Unflinching hits that never falter in tone and consistency
Jessie Atkinson
13:37 20th November 2020

We definitely needed some and November delivered. Good news came in the way of Biden’s triumph over Trump, and the confirmation that two separate vaccines are likely usable on the population within months. To top off the month that redeemed 2020, Megan Thee Stallion delivers one of the best records of the year.

Though billed as her debut album, Megan Pete already has a formidable back catalogue of stark material, first introducing herself as one of the world’s incumbent rap supremes back in 2017. With Tik Tok viral moment ‘Savage’ and a star appearance on tune of the year ‘WAP’ with Cardi B, 2020 was set up as her moment. Over a 17-track body of work, Meg follows through.

From top to bottom, Good News vibrates with the infectious confidence and defiance of Meg’s straight-to-camera flow. That burning, unapologetic sense of self she first demonstrated back at the beginning of Trump’s presidency reaches its apogee here across a spread of tracks that differ in production and even genre but that never falter in tone and consistency.

As neatly proven on ‘WAP’, Meg cannot be overshadowed, no matter how talented her co-star. On Good News, that’s made even clearer as link-ups with Big Sean, Young Thug and Popcaan see the lead artist’s flow far outstrip that of her co-stars. Even turns with SZA, and Beyoncé on the eagerly-received ‘Savage Remix’, see Meg come out on top. Ever-solid, Meg's position as the female foil to the male rapper stereotype never wavers, ensuring her incisive lyrics about sex, money and social justice and unblinking flow come out on top. "Don't fuck me like that, fuck me like this" she notes as an aside on DaBaby feature 'Cry Baby', a line that shows the hand she plays to great effect again and again.

Meg explores many shades of popular music across the 50 minutes of Good News, from dancehall on the brazen ‘Intercourse’ to 90s pop and even disco on ‘Don’t Rock Me To Sleep’. At every turn, Meg keeps up the pace.

“I’m sick of motherfuckers telling me how to live” she spits on ‘Girls in the Hood’, and that's just the position Meg assumes from beginning to end. "Oh, he want a bad bitch? Well I want a n***** with some money and a long dick" she raps deadpan on 'Sugar Baby'. At almost every line, Meg presents writing that screams to be pulled out and celebrated or analysed. 

There are plenty of excellent moments on this splendid debut, but it’s on album opener ‘Shots Fired’ that Meg makes her case most clearly. Mid-takedown of Tory Lanez - who reportedly shot her in the foot earlier this year - Meg spits: "Now here we are, 2020, 8 months later and we still ain't got no fucking justice for Breonna Taylor." It's a breathtaking moment that presents Megan Thee Stallion as 2020 rapper supreme. Yes, every song is killer. Yes, her flow is unflinching. But at the heart of it, she is unrivalled when it comes to telling it how it is: for herself and for her community.

Good News is out now. 

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Photo: Press