If it feels much longer than 21 months since Megan Thee Stallion released her bracing debut, “Good News,” consider everything she’s experienced since then: Three Grammy Awards; a slew of hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts; collaborations with artists ranging from Maroon 5 to Doja Cat; college graduation; a first-look deal with Netflix; a surprise performance at this year’s Academy Awards; and the launch of a nonprofit in honor of her parents.
Oh, and she’s also been in a well-publicized contract dispute with her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, the likely impetus behind her surprise announcement Thursday that her long-awaited sophomore album would arrive at midnight.
“We almost out. Lets stay focused and run this last one up,” she wrote in a tweet revealing the arrival of “Traumazine.”
True to her word, the 18-track release with guests including Latto, Lucky Daye and Jhené Aiko landed with hashtag excitement, even though Megan Thee Stallion, 27,has roused fans since spring with early drops from the album.
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“Sweetest Pie,” her groove-infested sexual tease with Dua Lipa, arrived in March, followed by “Plan B,” which some lyric sleuths believe is directed at rapper Tory Lanez (“Ladies, love yourself, ’cause this [expletive] could get ugly,” she spews). Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion in the feet in 2020; the trial stemming from the incident is scheduled for September.
A few weeks ago, Megan Thee Stallion (born Megan Pete) unveiled her final preview –her trap romp with Future, “Pressurelicious.”
Here are some other notable tracks on “Traumazine,” a brisk exercise (only one track, “Southside Royalty Freestyle,” passes the four-minute mark) that’s brash, pointed and super explicit. In other words, Megan Thee Stallion completely unbridled, just like her “Hotties” love her.
“NES”: Over a creeping piano riff that turns into an ominously slinky synthesizer, Megan Thee Stallion spouts the first words on the record as more of a warning shot than an admission: “I ain’t perfect.” Her flow is relentless as she sets her stance: “And the next (expletive) that break my NDA, I’m goin’ for you, too.”
“Not Nice”: Megan Thee Stallion continues to assert her position of fortitude. A strident beat, prominent bass line and drippings of keyboards anchor statements such as, “I’m done with being humble” and “I’m not nice, I’m mean.” Time to duck for cover?
“Her”: A heady combination of swirling dance track, throbbing beat and Megan Thee Stallion’s rat-a-tat delivery is another definitive declaration as she pants to any other women who might be wondering that yep, it’s “her, her, her.” Between informing that she never wears an outfit twice and taunting, “you do you, whatever that is, I’m gonna do it better,” there is an undercurrent of humor in her haughty announcement.
“Who Me” with Pooh Shiesty: The most obvious song about Lanez decimates everyone in Megan Thee Stallion’s path in under two minutes. “I feel like Biggie – who shot you? Everybody knows who shot me,” she snarls. Enough said.
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“Red Wine”: Layered under the chill, head-nodding beat are orgasmic moans as Megan Thee Stallion tantalizes a would-be lover with come-ons to get drunk (hence, the red wine). Her directions about what to do with her body parts unfurl like the most lascivious blueprint ever drawn.
“Anxiety”: One of the most memorable songs on the album not only is equipped with a jaunty keyboard backdrop and poppy bounce, but also a ready-made T-shirt slogan: “I hate everybody and that’s just me being real. Bad (expletives) have bad days, too,” she raps without a hint of apology. After name-dropping “Britney, Whitney” and Marilyn Monroe, Megan Thee Stallion turns vulnerable for a moment: “All I really want to hear is it’ll be OK.”
“Star” with Lucky Daye: The most traditionally melodic song among the crop is a sweet R&B jam that features Megan Thee Stallion singing more than rapping (“You should want to take me out and make me smile”). Lucky Daye swoops in with smooth vocals that inject an ideal amount of lover boy longing.
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