The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | Megan Thee Stallion defines summer with new, self-titled album

Megan Thee Stallion’s newest album came out June 28, 2024.
Courtesy of Genius
Megan Thee Stallion’s newest album came out June 28, 2024.

Rating: 7.9/10

Megan Thee Stallion is kicking off 2024’s hot girl summer with her self-titled album, “MEGAN,” which dropped on June 28. 

Her third LP contains 18 tracks and is packed with features, including UGK, GloRilla, Victoria Monét, Yuki Chiba and others. Not only is the album impressive in its production, but Megan manages to maintain her fun, free energy throughout an otherwise lyrically heavy project. 

The first track, “HISS,” is a clear, thorough introduction to the major themes of the album, which acts as Megan’s opportunity to tell her side of the story after the Tory Lanez shooting trial. The fiery, quick-witted song reminds fans of Megan’s talent as a rapper and lyricist. 

“I just wanna kick this shit off by sayin’ fuck y’all/ I ain’t gotta clear my name on a motherfuckin’ thing,” Megan begins.

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The track was met with widespread approval, earning Megan a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts when the single was released.

Listeners have also speculated that Megan is firing shots at artists she has previously been involved in drama with. The most notable is Tory Lanez, who was found guilty last August of shooting Megan in the foot, but artists such as Nicki Minaj and Drake are also on the Megan Thee Stallion diss list. 

The album continues with serpent-themed songs such as “Rattle” and “Boa,” both of which maintain the fun, Y2K energy of the project with less-than-charitable commentary on Megan’s haters. The songs serve as a warning call to anyone who might think about going head-to-head with Megan in the future.

“All my haters, know it’s too many/ Say a prayer, can’t be too many,” raps Megan in “Rattle.”

The pieces are not only lyrical warnings but musical ones too. While the album has its repetitive moments and it perhaps does not deviate from her past work as much as fans may have hoped, it’s moments like the Gwen Stefani sample in “Boa” that highlight Megan’s skill as a musician and creative. 

This is not the last sample on “Megan,” though, as “Broke His Heart” enters the ring with a sample from Jeezy’s “I Love It” — a household name in the rap scene. The Tay Keith-produced song is a piece true to what fans would expect from Megan, which is a theme throughout the album. While the piece does not particularly stand out, hearing the sample will certainly gain a smile from hip-hop enjoyers.

Megan stays true to her roots as the album progresses with “Where Them Girls At,” an early 2010s-esque, dance-rap anthem that calls back to her 2021 album, “Something for Thee Hotties.” The song is album-defining, flirty, fun and, most importantly, unapologetically Megan. 

A song that will certainly make its way to clubs across the world, “Where Them Girls At” is a must-hear for self-proclaimed Megan fans. 

“Hot girl, put the cuffs down/ Icy from the neck down/ I’m that bitch, so they all dissin’,” Megan raps. 

While some of the features may not be able to keep up with Megan’s flow and general sense of artistry, pieces like “B.A.S.” and “Accent” are likable; however, they don’t offer anything new to the project, which seems a fair ask from a featured artist. 

Throughout the songs, listeners can’t help but wonder if the featured artists were able to reach their full potential in “Megan,” or if they were mere interludes to Megan’s musings. 

One feature that really stands out, however, is Grammy-winner Victoria Monét on “Spin.” The sensual, R&B-inspired song perfectly matches Monét’s thick, almost angelic vocals. The piece is sexy, daring and a much-needed deviation from the remainder of the album.

“I always been fine, yeah, this face is my original/ I’m gon’ blow your mind when you watch me spin around this pole,” Monét sings over a simple, sultry humming in the background. 

Megan is not afraid to be vulnerable in the project, either. Pieces like “Moody Girl” delve into Megan’s feelings of never being satisfied and the tumultuousness of stardom. 

“In a room full of people, I still feel lonely/ By myself even when he is all on me/ Tell me you love me, know you just told me,” Megan laments.

While some may fear that pieces like this seem out of place in Megan’s discography, she doesn’t lose her voice as an artist in these songs, for better or for worse. While perhaps a more experimental piece on this album may have done the artist some good, there is an argument to not fix what isn’t broken. 

The album closes with a final nod to Megan’s shedding of her skin with “Cobra,” closing out what Megan has coined her “rebirth era.” The song is raw, grungy and honest. Megan delves into the loss of her parents, struggles with addiction and mental health.

The song comes as a curveball, and listeners can’t help but wish she had done more experimenting earlier in the album as well. Despite this, it’s the perfect closer to an otherwise solid album. She expertly juxtaposes the fun, upbeat energy of most of the album with a grungier sound to close the project. 

“Breaking down and I had the whole world watching/ But the worst part is really who watched me?/ Every night I cried, I almost died,” Megan sings. 

While what was branded as Megan’s “rebirth era” did not quite sell on that promise, “Megan” is an enjoyable addition to Megan’s discography. What the album lacks in novelty, it makes up for in dance-worthy tracks that are sure to make their way onto summer playlists across the globe.

 

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