Music Reviews

Megan Thee Stallion's "Suga" Shows the Hot Girl's Soft Side

On her new project, the Houston rapper is more vulnerable than ever.

Just weeks before releasing her debut, Fever, Megan Thee Stallion lost her mother, Holly Thomas, to brain cancer.

"I lost my mommy and my granny in the same month," go the opening lines of the 25-year-old rapper's new project, Suga, released almost exactly a year after those devastating events. But Suga arrives not in spite of the tragedy but because of the renewed strength Megan found in the process. Her tenacity proves itself in the recent lawsuit that shadows Suga, too; last weekend, Megan claimed that her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, was blocking her from releasing new music. She sued the label for $1 million and was granted a temporary restraining order so that she could release new music. In short, putting in a good fight and coming out on top has kind of become Megan's thing.

The quick-rising rapper has mentioned in the past that she has a hard time being vulnerable. Ever since going viral with cheeky, booty-shaking bops like "Big Ole Freak," Megan has found her superpower in cleverly lewd freestyles, spotlighting female desire and signing off with an air kiss. The Houston Hottie isn't any less brazen on Suga, but she supplements that powerful attitude with her soft side. On early single "B.I.T.C.H.," she checks herself in light of a partner's infidelity: "I ain't perfect, and I try to fix the s--t that ain't working / But it's 2020, I ain't finna argue 'bout twerking," she asserts, making the necessary argument that women can flaunt their bodies while still remaining loyal in committed relationships. Part of her "hot girl" philosophy is, after all, maintaining yourself on the inside; Megan is open to growth, but not at the cost of dulling her boldness.

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And Megan, as Suga shows us, has grown a lot. On the gym playlist-ready "Savage," she spits about avoiding Instagram clothing brands, growing tired of fighting with other girls, and keeping her suitors' identities confidential (although she reminds us with a wink that every man she's slept with is "still attached" to her). "Crying In the Car" gives a hint at what kind of pain Megan has been enduring behind the scenes: "Please don't give up on me, Lord, Lord / Promise to keep goin' hard, hard / All of them nights that I cried in the car / All them tears turned into ice on my arms," she croons over the chorus, leading into closer "What I Need," which takes a big-picture scope at a real-deal love.

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Megan will always delight in raunchy raps and promiscuity, but it's refreshing to see her embrace more emotional topics. While Suga might not soundtrack the next iteration of Hot Girl Summer, it paints a deeper, more realistic picture. Loss, pain, and heartache don't spare anybody; as Megan Thee Stallion assures us on Suga, it's a natural component of "real hot girl s--t."

Culture News

Is Carole Baskin Inheriting a Haunted "Indian" Burial Ground with Tiger King Zoo?

Current owner Jeff Lowe claims there are bodies, including "a young American Indian boy," buried on the property

It was recently reported that Carole Baskin had been awarded the property of the Tiger King Zoo—formerly the G.W. Zoo—in Wynnewood, Oklahoma after a judgment found in her favor.

As fans of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King will know, her long-standing legal feud with Joe Exotic (AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage, né Shreibvogel) over his violation of the Big Cat Rescue trademark resulted in a million dollar settlement in her favor. But for the most part Exotic managed to dodge paying Baskin through a series of illegal property transfers that temporarily protected his animal park from seizure.

Now that Exotic is in prison for attempting to have Baskin murdered—along with illegal animal trafficking and several violations of the Endangered Species Act—a judge has finally ruled that the park is hers, and she will be taking over ownership of the 16-acre property later this year. But Jeff Lowe—the park's current owner and the personification of a mid-life crisis—insists that there are no hard feelings, saying, "She deserves this property."

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MUSIC

Why Does Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj’s "Hot Girl Summer" Need Ty Dolla $ign?

Stallion and Minaj have unleashed another heat wave at the tail end of an already very hot season.

Summer's not over yet, because Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion just dropped one of the best songs of the season.

Their "Hot Girl Summer" is electric, hard-hitting, and poised to take dance clubs by storm.

Megan Thee Stallion - Hot Girl Summer ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign www.youtube.com

The term "hot girl summer," as most of us know, rose to prominence thanks to Megan Thee Stallion and her first album, Fever. The album's cover art featured the phrase, "She's thee HOT GIRL and she's bringing THEE HEAT." Almost immediately, the term became an Internet meme, and everyone was suddenly having a "hot girl summer" (or failing miserably).

Stallion later clarified that "hot girl summer" isn't only about looking good—it's about confidence. "It's about women and men being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up their friends, doing you," she said.

With Minaj's help, "Hot Girl Summer" comes to fiery life on the Juicy J-produced track, which samples City Girl on the bassline. There's only one thing out of place on the otherwise seamless track, and that's Ty Dolla $ign's feature. While he has a sultry voice, and the chorus provides a smooth contrast against the more aggressive verses, he still takes away from a song that might've been more impactful as a collaboration between Megan and Nicki, two of rap's strongest female forces.

Stallion can sing, after all, and could've held up the chorus by herself. Just little reverb and some harmonies could've helped it hit the dreamy sweet spot that Ty Dolla $ign's feature tries to reach. Ty's feature isn't a problem, precisely, but it does take the spotlight away from the main players on the track, and overall, he feels like a third wheel. Still, Minaj and Stallion have no trouble pulling their weight, and by the end it's clear that they're fully in control of this rodeo. They've created an anthem that, while explicitly (very explicitly) about heterosexual love, will serve as an anthem for anybody trying to rally a few more times before the summer ends.

Minaj is an interesting choice for one of the track's featured artists. After all, Minaj has faced a fair amount of controversy recently, but this song could be enough to propel her back onto her throne. Either way, Stallion's sending a clear message through these soundwaves: Summer's far from over, and there's plenty of hot girl energy to go around.

Image via Crunchyroll.com