Whether you listen to Hip Hop or not, you could not have gone through 2020 without having heard Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete.
This is a quick history of how she went mainstream; Megan first made a name for herself in 2019 when she released singles “Big Ole Freak” marking her first ever entry on the Billboard hot 100 chart, and “Hot Girl Summer” featuring Ty Dolla Sign and Hip Hop veteran Nicki Minaj. She was well on her way to becoming an established rapper, but 2020 catapulted her to Hip Hop superstardom.
“I’m a savage, classy, bougee, ratchet […]” if you use any social media platform you’d know these lyrics. “Savage” was released in march 2020, and thanks to a viral dance challenge launched by Tik Tok user Keara Wilson, “Savage” was the most played song on Tik Tok that month and racked up more than 7.5 billion views. The song was so popular it caught the attention of a music icon.
This brings us to the first single in anticipation of the release of “Good News”, “Savage” the remix with fellow Houston native Beyonce. Megan has said that her exact words when she heard Beyonce wanted to feature on the remix were “Shut the f*** up, I don’t believe it!”. The chemistry between the two ladies was undeniable and music journalists worldwide were in a frenzy, claiming that Megan and Beyonce “brought back the lost art of a killer remix” and “there was no other moment in music that year that demanded the collective attention of popular culture when it dropped like the “Savage” remix did.” The song became the first ever number one hit for Megan Thee Stallion on the Billboard Hot 100, and this is an interesting side note; when that happened it marked the first time in history four black women held the top two spots on the prestigious chart. The others were Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj on yet another remix, “Say So”. It also earned Megan three Grammy nominations including in the highly coveted “Record of the Year” category. Needless to say the “Savage” remix was a very welcome feel-good women’s empowerment anthem in the midst of the pandemic, which brings us to the title of the album “Good News”.
Megan Thee Stallion dropped “Good News” on November 20th 2020, the idea behind the title was clever as we were going through a global pandemic and we all needed to hear “some good news”. The album was produced by Dj Mustard, LilJuMadeDaBeat and D.A got that dope, amongst others. The track list also featured many Hip Hop stars such as Young Thug, City Girls, DaBaby, Big Sean and more.
The opening track of the album is titled “Shots fired”. To give you some more background, on July 15 2020, Megan claimed she was shot in the foot by fellow Hip Hop star Tory Lanez whilst she walked away from him. Megan had to get surgery to get the bullets removed and the case against Lanez is still pending. “Shots fired” is a diss track aimed at him in which she said:
And if it weren’t for me same week, you would have been indicted (should’ve let them lock your ass up) You offered M’s not to talk, I guess that made my friend excited, hmm Now y’all in cahoots, huh (okay), you a puss in boots You shot a 5’10” bitch with a .22
So the overall theme of her album is positivity and club-ready anthems but she didn’t shy away from also having a serious tone and using her voice to bring awareness to the seriousness of violence against black women.
Another noteworthy song off of the album is “Don’t Stop” featuring Young Thug. The theme is sex positivity. The captivating electronic beat reminds us of the iconic video game Street Fighter.
“Girls in the Hood” is a track that was released before the album, Megan performed it at the BET Awards. It sampled the famous 80s hip hop hit “Boyz-n-the-Hood” by Eazy-E and it surely delighted the audience from her generation and older.
The single that was promoted along with a music video when the album dropped was “Body”. The lyrics celebrated body positivity in all women. Megan bragged about her desirability and the song even starts off with a sample of a woman sexually moaning (do not press play on this song on loud speaker in public, you have been warned). But this is followed by a beat and a flow that is so bouncy that it definitely makes it one of the most fun songs off of the album. The song made it to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and as of today the video has amassed more than 55 million views on YouTube.
The other tracks are varied; they are sexy, fun, dance-routine-ready, upbeat and celebrate life which was Megan’s dominating idea.
The album cemented Megan Thee Stallion’s place as an undeniable force in Hip Hop. Pitchfork’s music reviewer Mankaprr Conteh sums it up well: “Even as Megan experiments with sounds that appeal to a wider audience, her hip-hop traditionalism remains undeniable.” She delivered a non stop array of very catchy hooks, which commercially was a very good idea, and had a noteworthy, very powerful flow that accompanied her very clever and witty lyrics. I challenge you to listen to “Body” without having the lyrics “Body-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody,” stuck in your mind for the rest of the day. She accompanied the release of her album with various television performances where she not only proved she could rap, but that she was a captivating performer and impressive dancer.
On the other hand, this album isn’t likely to stand the test of time because, the album is great today. It was filled with feel-good, upbeat, dance inducing, sex positive, fun songs, well needed in the midst of a global pandemic. But will this album remain a staple in Hip Hop’s history books? A little bit, not a lot if you compare it to an album such as 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Trying”.
As far as originality goes, today all female rappers rap about the same overall themes. So the lyrics are original and witty, but the themes are the ones in fashion at the moment.
Last but not least, the “Savage” remix was not Megan’s only number one hit in 2020, she also featured on fellow female rapper Cardi B’s hit song “WAP that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for four weeks. And speaking of, Cardi B is going to be the female rapper to watch in 2021. Stay tuned.