Megan Thee Stallion continues to show that she’s a great rapper even if that means she hasn’t made a great album just yet.
From the first few seconds of “Shots Fired,” the very first track of Megan Thee Stallion’s Good News, it became abundantly clear that the Texas-born rapper isn’t taking kindly to being disrespected anymore. A few months ago, Megan was at the center of a massive controversy when she claimed that Torey Lanez shot her in the foot. Lanez then responded by saying she lied and he didn’t shoot her which led to her being constantly scrutinized on social media. The now-ridiculed Toronto rapper then took it upon himself to release a whole album dedicated to slandering Megan. So what did she do? She retaliated with one of this year’s most searing songs.
Megan’s rapping on the aforementioned track is cutthroat, vicious, and very much angry. And why shouldn’t she be? Since her breakout mixtape Fever, she’s proved over and over again that her rapping skills are among the best in the industry right now. Though she channels this energy through much of her debut album, at times she seems to be a better rapper than album artist.
Good News is made up of hits, for better or for worse. On “Body,” Megan crafts an annoyingly catchy hook built for the TikTok machine. It’s simple and couples with a dance move sure to ruin people’s knees, but the repetitive “Body-ody-ody-ody” will only be attractive for so long before it becomes the world’s most overplayed song. Still, even with these issues, Megan’s verses are as sharp as they’ve been.
The 25-year old rapper shines brightest when she avoids attempting to make pop-music and when she doubles down on her hypersexual aggressive flows like on “Do It On The Tip” with City Girls. The track is expectedly raunchy but packs a fiery punch as the southern rappers all fit together as perfectly as one could imagine.
“Circles” features a beautiful sample of “Holding You Down (Goin’ in Circles)” from Jazmine Sullivan and sees Megan rapping some of her best verses on the album. It also features a better hook, something Megan struggles with.
Megan’s collaboration with SZA on the exquisite “Freaky Girls” is the apex of the album. SZA’s rare appearance is a sight to behold and she sings the best hook on the album with a fervour that only makes me want to hear her new project that much more.
For as much as Megan does right on this album, Good News is burdened with a few lazy attempts at making pop tracks that simply don’t work that well. “Don’t Rock Me To Sleep” is a boring autotuned affair that adds nothing to the Megan Thee Stallion story. It’s a retread on her sexual lyrics masked by a glittery pop instrumental. “Intercourse” sees Megan collaborating with Popcaan on what sounds like a leftover track from Drake’s Views sessions. Popcaan’s vocals are decent and fit the theme of hypersexuality, but Megan’s crossover into dancehall is unnatural.
The album effectively ends with “Outside” (the three tracks following it are previously-released singles that one could call bonus tracks) which is akin to Drake’s reflective outros on each of his projects. It’s reflective and insanely confident which only points to a brighter future for Megan. If she can start cutting the fat on her albums and removing her attempts at going pop, then perhaps she has a classic album in her.
Until then, we’ll have to deal with yet another good Megan Thee Stallion project with only a few blemishes. She continues to prove that she’s a great rapper who’s just shy of achieving greatness as an artist.
Trial Track: “Shots Fired”