Megan Thee Stallion is one of the biggest breakout stars of 2020, and with good reason. In her short career, the Houston rapper has already established herself as one of the strongest hip-hop artists in the game, with songs defined by clever lyrics, hard-hitting beats and superior flow. Her most popular tracks — “Savage,” “Cash Shit” and “Hot Girl Summer,” to name a few — rose to popularity for their unfiltered, braggadocious charm, and her first studio album Good News is another step in that direction. Good News successfully explores many of the same themes that appear in Megan’s past works: her value for independence, unapologetic ownership of her own sexuality and the hard work that she’s put in to get where she is today.
The album begins on a strong note with “Shots Fired,” a searing diss track aimed at rapper Tory Lanez, who shot Megan earlier this year and then released an album in which he discussed the event extensively. In “Shots Fired,” Megan puts Lanez in his place as she calls him out for using the event for clout, rapping “Keep your broke ass out a rich bitch business” atop a fitting sample of The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya?” “Shots Fired” is the perfect opener; Megan makes it clear to her haters that if they “send a shot,” she’ll “send it right back.”
On the next song, “Circles,” Megan samples R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan’s ruminative track “Holding You Down (Goin’ in Circles).” This song is anything but melancholy, however: Megan clarifies that “Circles” is meant for “every bad bitch” as she raps, “We ain’t goin’ back and forth with the lil’ boys.” With this, she reminds listeners of her unwavering independence and confidence; she’ll never let a man distract her, and neither will any of her “bad bitch” fans.
“Cry Baby” is another strong point at the beginning of the album, a bass-heavy collaboration with rapper DaBaby about the artists’ sexual prowess. Megan’s last collaboration with DaBaby, “Cash Shit,” is a tough act to follow: The single went platinum twice and was one of the most popular songs of 2019. However, Megan’s chemistry with DaBaby is as strong as ever on “Cry Baby” as she establishes herself as the alpha in any sexual situation and describes the power she holds over her partners, rapping, “Moaning like a bitch when he hit this pussy/ Damn, he probably wanna wear my hoodie.”
Though the album begins on a strong note, it starts to feel slightly repetitive toward the middle. The next several tracks are catchy, but less memorable. “Movie,” “Freaky Girls” and “Work That” repeat the same themes and sounds as the many of the other songs on Good News, and their placement in the middle of the album make them border on forgettable.
The variety picks up, however, with “Intercourse,” a tropical-sounding track produced by Jamaican DJ Popcaan. Though she’s still rapping about her love of sex, Megan experiments with new sounds and styles on “Intercourse,” adding some diversity to the album. She continues to push boundaries with “Don’t Rock Me to Sleep,” a synth-pop song in which she sings about the sadness that accompanies the end of a relationship and the confidence that comes with the start of a new one. These two tracks provide a change of pace that reminds listeners of Megan’s artistic breadth and talent.
The album ends with three hits that fans already know and love: “Savage Remix,” “Girls in the Hood” and “Don’t Stop.” On these songs, Megan is doing what she does best — flaunting her success, emphasizing her sex appeal and reminding listeners of her work ethic. On “Girls in the Hood,” Megan speaks for herself and all the other ambitious women like her when she raps, “The girls in the hood are always hard/ Ever since sixteen, I been havin’ a job/ You could check the throwback pics, I been that bitch.” The line is a play on the iconic N.W.A. song “Boyz-n-the Hood,” which she samples on the track. However, Megan makes it clear that this time, it’s the girls’ turn to produce legendary music and make rap history — and with Good News, she’s leading the way.
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