Megan Thee Stallion’s New Album Is a Coronation

On the latest episode of Club Shay Shay, host Shannon Sharpe opens the celebrity interview series with an apology to Megan Thee Stallion. “For any unwanted attention, harm, shame, embarrassment that I caused you or your family, I wanna say as a man, as I sit here before you, I apologize,” he said. And Megan, the three-time Grammy Award-winning artist accepts.

She shouldn’t have to.

At a young age, Megan Thee Stallion has given herself to the world. From freestyles uploaded to social media platforms, to back and forth tweeting sessions with the “Hotties”, her aptly titled fanbase, and her long forgotten YouTube vlog series, where we saw the emergence of a young Texas Southern University student transform into a superstar, the world has sat by as this woman has experienced the greatest accomplishments and heartbreaking losses of her life. Through it all, Megan Thee Stallion has operated with grace.

Rumors of her sacrificing her late mother for fame? Operated with grace. Rumors of her attacking her assailant Tory Lanez? Operated with grace. Rumors of her going under the knife? Operated with grace. Now, her grace, at times, has been inundated with anger. A feeling that originates from a deep-seated place of disappointment not only by her peers, but herself from believing and trusting in her counterparts in the music industry.

Many years wiser, Megan Thee Stallion is not the Southern sweetheart who entered the music. She is an award-winning, critically acclaimed artist who has finally released Megan, her third solo album, which feels more like a debut, even though she is currently performing her whole body of work on the Hot Girl Summer Tour, where hit songs, like “Thot Shit”, “Plan B” and “Big Ole Freak” blast from the rafters of arenas. Megan is the culmination of all that came before it and all that is to come. Because there’s no longer Tina Snow to protect Megan. Or Hot Girl Meg to turn up. It’s just Megan, and that should scare you…or her opps at least.

To be honest, Megan is a fuck you to them. It is a reversal and a return to sender candle, all wrapped up, in one beautiful auditory package. From the moment “HISS” drops and Megan says “I just wanna kick this shit off by sayin’ fuck y’all”, the tone has been set, and the intention is clear. She has come to eviscerate each and every one of y’all.

In the spirit of this, it is quite fitting the rapper decided to appear on Club Shay Shay. The Katt Williams episode is credited with opening up a portal of violence from celebrities to air out their grievances with each other. If Katt Williams chose violence, then Megan threw the first brick.

There would be no “Not Like Us” without “HISS”. Megan’s contribution to the Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef is often overlooked and very uncredited, but she was the first one to ignite the spark. As we venture into “Rattle”, the flame grows. Megan begins to feed the flames with parables of betrayal by her female peers, betrayal by her ex-partner, and the betrayal of herself for being too friendly with friends who turned out to be her enemies. But no more. Similarly to Rhaenyra Targaryen’s decision to go to war, Megan Thee Stallion has decided to wage war on her enemies.

On “Where Them Girls At”, a LilJuMadeDaBeat-produced track that samples twerk team classic “Booty Me Down” by Kstylis, Megan calls out to her Hotties. One can say it is the sexiest draft anthem ever made. When she performed the song at the 2024 BET Awards, she was surrounded by a militia of army green, femme hotties who performed alongside her. Keep in mind, a number of her adversaries were in attendance, watching as she opened up the awards show and ended her performance, with another reminder of Megan’s disdain towards them.

She has her army. By the end of the album, she’ll have you. Depending on her relationship to you, the end result might be a night in the bedroom or in the confessional talking to a priest about penance. You choose.

In many ways, her bold proclamations of violence are a warm reprieve for the decades-long belief that women in hip-hop should be a united front, when the same is not asked of men. Women and girls are taught to be in community with one another, to look out for one another, to see the best in each other. Unfortunately, that belief system and train of thought put Megan in harm’s way. For the past four years, her female counterparts have engaged in Internet fodder and gossip about her. The girl’s girl became the main subject of attack. Now, it’s time for Megan to fight back.

Sex and sexuality are powerful tools in Megan’s arsenal. Since her debut, the rapper has always spoken highly about her attraction to women. Clips from the tour have gone viral of her reading fan-made signs about pride or LGBTQ rights. At one tour stop, a fan made Megan the emblem of a bisexual flag. So, when Megan confirmed her bisexuality on “Broke His Heart”, it felt like a very fitting tribute to LGBTQIA+ people who have always felt connected to her. Also, the topping reference on “Miami Blue” is a nod and a wink to any and all potential suitors.

Yes, it is refreshing to hear a woman, specifically a Black woman, talk about their sexuality with acclaim. But it is radical for a woman like Megan, who has had her sexuality be used against her, reclaim it in a way that recenters her pleasure. Oftentimes, survivors like Megan are supposed to enter the world post-assault in a conservative fashion in order to be accepted back into society. Survivors are told to not be too abrasive, too mean — or the world will say you deserve it. But Megan has elected to center herself and her pleasure in lieu of societal expectations of her.

In her society, she is allowed to live out her childhood dream of rapping with UGK on a Juicy J beat. To have gone to hell and back, only to return with an unreleased Pimp C verse is every little Houston girl’s dream. Houston and The South are a great source of power for Megan. You can hear a little bit of Holly-Wood, her mother’s stage name, in one of her raps. This album is as much her mother’s as it is hers. The Teena Marie sample on “B.A.S.”, Holly. Going hard on “Accent”, a track for real Southern country bitches with her tourmate Glorilla, Holly. Paper Together, Holly. We are all our mother’s daughters, and Megan is hers.

But the cracks do show on “Moody Girl” where the rapper discloses how the series of betrayals and back-to-back losses have impacted her mental psyche. Throughout her career, Megan has made mention of her mental health and made steps to uplift awareness. In spite of that, she feels unfulfilled in many ways. A side effect of the betrayal is the inability to connect or feel connected to anyone since everyone she loves has either died or hurt her.

Records such as “Otaku Hot Girl” and “Mamushi”, coupled with her recent trip to Japan, give us promise Megan is on the other side of her sorrows, that joy has come for her in the morning, and that this album will not lead her to be overthrown but provide her with a new state of mind. Megan Thee Stallion is not attempting to be rap’s new supreme, but the leader of her own sovereign, independent kingdom. And we should let her.

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Taylor Crumpton

Taylor Crumpton is a music, pop culture, and politics writer from Dallas. In her work—which can be found in outlets like The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, The Guardian, NPR, and many other platforms—Crumpton writes about a range of topics from Black Queer advocacy to the underrepresented hip-hop scenes in the southern United States to pop analysis on releases like “WAP” and “Black Is King.”

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  1. I absolutely love your description of the album as “a reversal and a return to sender candle.” I’m so glad Megan is getting to say her piece, that the tour seems to be going well (if only she was coming to my city……), and that she’s having a great time with her cosplays and whatnot. She deserves it all and then some!

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