The rapper breaks down her VMAs night with ET and talks giving back with her new Frito-Lay's Flamin' Hot collaboration.
While speaking with ET about her new collaboration with Frito-Lay's Flamin' Hot -- Flamin' Hot University aka F.U., aimed to help fans "Unleash their Flamin' Hot" with online courses and a limited-edition merch collection that funds scholarships for HBCU students -- the 28-year-old rapper opened up about meeting Timberlake and manifesting a musical collaboration.
Timberlake was at the VMAs to reunite with his *NSYNC bandmates, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone, and present the Best Pop Video. After presenting the award to a gobsmacked Taylor Swift, the band ran into Megan backstage, where she was getting ready to go onstage.
A video began circulating on social media, capturing Timberlake saying something to Megan, who was having her hair touched up. Megan responded animatedly, gesturing toward Timberlake and the rest of the group, which drew laughter from the 42-year-old and Fatone, who also appeared to say something to the rapper.
The video went viral as fans speculated that the interaction was actually a heated confrontation.
Sources told ET that the meeting was actually a sweet moment between the two where Timberlake told Megan, "It's so nice to meet you." Megan replied, "No, no! This don't count, this don't count! We gotta meet proper."
Another source close to the situation told ET, "Meg loves Justin. She was saying 'No, no, no, we've never met before.' It was their first time meeting and she was excited."
The next day, Megan posted a video to social media with Timberlake to shut down any rumors the two had a feud. "I just talk with my hands🤷🏽♀️ lol @justintimberlake love ya 💙," she captioned the video.
Recalling the night with ET's Rachel Smith, Megan shares that she and the pop star laughed off the incident after learning that they had gone viral.
"We were really crying-laughing because it was like, 'In what world is Megan Thee Stallion beefed out on Justin Timberlake?" she tells ET, laughing. "I'm in the back tussling with *NSYNC? That sounds crazy! I just I thought it was so funny because I talk with my hands and my nails are so long so I know this looks crazy, like you almost thought I was coming for you and I was coming for him. But, yeah this is just how I talk."
The rapper explains that she was preoccupied because she had an earpiece in and her hairstylist, Kellon Deryck, was "picking at my hair."
"Kellon is doing my hair and I got my in ears in and I'm telling Kellon I'm already nervous, just stop touching on me. Then Justin Timberlake walks by, he's like, 'It's nice to meet you,' [and] I was like, 'No, no, first of all I can't hear you so, no,'" she recalls. "Take it back, this is not how I'm gonna meet Justin Timberlake, OK? And JC was back there looking cute! I said, 'Hold on, y'all need to relax. Wait until I get off stage and then Ima be ready for y'all.'"
Megan goes on to share that she told Timberlake that they need to "bring sexy back," crossing her fingers that she would get to work with the 'Keep Going Up' singer in the future.
"We're both Aquarius, I was like, 'We are meant to be besties!' It was meant to be," she adds.
Timberlake would be an interesting addition to Megan's impressive list of collaborators. While there's no doubt that the two could work some magic, the rapper is even more excited about discussing her new partnership with Frito-Lay's Flamin' Hot.
The GRAMMY winner has teamed up with the snack brand to introduce Flamin' Hot University, an online university working to encourage students to embrace the spicy, rebellious spirit of the brand, and learn to "Unleash their Flamin' Hot" lives in full flavor. F.U. offers short, snackable courses on food, fashion and lifestyle.
Not only did the rapper give her hottie stamp of approval to an exclusive line of F.U. merchandise created by streetwear designer Melody Ehsani, but 100 percent of proceeds from the merchandise collection will go toward establishing a scholarship fund at Texas Southern University (TSU), Megan's Houston-based HBCU alma mater. The scholarship fund will help select graduating seniors at TSU say "FU" to student loan debt and start off on the right foot.
"Everybody knows that I love hot chips, that's my favorite thing...," Megan says of the Flamin' Hot. "And everybody knows that I love education. I got my degree [and] I feel like you're never too old to learn. I can show the girls that you can still turn up, have a good time, be a hot girl, and you can still wake up and go to class. We got to do that like, I got to endorse that message."
She adds: "You will learn how to be a hottie, you will learn how to authentically be yourself and you will learn all the bomb Flamin' Hot recipes that you'll probably be making in your dorm room at 2 a.m."
Megan earned her bachelor's degree in health administration back in December 2021. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who spoke at the graduation ceremony for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University, announced the rapper also received the 18th Congressional District Humanitarian Award. The award aims to recognize "outstanding public achievements by the people who live in the 18th Congressional district."
A year before, Megan talked with ET about working on her degree in health administration.
"School is so hard and online classes are really hard too, but I was already doing online classes before quarantine started," she said. "I had to because I couldn't go on campus anymore. I mean, my focus was definitely better because I didn't have a lot of distractions. But I'm still in school, and I'm projected to graduate in 2021!"
The rapper said her late mother, Holly Pete, who died in March 2019 after a battle with brain cancer, inspired her to finish her education. Megan's goal is to one day open up her own assisted living facility. The "Body" rapper also has a scholarship fund program in partnership with Amazon Music. The program will award $10,000 to two women of color pursuing an associates, bachelors or post-graduate degree.
With her Flamin' Hot partnership, Megan furthers her efforts to help people have it all when it comes to their education and living their best life.
In addition to the merch-funded TSU scholarship, Flamin' Hot will make a separate contribution to the Pete and Thomas Foundation, the non-profit organization that Megan launched in 2022 that focuses on uplifting and assisting women, children, senior citizens and underserved communities in Houston, Texas, and across the world. The organization focuses on three core sectors -- education, housing, health and wellness -- and is committed to supporting mission-aligned non-profit organizations, generating awareness around key campaigns and spearheading its owned and operated activities.
"Everyone deserves to be their Flamin' Hot self, but student loans can create a significant burden on college graduates -- especially at HBCUs where students graduate with 19 percent more debt than those at non-HBCUs," Tina Mahal, senior vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay, said in a statement. "The Flamin' Hot University scholarship fund at TSU was designed to ease some of the financial pressures student loans bring so graduates can focus on unleashing their hottest potential."
Reminiscing on her college experience, Megan tells ET that she understands what it means to be "a struggling college student."
"I know one of the main struggles that make people want to just give up and quit is being able to pay for school. That was one of my biggest things when I first got there," she shares. "My mom told me, 'I'm not helping you pay for this.' My grandma was doing the best she could and I was like, 'Dang, what am I gonna do?' Fortunately enough for me, I became Megan Thee Stallion, so [the] first money I ever got, I spent it on college! I paid off my school."
Saying that she "always knew" she wanted to get her degree and be a rapper, Megan says that juggling her career and her education was always Plan A. "It wasn't like, 'Oh, if this doesn't work I'm gonna do that.' It was always like, 'No, girl, both of [these are] gonna work, so stick with it. We got something to prove.' And we did it."
Potential students can visit FlaminHotUniversity.com and follow Flamin' Hot on social media to take part in F.U. courses and view exclusive content.