MUSIC

Hot Girl Quarantine: "Savage" Will Be the Song We Associate with Coronavirus Forever

As its dance goes viral and we're stuck in our homes, "Savage" will remind us of this dark time years from now.

Earlier this month, Megan Thee Stallion released her most vulnerable project yet, Suga.

The Houston rapper quickly rose to massive Internet virality last year with her declaration of "Hot Girl Summer," a manifesto she's illustrated in countless tweets, candid videos, and of course a synonymous song (which became a Top 10 hit). Her popularity has set the hip-hop world ablaze, and she isn't burning out anytime soon.

"Savage," a characteristically cutthroat banger from Suga, is just the latest cut from Megan's growing discography to flourish on social media. On March 10, TikToker Keara Wilson first posted a clip of the dance she choreographed to "Savage." Since the original, Wilson has uploaded multiple TikToks of the dance, accruing hundreds of thousands of likes. She also posted a nifty tutorial for maximum trend potential.

Keara wilson on TikTok

Keara wilson on TikTok www.tiktok.com

NEW DANCE ALERT! 🚨 if u use my dance tag me so i can see🤗 @theestallion #writethelyrics #PlayWithLife #foyou #fyp #foryoupage #newdance #savage

As with all the best viral dances, Wilson's routine spread like wildfire, spawning recreations from TikTok royalty like Addison Rae and Charli D'Amelio, as well as from other Gen-Z favorites like Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, and Liza Koshy.

addison rae on TikTok

addison rae on TikTok www.tiktok.com


@sherinicolee OK MAMA

charli d'amelio on TikTok

charli d'amelio on TikTok www.tiktok.com

@keke.janajah

Soon enough, of course, the dance caught the attention of Thee Stallion herself, who shared her rendition of it from the comfort of home in a onesie. The caption reads "#quarantineandchill." As we're all cooped up in our houses, (hopefully) working remotely and (hopefully) practicing social distancing, the "Savage" dance has henceforth dubbed the foreseeable future as Hot Girl Quarantine. Years from now, when we're all finally allowed back into the bars and parties have resumed, "Savage" will begin playing in the distance. We'll look at our friends longingly and say, "Remember when we survived a pandemic?"

We all have songs that we associate with a certain event or period in time. Ex-Tumblr kids will remember the black-and-white clad aesthetic circa 2013 that became inextricable from songs like the 1975's "Chocolate" and the Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather." Green Day's "Time of Your Life" is to high school graduations what Medicare for All is to Bernie Sanders' platform.

Now, the Very Online generation will forever associate "Savage" with the coronavirus. With so much free time on our hands, Internet scrolling is the new 9-to-5. With gyms on lockdown, dancing in our bedrooms seems like the most natural way to get endorphins. I, a grown adult, begrudgingly made my own painfully unsexy TikTok to "Savage," and would recommend you do the same to distract yourself from...everything else.

Though we won't be hearing it in clubs or at get-togethers with friends, "Savage" is still bound to become even more popular and inescapable as our time indoors trickles on. It's sassy, it's moody, it's nasty—in a weird way, it's just like a global pandemic.

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."

MUSIC

No More Music From Megan Thee Stallion...For Now

The rapper took to IG Live to air her grievances with her current label

After an exceptional 2019, Megan Thee Stallion announced in an Instagram video that she will be unable to release new music in the foreseeable future due to complications with her label.

She claims that her label, 1501, took issue with her seeking out management from Roc Nation and refused to renegotiate "Hot Girl" Meg's contract, despite her asking nicely. Meg was only 20-years-old when she signed with 1501 and says she didn't fully understand the details of her contract.

