with. We [didn’t] have a billion eyes on us all the time. Now when you go out or when you’re just cutting up, you gotta treat it like, ‘We have two million people watching, so let’s bring the hot girl down three notches.'”

Which leads to the star’s empowering explanation of her hit track “Hot Girl Summer” that first made waves last year: “A hot girl is somebody that’s free and unapologetic. You do what you do. You spread positivity to other hot girls. You come in, you get the party started, but you’re still positive and you’re just a happy person.”

For more on Megan Thee Stallion, pick up PEOPLE’s 2020 Beautiful Issue, on newsstands Friday.