Arguably one of hip-hop’s most prolific rappers, Megan Thee Stallion continues to prove why she’s become such a force in music. With summer on the horizon, the Hot Girl Summer Tour is the place to be. After all, Megan Thee Stallion made sure to pack the night with dancing, fanservice and fun. Home to the New York Knicks and The Rangers, and a famed stop for music’s biggest artists, Madison Square Garden welcomed the Houston rapper to the Big Apple. 

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

The New York stop of the Hot Girl Summer Tour made history with Megan becoming the first independent woman rapper to headline a show at the Garden. Even before entering the show, Megan Thee Stallion’s starpower was undeniable. Some fans even waited as early as 10 a.m. to score premium views in the HOTTIE CLUB (a VIP general admission section of the concert). A diverse group of concert goers flocked into the venue, some mimicking Megan’s style with shorts and bralettes. 

Others, however, turned the Garden into an anime convention wearing cosplays from some of Megan Thee Stallion’s favorite shows like Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan. That should come as no surprise as, only a few days before, Megan had brought a Sukuna and Gojo cosplayer (both Jujutsu Kaisen characters) on stage with her to twerk in Detroit. New York was in for quite the treat as well, with surprise appearances from A Boogie Wit da Hoodie and Cardi B

Yeah Glo!

Prior to the announcement of the Hot Girl Summer Tour, fans debated who would be the rapper to join Megan Thee Stallion on the road. While the Houston rapper has worked with a long list of rappers during her career, GloRilla would be the one to join the bill of this summer tour. Spreading Southern charm across the nation, GloRilla is best known for records like her 2022 hit “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” and her iconic collaboration with Cardi B “Tomorrow 2.” It was about 8:15 p.m. when the lights dimmed in the Garden, with fans wailing in excitement for GloRilla to grace the stage. 

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

The screens turned black with a five minute countdown as songs like “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes and Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us” blasted, with fans screaming every lyric. Though short, GloRilla’s set was the shot of adrenaline that brought the party to New York on a Tuesday night. Sporting a black, strapped bra with baggy, yellow cargo pants, GloRilla’s swagger was undeniable. What makes this latest generation of women in rap exciting is their versatility and ability to mix iconic dances with impressive bars. And GloRilla was no exception. Joined by a roster of world class dances, her performance was polished to a tee. And during her set she surprised New York with a special appearance of New York’s very own, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. The two had undeniable synergy on stage, with each rapper showing respect to each other’s craft. GloRilla certainly delivered a performance worthy of headline status.

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

Heating up Madison Square Garden

Shortly after GloRilla left the stage, fans began chanting Megan’s name. It was not long before the instrumental of “HISS” began to play. And if it wasn’t clear already, Megan Thee Stallion made sure to let everyone know that she’s claimed the summer as her season. After all, scoring a No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with sold out dates across her debut arena tour has been quite the feat. As she entered the stage, she sported her natural hair with a decadent, red bodysuit with mesh lace across the stomach. Immediately, Megan delivered fierce performances paired with elaborate pyrotechnics. Her performance was quite literally on fire as she moved from songs like “HISS” to “Gift & A Curse.” 

Megan made sure to work the entire stage throughout the night while jumping and executing choreo, as she missed not a single beat. Throughout the show, songs found new meaning. A standout example was the soulful performance of “Cobra.” Performing the record while standing inside a lit up circular cage, she employed aerial camera work as she lost herself in the music. Fans sang every lyric of the introspective song before she eventually left the stage to change into her next outfit. 

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

It’s A Hottie Summer

Megan returned to the stage in an all-blue sparkling dress, bedazzled with blue rhinestones. Pairing the look with butterfly imagery, she brought elements of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure characters like Jolyne Kujo to her set. Here, she spent quite a bit of time greeting fans who had been waiting for her with anticipation. A funny aspect about Megan Thee Stallion’s fandom has been their adoption of K-pop culture and applying it to her work. Preparing photocards for the Houston rapper, fans stuck their hands out to give her their merch. While rapping, she made her way over, taking the photocards and mouthing words of appreciation to fans. And when she wasn’t accepting photocards, she received phones from fans and recorded videos of herself singing into the microphone.

Make no mistake though, Megan made certain that fans — regardless of where they were sitting — would be able to feel her presence. She stopped by the edges of the stage to greet fans from the sides of the venue all the way to the back. Much of the show felt like a love letter from Megan to her fans, who have stood by her side through thick and thin. As the rapper made her way into the next act of her show, fans were pumped with excitement.

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

Bringing a Surprise to Lucky New Yorkers

For the final act of her show, Megan had a special surprise planned for lucky fans in the Big Apple. She came back to the stage sporting a black, faux snakeskin bodysuit with an iridescent shine. In true Houston fashion, Megan Thee Stallion remixed her 2020 hit “Body” with Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied.” Megan’s show was truly something for the grown folk as she made her way through heavy-hitters like “Plan B” and “Captain Hook.” Nonetheless, the night saw its peak when Cardi B made a surprise appearance during “Bongos.” 

Photo courtesy of Ellie Forte.

It was hard to not have mouths hanging at the mega-star performing the track. Gracing the stage wearing a black body suit similar to Megan’s, Cardi B couldn’t stop smiling. As she waved to fans, she walked across the stage, joining Megan for a sensual dance. “Okay Cardiiii,” screamed Megan who couldn’t help but hype up the Bronx rapper. Throughout the night, one word was brought to everyone’s minds: Camaraderie, a celebration of women and an even deeper display of friendship, as GloRilla was also brought back to the stage to perform “Tomorrow 2” with Cardi B and “Wanna Be” with Megan. “I need y’all to stay tuned,” said GloRilla, who joked that she had news for fans. Megan came to the defense of fans: “Now, how you gon’ tease that…” At the end of the performance, the three rappers revealed that they would be releasing the “Wanna Be” remix featuring Cardi B.

As the show was nearing its end, fans in the HOTTIE CLUB showered Megan Thee Stallion with bouquets of roses. It was quite the emotional set for the Houston rapper who clearly was trying to take in the experience of bearing witness to the strong community she’d built. As she offered her final bows, her eyes began to brim with tears. “Thank you hotties… I love you New York hotties.” Despite its near two hour-long runtime, the show was so jam packed that it still felt like that wasn’t enough. And if it wasn’t already clear, it is safe to say that Megan Thee Stallion is rap’s it-girl.

Looking to catch Megan Thee Stallion on the road? Fans can still purchase tickets on Megan Thee Stallion’s website. Though the tour has just begun, it looks like Megan is going to be the main topic of the summer. 

Looking to read more about Megan Thee Stallion? Read our coverage of her chart-topping single “HISS” here!