By Daniel Paiz
As the tumultuous year of 2020 begins to reach its end, so too do these A Week’s Worth album reviews. Megan Thee Stallion feels fitting when it comes to representing a tumultuous year. From legal battles to chart-topping songs to getting shot and now a debut album, Stallion has seen all of the ups and downs. Good News kind of reflects the news cycles we’ve become used to: lots of information, but leaving us wondering what the next steps are.
Good News for Megan’s Hotties…
If you are a fan of Stallion, then this project delivers. It is 17 tracks of Megan flexing her skills, working her agency and expressing that money and fun are racking up for her on the daily. Empowerment is at the forefront of this project, and those who are hating or just creating barriers need not apply such wasted efforts anymore.
The biggest hit is immediately after pressing play, as Good News sounds like it’s going to be a response album. Tory Lanez is put in his place for his very strange and awkward actions with his alleged shooting of Megan back in July. It’s no surprise the H-Town product wanted to put this issue to bed and get it out of the way; she airs out what happened, her response, and Lanez’ questionable behavior.
Tracks two through 17 are various iterations of Stallion’s skill set: clever lines, catchy tracks that have a tie-in to previous Hip Hop history, and her never-ending attitude that really brightens this album. Her braggadocio and confidence are two of her strongest assets. Freaky Girls featuring SZA, Go Crazy featuring Big Sean and 2 Chainz, and Girls in the Hood are the standout tracks for me. This album is the next step in terms of growth and shows what the WAP rapper has the potential of achieving.
…but not as much for those of us who are still figuring out Stallion
Perhaps I should rephrase this heading, it’s not so much figuring out Megan. It’s more so wondering what career path she’s working to chart. It doesn’t seem that different than where Nicki Minaj and Cardi B went, creating financial opportunities both in and outside of the music industry. But perhaps that’s just a starting point for the Houston rapper.
I can definitely understand I’m not the target audience for this project, and why I might be missing some of what makes Stallion so popular. She’s had a traumatic year and by way of being her own advocate, has come out the other side stronger. That’s perseverance in continual action and I can appreciate that. This album is the culmination of that perseverance and displays what she can do, unfiltered and honest.
What I’m seeking that’s a work in progress is the lyrical skill set. Make no mistake, Megan has clever lines that are scattered in between braggadocio that dominate throughout. However, it feels that there’s more there that isn’t being tapped into yet. I’m not expecting a Rapsody or Sa-Roc level of lyricism out of this rapper; that isn’t her lane or her forte.
Some are claiming this artist is a “breath of fresh air” for Hip Hop. I don’t have an issue per say with that. But it’s because of the mood and message, not so much because of the bars themselves. The first example that comes to mind would be from my favorite track from the album, Go Crazy:
A bitch can't check me, can't disrespect me (Shh) A shot can't hit me if it's sent indirectly Hoes can't see me with this rap and the fashion Bitch, you know I'm fire, you can't drag a dragon (Ah) I used to be patient Now I'm on some ski mask shit, bitch, I'm anxious (Yeah) Hoes talkin' cash shit, but can't make a payment (What?) Carnivore, I'ma eat up any bitch who play me Forty-inch long black weave like Morticia (Yeah) Applyin' so much pressure to these hoes, they gettin' blisters (Gettin' blisters) I'ma buy it twice so my shoes got sisters (Got sisters) I only want a nigga on my birthdays and Christmas Mean girl, I ain't lettin' bitches sit with us -Megan The Stallion, Go Crazy, verse 3
There’s some vivid imagery, clever bars, etc. Kind of odd to say “a shot can’t hit me if it’s sent indirectly” though for a few reasons. One, it could be obviously pointing to the Lanez situation, or two, it could be saying subliminal lines don’t phase her. So yes, there’s a bit of double entendre there, potentially. But at the same time, it’s a subliminal saying subliminal lines don’t work?
This album has dozens of lines like this. I can understand not addressing every single detractor or attention-seeking Twitter user on an album, that’d be a waste of time. I guess I’m just hoping for lines that make me reread them several times and still feel like I’m deciphering a possible reading of the line, as opposed to getting the line much quicker a couple of listens in.
Definitely need to adjust my expectations to be sure. It just seems like Megan has the ability to deliver lines that both speak to her core fanbase but also helps her to aim at being the best as well.
Fans all over the internet are loving this album and I get why. It has plenty of tracks that can be played over and over and sonically provide a fun release from 2020. If you’re looking for fun and the much needed empowerment of Black women by a Black woman, then this tape will stay on repeat for you.
Agency and representation are two things that are difficult to obtain in the mainstream due to how the music industry is set up. More artists and projects like this will help to keep chipping away at the misogyny still rampant in Hip Hop and music at large. Unfortunately for this pop-focused rapper, that takes away from some of the lyrical potential Megan Thee Stallion clearly has.
Time will tell if Stallion truly blazes her own trail, or gallops down the same path of hip hop to pop stardom.