Throughout the month of June, we will be unpacking the intersection of Black identity and popular music. Music as a cultural connector is a direct result of the global impact of the Black experience expressed through sound. In this essay celebrating Megan Thee Stallion and Normani’s friendship, entertainment news editor Kaitlyn McNab reflects on the value of Black sisterhood, and the friendships that have impacted her own life. Read more pieces like this one here.

“Seeeester!” Normani yells to Megan Thee Stallion as she walks towards her for a hug. Megan returns the call in a similar high pitched voice, getting up out of her chair to hug her friend. This is how Normani’s guest episode on Megan’s Snapchat series Off Thee Leash opens, showing just how close to the two are before even hitting the episode’s 30-second mark.

What we see of their friendship is comprised of small things — unintentional matching hairstyles, Meg shortening her best friend’s name to ‘Mani, the rapper calling the singer out for being late everywhere they go. But it’s the small things that make my heart full whenever I see them together, because it’s like looking at my reflection. When I see Meg and ‘Mani, I see me and my best friend, and the friendship-turned-family that we’ve built together.

According to Meg and Normani, their friendship began back in the winter of 2019. They met backstage at that year’s Billboard Women in Music Awards and would soon release a collaboration for the Birds of Prey soundtrack, the punchy and confident “Diamonds.” Only a few months later, the pair would star together on the cover of Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the Future 2020 issue, alongside R&B musician SZA.

Now, Normani and Megan consider themselves sisters. Whether it’s affectionately commenting on the other’s makeup-less selfies with sweet words like, “You’re so beautiful sister,” kiki’ing next to each other at fashion shows, or constantly voicing their support for each other when being interviewed on red carpets, Normani and Megan are constantly documenting their love for one another. Within the three years since they first met, they have become inseparable — or, as inseparable as two people could possibly be with superstar schedules.

My best friend and I live in cities over a thousand miles away from each other. There’s grad school, new jobs, and newborn babies that keep us busy. We may not be able to speak on a daily basis, and we might not be able to see each other even on a weekly basis. But we are inseparable in the same way. 

We met in middle school. Teens bonding over Nicki Minaj and our large families and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Yet, our friendship feels eerily inevitable… like we always would have found each other down the line some way, somehow. Almost like we were destined to celebrate, discover, and carry all that life throws at us together.

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