In a tumultuous year where the rapper has provided some much-needed bright spots, including her mega-hit “Savage” ruling TikTok and her “WAP” collaboration with Cardi B, the Hot Girl from Houston is wrapping up her headline-making 2020 with the “Good News” fans need.
The aptly-titled album, out Friday, focuses on the power of writing your own story and sends a message about the necessity of listening to Black women’s voices. The visuals from the rollout – where the rapper, whose real is name Megan Pete, stands with headlines all around her while holding a newspaper – are a nod to the constant swirl of news surrounding her.
“I want Black women to be louder. I want us to be sassier. I want us to demand more, be more outspoken, keep speaking and just keep demanding what you deserve,” the rapper told GQ in an interview published this week. “Don’t change – just get better. Grow from these situations. Don’t be beating yourself up about these situations, because that’d be a lot of problems too.”
“Good News” is stacked with features from SZA, DaBaby, City Girls, Lil Durk, Popcaan, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, plus her collabs on “Savage (Remix)” with Beyoncé and “Don’t Stop” with Young Thug.
Megan Thee Stallion’s ascent to a household name came at warp speed. She dropped EPs “Make It Hot” and “Tina Snow” in 2017 and 2018 while studying health administration at Texas Southern University. In 2019, she made her first Billboard Hot 100 entry with “Big Ole Freak” and dropped the critically-acclaimed “Fever” mixtape, both of which made headlines on the heels of her mother’s death from a brain tumor in March 2019.
Last summer’s “Hot Girl Summer” single and this year’s “Suga” EP capitalized on the momentum with songs that epitomize the Hot Girl spirit.
“When I’m writing my lyrics, I just want to be as out there as I can be because I want women to know we don’t have to put any limits on ourselves. If you want to go hard, go hard,” Megan told The Undefeated in a 2019 interview.
Over the last year, Megan Thee Stallion made headlines even more rapidly. She’s managed fallout and her own complex feelings after rapper Tory Lanez allegedly shot her in July. She turned her incident with Lanez, who she said wounded her after shooting at her feet following an altercation, into a moment of solidarity with Black women, who she wrote in a New York Times op-ed are “not protected as human beings.” (Megan is decidedly not burying the lede with what is likely her musical response on “Shots Fired,” the album’s leading track.)
In her own words:Megan Thee Stallion writes op-ed on protecting Black women
She delivered a defiant debut “Saturday Night Live” performance in October, where audio from activists played as the screens behind her flashed with a message: “Protect Black women.” She also criticized Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who declined to bring charges against the police involved in the Breonna Taylor case.
“I feel like just being an artist, waking up every day, voicing your own opinions is a risk… Just talking,” Megan told W Magazine in an interview published in August. “Being real is a risk.”
She’s not just the hip-hop du jour – she’s cemented herself as a mainstay in the industry, a go-to for bars oozing with confidence and a flow that punctuates exactly how lethal her lyrics are.
Her album will no doubt shape her story further.