Since her breakout after the success of her single “Big Ol’ Freak” in 2018, Megan Thee Stallion’s career has continued to reach new heights, collaborating with the likes of Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé all before she’s released an official album. That is until Thursday night, when Megan dropped her highly anticipated debut album, with an additional list of all-star features, titled Good News.
In the short span of what is only the early stages of her career, Megan Thee Stallion has been co-signed by legendary artists such as Jay Z and Rihanna and has already mastered the success of social media.
Her songs “Savage” and “Captain Hook” from her previous EP SUGA have had viral dances on Tik Tok, one of which earned Megan her first number 1 hit on Billboard. In addition, her overall social media presence is infectious, as she’s often seen twerking and “driving the boat” with friends and other celebrities, as well as using her platform to speak on injustice, especially after having recently experienced some hardship herself.
In July, Megan was the victim of a shooting involving rapper Tory Lanez; consequently, she experienced injuries in both her feet before being taken to a hospital for treatment. After the public was informed a few days after the incident, negative comments ensued on social media that Megan later had to address as a result of being gaslighted and accused of lying. Thankfully, the outpour of support from fans and fellow Black women celebrities outweighed the hate she received.
Correspondingly, Good News opens in bold fashion with “Shots Fired,” a blatant diss towards Tory Lanez (and perhaps other unknown, unnamed persons involved in the shooting incident), referring to the rapper as a “a pussy nigga with a pussy gun in his feelings.” The song cleverly samples Notorious BIG’s “Who Shot Ya?” to add an extra layer of self-awareness and punch to accompany the audacious lyrics. In the following song “Circles,” she continues subverting haters who sided with Lanez on social media as well as the men who have thrown unnecessary criticism her way stating, “We ain’t going back and forth with the little boys.”
Of course, listeners are familiar with charting singles like “Girls in the Hood,” “Don’t Stop” (featuring Young Thug), and the number one hit “Savage” (featuring Beyonce) that appear consecutively at the end of Good News. Though, there is a song or two that have been accused of missing the mark regarding the album’s sound by critics on social media; namely, the 13th track “Don’t Rock Me To Sleep.”
However, in her review of Megan’s album for Girl’s United, Brooklyn White calls the song “strategic” given the song’s likelihood to succeed on Tik Tok among the Gen Z audience. White further concludes Megan trying a new sound “sidesteps comments about predictability—one that Megan’s fiercest detractors love to rely on—but on her own terms.”
There are also a handful of high energy songs on this album incorporating playful lyrics. For example, on “Sugar Baby” Megan humorously states, “Invest in this pussy boy, support Black business.” These kinds of songs keep the album light-hearted while she delivers disses for more serious situations elsewhere, which I think perfectly encapsulates the “Good News” album concept.
Artists featured throughout the album include SZA, City Girls, Dababy, Big Sean and more. These songs alongside featured artists are my personal favorites on the album. Notably, on a debut album, too many features could drown or outshine the artist who is trying to establish their own artistic ability and musical presence. However, all the features on this album showcase such great chemistry accompanying Megan, complimenting her style effortlessly.
Overall, Good News is the level of quality I expect from Megan coupled with a few hints of experimental sounds that left me pleasantly surprised. The album is well produced, as Megan collaborates with producers like Juicy J and Lil Ju who have worked with her on past EPs. With each project, the Houston rapper continues challenging her sound and production while staying true to her signature confident, sex-positive lyrics.
Megan Thee Stallion is only in competition with herself. For all of the adversity she’s been through, Megan impressively and consistently raises the bar with each EP, single, verse, and now album she puts out. Megan was recently named rapper of the year by GQ, is tied with Drake and Justin Bieber for most award nominations at the BET Hip Hop Awards and People’s Choice Awards, will soon grace the cover of TIME magazine, and even had a powerful op-ed published in the New York Times titled, “Why I speak up for Black women.”
Four years on after her staple 2016 cypher, which laid the foundation that put her on the map, Megan Thee Stallion is still bringing what is expected of her and more, proving she’s here for the long haul. And we are here for it too.
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