Now, as a result of her apparently big ask, 1501 has refused to let Meg release any new tunes, and she claims that the motive is strictly based on greed. "It's really just a greedy game," she says. "I wasn't trying to leave the label, I wasn't trying to not give nobody money that they feel like they're entitled to. I just wanna renegotiate some s*it." Meg's label has since responded to the allegations via TMZ, with 1501's co-founder Carl Crawford claiming that he "discovered" Meg and helped to launch her career. While he claimed everything was good between the label and the artist, Meg has stated that their attempts at civil re-negotiation have gone "left."

Many people outside of the hot girl tribe are confused about the actual definition of the now popular mantra.

The term went viral after being rapped at the beginning of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion's single "Cash Sh*t" featuring the equally charismatic and bubbly rapper Da Baby. Megan has turned her carefree, fun-filled lifestyle into a blueprint for forward activism for the Gen Z generation and has made it look so effortless in the process.

The 24-year-old rapper has exemplified what it means to be a hot girl in her day-to-day social media antics and sightings in various cities. The hot girl lifestyle has very little to do with sexual exploration (while that can be up to each hot girl's prerogative) and more to do with a continuous upward trajectory of positive energy and growth. The mantra boils down to a concise concept: having fun and living your best life.

A Real #HotGirlSemester

While the Houston-native climbs up the music charts, she still wants to have as much fun as possible while doing so; but Megan makes it apparent that it's not always playtime. With Generation X and Generation Y (AKA Millennials) understanding student debt all too well, Generation Z (including Megan) are also feeling the blunt force of debt more than ever. Currently, the student loan debt now stands at a staggering $1.41 trillion, according to Investopedia.

As a college student herself, the Gen Z artist understands the weight of getting classwork done at all costs. Megan empathizes with what it's like to cram those final papers and exams in at 11:59 PM on their due date, doing the same in between photo shoots and after parties. She majors in Health Administration at Texas Southern University, where Meg Thee Stallion has been transparent about simultaneously being a student and a nation-wide superstar. In an interview with Billboard late last year, she humbly discussed one of her professors pointing out "The Stallion" alter ego.

"Only one of my professors right now knows that I'm like a whole rapper. She followed me on Instagram, and when I came to class she was like, 'Megan, so you got a little alter ego!' I was like, 'Oh my god. Don't follow me!'"

The Vegan Lifestyle

Since she's been in the spotlight, Megan has spoken openly about her dietary choices. She initially transitioned to vegetarianism but became a vegan after researching the treatment of factory-farmed chickens and cows.

In an official report released July 2019, the Plant-Based Food Association (PBFA) and the Good Food Institute reported that plant-based vegan foods have increased in popularity over 11% in the last year, turning veganism into a $4.5 billion industry. "The plant-based meat category alone is worth more than $800 million, with sales up 10 percent in the past year," the report reads. "Plant-based meat now accounts for 2% of retail packaged meat sales."

This increase can be partially attributed to Millennials and Gen Zers being more health conscious of the environmental benefits of veganism and plant-based diets than their predecessors. Megan, along with many other vegans, are doing their best to get others to join in on the movement. She even tried to convince fellow rapper, Chance The Rapper, to make the change by challenging him to eat more broccoli (which he struggled to do) after losing a bet.

Eco-friendly Hottie Movement

Following her veganism movement, Megan began to advocate for a more holistic, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. She often tweets tips, helping her followers become "eco-friendly hotties" with simple life hacks, including using recyclable bags, reusing water bottles and food containers, and pushing followers to stop eating meat (or at least less of it).

Last June, the "Sex Talk" rapper put her words into action and hosted a beach clean-up in California with fans. She posted a now-deleted Instagram live urging fans to "come in y'alls bikinis and we gonna go clean up some sh*t, you know what I'm saying?"

Hundreds of fans attended the beach clean up at the Santa Monica Pier. This event was a powerful use of platform and display of community that more celebrities should embrace, especially because causes such as climate change and environmental destruction will affect our Earth for years to come. While these events may seem minuscule in the face of mass, corporate-level disasters we're facing, it's hopeful to see the next generation (including the popular celebrities) caring enough to do something about it.

