Megan Thee Stallion – Good News

Good News

Megan Thee Stallion

2020 – Hip Hop / Rap

300 Entertainment 

The long-awaited American rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s debut is full of good production, sharp lyrics, fun and empowerment. However, even so, it seems to cross the line of enough.

While several artists used the 2020 social isolation period to create sad and intimate albums about the feelings, stories and memories that emerged during the quarantine, Megan Thee Stallion had a different view. According to her, she wanted this project, her debut album, to be something cheerful and empowered, the good news in the midst of so much bad news. She told Apple Music, “I feel like I had to name my album Good News because we’ve been hearing so much bad news. It’s like, ‘Okay, look, Megan Thee Stallion finally coming with the good news’.” Indeed, the first full studio album by the American rapper is this good news ― full of empowerment, sensuality, fun and great production ― however, it still sounds overwhelming, loaded and saturated at times.

Good News comes in the era that many like to call “Post-WAP” ― the collaboration with Cardi B that was likely the trigger for Stallion’s success ― and “Post-Lanez” ― which refers to the case of Tory Lanez shooting in Stallion. For many this may not seem like a big deal, however, it was from this transition that Megan became much more than a great musician. She stopped simply making erotic songs that were outlined within the standards of hit songs and started taking her work to a much bigger place. Now, she starts to talk about her feelings in songs that leave the skills of rap aside, starts to talk about her sexual preferences even more deliberately, plays with haters and fills her lungs with an empowered air that she spits during almost an hour in various ways. All of this defines Good News, a debut that has an excellent and sharp production with lyrics that flow naturally and easily between different subjects and that can stand on a high heel 15 even at its lowest points.

Even though Good News is an album that leaves no flaws in its technical, it still seems to suffer from something basic: personality. The closest point at which we can connect a connecting line between Megan is probably Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Both singers are American rappers who have always used erotic and sensual lyrics, heavy synthesizers and empowerment in their songs. However, more than that, they put personality in everything they sang ― Nicki and her laughs and Cardi B with her “skrrr.” In the case of Stallion, however, you miss something that makes all the songs here more unique, just like what happens when you hear “Anaconda” and easily associate it with Minaj and “Like It” with Cardi B. The closest thing to it is when Megan says “Ah,” almost as if she were sticking out her tongue. However, this is not good and memorable enough, and over time it sounds tiring. So, in this way, Good News seems, for the most part, an extremely well-produced album that doesn’t seem to want to go much further than that.

However, again, this does not mean that Good News is bad or incapable of creating successful and great tracks. On the contrary, here, Stallion was able to work with great production and varied lyrics that result in several captivating and memorable songs. On the album’s opener, “Shots Fired,” she starts with a right foot and a raised nose. Directly, strongly and even mockingly, she talks about the case of the shooting, false friendships and even the case of Breonna Taylor. She sings, “Imagine me entertaining you fuckin ‘goofy-ass niggas and you fuckin’ goofy-ass bitches.” However, much more than opening up about her feelings, she knows how to measure it and doesn’t talk about it again in the rest of the project ― she put it out and now it’s time to move on. Fortunately, it also opens the door to many other great songs.

Within the set of the best songs are both those in which Stallion is confident of herself in various aspects and those in which Stallion dares to experiment lightly and minimally. “Circles,” which features a synthetic voice and dark beats in the background, is one of the album’s memorable ones with Megan singing about relationship problems. She sings, “Cause the dick come and go, but I’m ridin’ past E.” “Sugar Baby,” in turn, in addition to a simple but great instrumental, shows a different empowerment: Megan wants a guy who has money and spends on her, however, he can’t say what she can or can’t do with the money. The moments when she also tries something more different, the sonic atmosphere and cinematic lyrics of “Movie” and the turn to R&B in “Freaky Girls,” with SZA, are great examples of Stallion’s diversity. Even the easiest songs on the album, like “Do It On The Tip,” that can only be maintained thanks to basic repetitions, are very good. However, the strongest point is “Don’t Rock Me to Sleep,” in which Megan appears on a catchy pop song singing about a broken heart. The most different, possibly the best too.

However, not everything on Good News is rosy since several tracks here, in the end, sounded like exaggerated and forced attempts to shock people and create generic-successful songs. The best example is “Body” which works around the groans of women, which seem to have come out of a porn film, alongside basic trap beats. In the same hand, “Cry Baby,” with DaBaby, appears as another uncomfortable track, using strange and frightening baby sounds while both singers basically talking about sex. Finally, “Intercourse,” with Mustard & Popcaan, is the most displaced song on the album, looking like an extremely failed attempt by Stallion to try to reach the Spotify audience that likes Reggaeton. Of course, we can’t deny that these tracks are noteworthy, however, for the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the album, Good News seems to get lost. This is due to the fact that most of the final tracks are irrelevant and sound like fillers within the entire context. An example of this is “Savage Remix,” with Beyoncé, which seems to be here only to be notorious that Good News features Beyoncé. In addition, tracks like “Go Crazy,” with Big Sean & 2 Chainz, “Girls in the Hood” and “Don’t Stop,” with Young Thug, are not necessarily bad since, again, they are well produced, but they are the kind of tracks you hear and you will quickly be unable to remember how they sound. Fortunately, at no time do these tracks sound like bad news, maybe, at most, repeated news, keeping the album’s promise to be just good news.

LISTEN: Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal

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