Hotties, you need to keep your momentum up for this.
Megan Thee Stallion reasserts her dominance on the mic with her long-awaited studio debut, Good News. The 17-track ensemble is laced with cutthroat and flirtatious one liners, characteristics we've seen the Houston emcee seamlessly embody since her arrival on the rap scene in 2017.
Sweetening the album’s release, Megan dropped a music video for her empowering single “Body.” The video honors diverse body types with full choreography—aptly nicknamed the #BODYODYCHALLENGE—sleek black attire, and iconic cameos from actor Taraji P. Henson, model Tabria Majors, among others (the newly named GQ Rapper of the Year also performed the body-positive single at the American Music Awards last weekend, before winning an award for “WAP,” her juicy hit with Cardi B).
Of course, the single’s vivacious energy isn't new territory for the H-Town hottie, and Good News is proof of it.
The album’s opener, "Shots Fired," sets the booming tone of the album. When Megan revealed the album’s track list, this song’s direct title had social media buzzing in speculation. Many believed it would be a hard-hitting diss toward Canadian rapper Tory Lanez (who’s facing felony assault charges for shooting her with a concealed weapon back in July). The Los Angeles incident developed into a discomforting back-and-forth war: conspiracy theories were made; social media users began to discredit Megan’s side of the story; and Lanez coughed up a long-winded album, Daystar, to directly address Megan while maintaining his “innocence.”
“Shots Fired” has the artist confronting the incident with unrelenting ferocity, annihilating Lanez—and his short stature—without even saying his name.
“You shot a 5’10’’ b*tch with a .22.
Talkin’ ‘bout bones and tendons like them bullets wasn’t pellets.
A p***y n***a with a p***y gun in his feelings.”
Cleverly sampling Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya”, the iconic taunting diss Biggie released to address the rumors he orchestrated the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur, Megan flips the script by controlling her own narrative, using that same infamous delivery to fiercely clown those who trolled her trauma for a few lowbrow likes on social media, while transforming her experience into a larger, and much needed, discussion on the lack of justice Black women receive when in harmful situations. She raps:
“Now here we are, 2020, eight months later
And we still ain’t got no f*cking justice for Breonna Taylor.”
Considering how many view the “strong Black woman” trope—though often meant as a compliment—as a dangerous infiltration of Black womanhood, and how the experiences of myself (the writer of this review) and other Black women are often met with radio silence, including that line in “Shots Fired,” was a rich and vital touch.
The fiery lead track moves smoothly into "Circles,” an infectious anthem advocating for Hotties to leave childish men in 2020. Megan proudly boasts “we ain’t goin’ back and forth with these lil’ boys” over R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan's single "Holding You Down," the sample perfectly supporting the song’s theme. This declaration lifts listeners to the more provocative and collaborative peak of the album. Artists, including City Girls, Megan’s acclaimed work-husband DaBaby, and Lil Durk are featured in the core of the album, their scintillating appearances nicely amplifying the rapper’s aesthetic.
Megan's riveting alter ego Hot Girl Meg undeniably drives the boat with “Cry Baby,” an explicit melody that features Stallion and DaBaby unapologetically talking about their body count. Don’t worry though; this is only the beginning of Megan’s top-tier raunchiness.
We also see Megan breathe life into other iconic lyrics within the next couple tacks. “Freaky Girls,” featuring R&B princess SZA, interestingly reworks Adina Howard’s 1995 single, “Freak Like Me.” Both artists easily mesh on the saucy track, SZA taking the hook while Megan rhymes over the lifted G-Funk synths. Meanwhile, “Sugar Baby” samples Webbie’s club anthem, “Bad Bitch,” with Megan’s braggadocious and crisp flow harnessing some memorable and hilarious lines.
“Buy me everything in my cart if you my boyfriend.
Invest in this p*ssy, boy, support Black businesses.”
On “Outside” she gives new structure to the degrading phase “she’s for the streets” over Michel’le’s “Something in My Heart,” coolly reintroducing her pimp persona, spitting “I ain’t for the streets, ‘cause b*tch I am the street."
That admirable confidence gives way to “What’s New,” a standout track that vigorously highlights Megan’s penmanship. Bars like “Ho, quit talkin’ ‘bout me to your man, ‘cause that only make him more intrigued” and “I bet not ever catch you talkin’ shit if your bank account still attached to your mom’s,” serve as a clear and astonishing reminder of how well Megan pairs her dominant energy with slick lyrics.
While a possible detractor on other artists’ releases, the sheer length of Megan’s album gives her ample space to renew her stellar flare via a variety of experimental approaches. This new creative sound lacks in the captivating department for me, but we can’t knock Megan for showing versatility with these new and diverse arrangements. "Intercourse," featuring Jamaican artist Popcaan, is a sultry, dancehall number, while "Don't Rock Me to Sleep" is a Forever 21/H&M-laced track destined for the pop charts.
And, of course, previously released singles, including the Young Thug-assisted “Don’t Stop” and the “Savage Remix,” featuring Houston icon Beyoncé, bring us to the final lap of this album.
Good News allows Megan to confront the beauty and hideous nature of 2020 while reflecting on her rollercoaster ride to stardom with skillful and confrontational production, natural charisma oozing through each track. It’s rhythmic, realistic, hard-hitting, and sexy, proving that good things can come out of a problematic year.
And, really, what more could we ask for?
Good News is available now at megantheestallion.com.