Snapshots of the Many Megan Thee Stallions

Snapshots of the Many Megan Thee Stallions

Snapshots of the Many Megan Thee Stallions

Snapshots of the Many Megan Thee Stallions

In her songs, videos and expert Instagram presence, Megan preaches to her fellow “hotties” a doctrine of self-love through body positivity and unabashed celebrations of female sexual pleasure. Megan may cut a singular figure — standing 5’10”, as she reminds in several of her songs — but the radical power of her music is in the contagious confidence it inspires in all sorts of bodies. “People say I’m full of myself,” she raps on the lively Young Thug collaboration “Don’t Stop.” “You’re right, and I ain’t even made it to dessert.”

If anything, “Good News” could have used more of that Megan-featuring-Megan singularity. It sometimes gets stymied by high-profile but ultimately unnecessary features, a recurring major-label-debut cliché. Guests like SZA, on the winning throwback “Freaky Girls,” or the Los Angeles duo City Girls on the rowdy “Do It on the Tip” fare better, though, than most of their male counterparts. On the lopsided “Movie,” Lil Durk’s sensual imagination sounds vague and uninspired next to Megan’s. The dancehall star Popcaan similarly breaks the show-don’t-tell rule during an awkward hook that finds him crooning, quite literally, “Sexuallll innnnnntercourse.”

One of the album’s most compelling moments comes on “Circles,” when Megan briefly lets down the armor of her impenetrable Hot Girl persona: “Bullet wounds, backstabs, mama died, still sad,” she raps. “My clothes fit tight, but my heart need a seamstress.”

That’s a double-take moment, though it’s delivered almost as an aside. A few other striking lines pass too quickly, when Megan flashes glimpses of a personhood much more richly dimensional than the supernaturally empowered avatar that dominates the rest of “Good News.”

In “Shots Fired,” Megan offers an allusion to the Breonna Taylor case, deftly connecting her own experience of gun violence to the larger systemic injustices faced by Black women (and recalling a forceful op-ed she recently wrote for The New York Times). In a much lighter moment, Megan commands her man to please her while she’s busy watching anime and makes a reference to the manga “Naruto,” casually flexing her low-key geek bona fides.

Megan Thee Stallion clearly contains multitudes upon multitudes, and toggled between so many this year: the candid exhumation of her personal trauma on social media, the courage to make political statements about race and gender on “Saturday Night Live,” the bold and carefree erotic bliss she embodies in her music videos. They haven’t all found effective ways into her music — yet. “Good News” proves Megan’s prodigious talent, but it also suggests that, with a bit more digging, this gem could emit an even more prismatic shine.

Megan Thee Stallion
“Good News”
(1501 Certified/300 Entertainment)


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