Respect Thee Stallion

Megan is still new and is already becoming a recognizable name in music, standing her ground alongside other male and female artists in her genre. With her infectious smile and joyful approach to life, Megan noticeably gets along with everyone from fellow rappers and Hip-Hop moguls to political voices.

Artists who stand for their causes and understand the intersectionalities of their platforms will be able to influence the next generations much more significantly than politicians who are talking "at" them and not "to" them. The fact that artists such as Cardi B, Beyonce, and Megan Thee Stallion are standing by important, generation-shifting causes will motivate young adults and politicians alike to pay attention to societal issues which can hopefully spark greater change.

Music Features

Why Do Pop's Most Successful Women Still Live in the Shadows of Their Exes?

Halsey clapped back at a concert-goer who kept yelling the name of her famous ex-boyfriend, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Whether its her evocative lyricism or unfiltered tweets, Halsey is widely known for her openness on her mental health issues and her personal life.

The singer's vulnerability has also resulted in a close public eye on all of her romantic relationships, particularly her on-again, off-again love affair with rapper G-Eazy. Though the details of their rocky relationship remain mostly unconfirmed, Halsey has alluded to the fact that he cheated on her, and some have suspected G-Eazy was abusive towards her based on his troubles with the law. Either way—judging by Halsey's reaction to a concert-goer who kept shouting G-Eazy's name—the split was apparently ugly.

Videos surfaced over the weekend of a recent Halsey performance at which someone in the crowd yelled her ex's name multiple times. "If you say G-Eazy one more f--king time, I will kick your ass out of this party," she yelled. It's unclear if the name-caller ended up being escorted out of the show, but the incident points to an irritating trend in which female pop stars struggle to escape from the shadows of their famed relationships.

When Mac Miller was charged for a DUI following a May 2018 car crash, fans were quick to blame the incident—as well as his fatal overdose that followed a few months later—on Ariana Grande, with whom he'd recently split. Grande stood up for herself in a Twitter statement, and Miller's friend Shane Powers sang praise for her stabilizing presence as Miller tried to get his substance abuse under control. And then, perhaps most prominently, there's Taylor Swift, who even amid attempts to keep her love life under wraps has spent the majority of her career in an unfair narrative centered around whoever she's dating. Halsey, Grande, and Swift are currently among pop's most successful women; why are they still living as extensions of their ex-boyfriends? Is it because the music industry, generally speaking, is still hesitant to acknowledge a woman's success can exist without the support of men?

Halsey was right to call out the person in the crowd who kept yelling G-Eazy's name, and doing so shouldn't be considered unprofessional. It's a knee-jerk reaction to pent-up anger that results from your career being too often associated with exes, in a way those previous male partners will likely never understand.

Meg Thee Stallion has been on an unstoppable tear for months now, and on her debut single off Suga, she uses the opportunity to speak to the people, particularly the men, that have continued to agitate her as a budding superstar.

"I'd rather be a B-I-T-C-H / 'Cause that's what you gon' call me when i'm trippin' anyway." As demonstrated by her Tiny Desk late last year, Meg's delivery remains succinct and hypnotic, the relatively-young emcee reigning over a refreshed 2Pac sample using nothing more than a relaxed shrug. "You say you want respect, well treat me how you wanna be treated," she says devoid of bitterness. "You want me to blow your phone up and come a-lookin' for you 'til I find ya," she adds with a sarcastic smirk and a finger wag.

The paparazzi haven't been necessarily kind to Thee Stallion. They've hounded her for every fleeting love interest she has, dissected her height and even the size of her feet, but even so Meg has given 0 f*cks, and that is her greatest superpower. "Why y'all want me to be a "hoe" so bad?" she wrote after dismissing a love interest with Trey Songz. "I ain't addressing sh*t else bye." She ended the tweet with a laughing emoji. Check out "B.I.T.C.H." below.

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