Texas rapper Megan Thee Stallion has become one of the most popular artists in all of hip hop right now. With the smash hits “Savage”, “Captain Hook”, “Girls in the Hood”, and “WAP” under her belt, it’s no question why mainstream outlets like BET and Apple Music have given her a plethora of awards. This weekend, the 25-year-olds illustrious year has reached its climax as her highly anticipated debut album Good News is finally out. With all eyes on her, will Megan Thee Stallion prove she’s here for good, or will she become the game’s next “one-hit wonder”?
Although she’s similar to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B in her subject matter, Megan Thee Stallion’s flash and flare is something commercial hip hop needed from a female figure. Her confidence is over the top, and while her constant demand for material and sexual pleasure can get annoying on cuts like “Body” and “Do It On The Tip”, the swagger showed from “Circles” to “Don’t Stop” is ultimately refreshing. Building on this, the knowledge under her abrasive delivery continues to separate her from the competition. From reading through the intentions of men and women around her on “Sugar Baby” to handling disputes with haters on “What’s New”, it’s evident Megan is no fool. “Outside” was a definite highlight as Thee Stallion embraces her passion for sex and flips Future’s iconic phrase saying that she is “the streets” (instead of belonging to it). Furthering this, “Work” and her now-iconic Beyoncé collaboration “Savage Remix”, continue to cleverly package up her thoughts and ideas towards her lust and desires. Still, I wish she kept it at this as moments on “Intercourse” and “Don’t Rock Me to Sleep” are grossly vulgar but, more importantly, painfully unoriginal. Rounding out the record, there’s a series of collaboration tracks that make for some hard-hitting bangers. Despite being stale in their content, “Movie” with Lil Durk and “Go Crazy” with Big Sean and 2 Chainz show Meg’s ability to create and bind together connected stories with the opposite gender. At the helm of this is the extremely erotic “Cry Baby”, which joins Thee Stallion with Dababy for a fun anthem where the two describe various experiences they’ve had in bed. “Freaky Girls” was another standout as SZA’s chilling vocals fit perfectly with Megan’s technically proficient songwriting. Out of all its highlights, “Shots Fired” is the ultimate peak as Megan shows her true MC skills as she flips Biggie’s classic “Who Shot Ya?” into a cold-blooded diss at Tory Lanez, who shot her in the foot this July. Even with its overly stated sexual themes, Megan Thee Stallion certainly proves her worth as a respectable rapper.
Behind the boards, Good News is masterfully crafted into one of the most intuitive soundtracks the mainstreams seen all year. There’s so much beauty and fan service buried in this LP it’s impossible not to appreciate it. From sampling Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya?” on the intro to the insertion of classic southern drums on “Do It On The Tip”, there’s something here for all fans. A highpoint of this is the Scott Storch produced “Girls in the Hood”, which flips and modernizes the iconic Eazy E hit “Boyz-n-d-Hood”. “Go Crazy” was another standout as its beautifully rendered sample of The Jackson 5’s “ABC” plays into the rest of the track seamlessly. Out of all these gloriously sampled instrumentals, “Circles” is the surefire peak as its chopped-up vocals from the classic Jazmine Sullivan record “Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)” comes together angelically over the fast-paced trap drums. Complementing its mastery sampling, the banging beats of “Sugary Baby” and “Outside” keep the LP’s creativity flowing. “Cry Baby” is at the pinnacle of this as it’s high pitched slowed down vocal renditions are intoxicating and transcending to digest. From “Movie” to “Work That”, the high attention to detail is a testament to the production team’s skill, which was led by master engineer MIKE DEAN. With this profuse soundscape, the only real complaint can be found in cuts like “Body” and “Intercourse”, which feel like standard twerking anthems. As a whole, the versatility and craftsmanship embedded in this project makes it a journey like no other.
Walking away from Good News, I’m shockingly surprised at how enjoyable it was. Megan Thee Stallion proves she will be the new face of female rap going forward as her cocky attitude, lyrical proficiency, and ability to turn to up give her a skill set no other female can match. While her performance is exceptionally engaging, what sells the record is its high-quality production style, which thrives at reimagining classic songs into ambient trap bangers. As time goes on, I’m not sure how the success of Megan Thee Stallion’s debut will affect her artistic direction, but for the time being, she is undisputedly the best female rapper in mainstream hip hop.
- Amazing/versatile production
- Perfect use of samples
- Megan’s flash and flare is fun to watch unfold for the most part
- Megan’s proves she is a legit MC
- Solid features
- Overly sexual themes end up ruining entire tracks
- Twerking/sex anthems are obnoxious and over the top
- Lack of topical diversity
Written by: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator founder and owner of Fantastic Hip Hop