There’s a poignant moment in Megan Thee Stallion’s June interview with Rolling StoneHere she discusses why she was shot in her feet by Tory Lanez in 2020. Megan, after initially keeping the name secret, named her suspect and was quickly accused of lying. She faced a barrage of criticisms and skeptical.
She said that out of nowhere, she became a “villain” in a situation in which she was in fact, the victim. She wondered aloud, “I don’t know if people don’t take it seriously because I seem strong,” then continued: “Is it because I’m not light enough? Is it that I’m not white enough? Do you think I’m not the best shape? What about my height? Because I’m not petite? Do I not seem like I’m worth being treated like a woman?”
As Megan has become more famous, the battles she’s faced became tougher—both interpersonally and within herself. The 27-year-old Houston native has been in the spotlight for about four years now since she dropped “Cocky AF,” one of her first hit songs, blowing up further with tracks like “Savage,” “Hot Girl Summer” and the Cardi B collaboration “WAP.” Since then, she’s released five projects, a mixture of full-length albums, mixtapes, and EPs. The sixth album she released was “Cocky AF,” her sixth. TraumazineThe 18-track album, titled ‘The Journey,’ was released today. It features her thoughts and experiences through various struggles. They include her loss of her grandmother and mother, her struggle with fame and a difficult legal battle with her record label.
Continue reading TraumazineMegan alternates between removing every obstacle in her path and realizing that it will take more time to overcome some obstacles than others. These are her five most important takeaways.
Megan is mad, and it’s for a good reason.
Megan Thee Stallion went through many trials and tribulations over the last three-years. Each of those were under close scrutiny by the media. Megan Thee Stallion presents a caring, friendly persona via social media. But on her latest album, Megan wants to make sure listeners don’t get the wrong idea. She can be all of those positive things—but don’t try to cross her.
At the start of the album, Megan’s anger is raw and can be felt in her delivery of certain bars. On the opener, “NDA,” the tone of the production is dark and ominous as she raps about not being the person to mess with anymore: “Next one of y’all hoes wanna get bold, I’m gon’ check that/ And the next one of y’all blogs wanna spread lies, I’m gon’ sue you/ the next bitch that break my NDA, they goin’ for you too.” Megan then shows off her penchant for insults on “Not Nice” as she takes shots at the people who’ve done her wrong and surmises that people don’t take her seriously because she’s a Black woman. “I guess my skin not light enough, my dialect not white enough/ Or maybe I’m just not shaped the way to make these n—as give a f-ck.”
She shines when she’s at her most vulnerable
Being a good artist requires growth and relatability, two hallmarks of many of the songs in Megan’s discography. With Traumazine, we see her dig deeper into her insecurities on tracks like “Anxiety,” where she raps, “I’m a bad bitch, and I got bad anxiety,” and “Flip Flop,” where she talks about how fame can be isolating in not knowing who you can trust. She delivers one of the most gut-wrenching lines in the album on this song when she says, “If your mama and daddy still walkin’ this Earth/ Then you probably ain’t feelin’ my pain.”
Megan perfected her singing abilities for this record
On her projects, Megan tends to experiment with different sounds, and sometimes the risk doesn’t pay off—see: “Don’t Rock Me to Sleep” from Good News. That song faced criticism for its overtly bubblegum-pop flare, which seemed out of touch with the rapper’s sound. But she didn’t give up on experimenting, and now she’s managed to mold her singing into tracks that sound like her own. We see this in parts of “Flip Flop,” “Star” featuring Lucky Daye, and “Consistency” featuring Jhené Aiko, on which Megan harmonizes beautifully. Aiko and Daye’s names appearing on the tracklist was a shock to many, as the rapper doesn’t do features with R&B artists often, but it’s a risk that paid off.
She can pick the right collaborators to help a track.
Megan doesn’t need help making a song great. There are very few who can match her raucous rapping. But she picks carefully from these few. For “Scary,” Megan chose a rapper whose style fit the bill to a tee: Rico Nasty. The haunting track features a spooky production perfectly suited to Rico’s gothic flare and expressive rap delivery. Future and Key Glock (Memphis rapper) are also featured on this album. She pays homage to her hometown, inviting three famous Houston rappers—Sauce Walka, Lil’ Keke, and Big Pokey—to trade bars on “Southside Royalty Freestyle.”
Megan can be free with the help of this record.
Adrienne Heinz is a Stanford University trauma and addiction researcher. SELF that to process trauma, “You have to walk through it to get past it.” On Traumazine, it feels like we’re watching Megan do just that. We see the highs and the lows; it’s an intimate look into how she’s feeling.
But beyond her own emotional journey, there’s a legal one she’s been enduring, too. For the past two years, Megan has faced a legal battle with 1501 Certified Entertainment—the record label she initially signed with in 2018. She’s been wanting out of her contract for some time and sued the label in March 2020 for allegedly stopping her from releasing new music. Megan was required to release a specific number of albums under her label contract. After she released her previous project, “Something For Thee Hotties,” 1501 claimed the project was not an album, and Megan filed a countersuit arguing that it was. This album may fulfill Megan’s obligations if a judge agrees with her.
Alluding to these challenges, she tweeted: “Thank you hotties for rocking with me through the bullsh-t WE ALMOST OUT.” If this album does help her get out of her contract, it’ll be a poetic end to her time as the “1501 Queen” and a kind of rebirth of Megan Thee Stallion.
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