Album Review: Megan Thee Stallion, Suga

Megan Thee Stallion

Suga (released March 6, 2020)

Poor Megan. It was all good just a week ago.

One minute, Megan thee Stallion – arguably the hottest female rapper in mainstream hip-hop at the moment – was set to drop her latest EP/LP/album/playlist whatever they’re called these days.

The next, 1501 Certified Entertainment – the indie label that signed her back in 2018 – hit the brakes like your grandma in rush hour. The resulting social media firestorm between the two sides has turned into one the biggest cases of industry drama in recent memory. Now everyone with a Twitter account suddenly is a Music Industry Matlock ’round here.

Judge Judy is retiring just when the game needs her most.

Not only didn’t Meg read her contract, obviously she didn’t heed the words of Professor Q-Tip: “Industry rule number four-thousand-and-eighty; Record company people are shady.”

Regardless of what’s going on with Megan’s coins (or lack thereof), I’m just here for the music and, by hook or crook, Suga did arrive as scheduled.

However, in light of Megan’s struggles, this isn’t the fiery ode to women’s empowerment that you’d expect. Sadly, it’s just business as usual.

Meg often reminds me of another rising star, DaBaby – what they both lack in lyrical prowess they make up for with tons of stage presence and infectious charisma. That “it factor” goes a long way in a genre cluttered with interchangeable mumbling clones.

That’s why I’m predicting that “Savage” will be her next fan fave track. Meg simmers with her usual Hot Girl presence, expertly riding the beat while throwing out meme-worthy insults. “I would never trip on a n**** if I had him/B****, that’s my trash, you the maid, so you bagged him.” It ain’t Bahamadia, but she know what her audience likes. Trust me, that “Classy, bougie, ratchet/Sassy, moody, nasty” hook will be in the Instagram bio of every Meg stan under age 40 by nightfall.

“Captain Hook” fits the same bad girl mold, again relying on style instead of substance, with the most memorable thing being the track itself, which sounds like Leonardo sharpening his katanas in the background. Same goes for the production of “Hit My Phone,” which gives off some excellent G-Funk vibes.

By far, the most impactful song here is current single “B.*.T.C.H.,” an unapologetic ode to keeping it real in rocky relationships:

I be quiet, but you out here tellin’ stories, one-sided
I ain’t perfect and I try to fix the s*** that ain’t workin’
But it’s 2020, I ain’t finna argue ’bout twerkin’

I mean, if Megan was twerkin’ when you got her, why’d you expect her to stop afterward? The woman has a point.

The second half of the set aims for a more R&B-centric vibe and … it just doesn’t work. Megan loses a LOT of her edge auto-crooning on “Crying in the Car” and the mediocre “What I Need.” Other tracks like “Rich” aren’t necessarily bad but they’re as generic and predictable as their title.

I certainly get Megan’s appeal – she looks the part and has the charisma to match. But between this release’s brief run time and ultra-repetitive themes, Suga doesn’t capitalize on any of her potential.

Good for Meg for getting Suga into the ears of her fans. But watching the label drama play out on Twitter People’s Court was way more interesting than the finished product.

Best tracks: “B.*.T.C.H.,” “Hit My Phone”

3 stars out of 5

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