Cultivating Hot Girl Culture: How Megan Thee Stallion Control The 2019 Summer with her impactful release, "Fever"
Written by Waylon O'Day
Houston’s Megan Thee Stallion seems to have been destined for a career in music, literally growing up in studios, accompanying her mother during recording sessions. When Megan decided she wanted to begin chasing her dream of being an MC, it was her mother that asked Megan to wait until she was a little bit older to pursue such a career.
Once she was finally given her mother’s blessing, Megan’s music caught the ears of everyone who heard it, leading Thee Stallion to being signed to 300 Entertainment off the hype from her 2018 EP, Tina Snow. Her debut project on the label, Fever is a powerful statement to the hip-hop community, one that is dominated by men, and subsequently a lyrical male gaze that Thee Stallion turns in on itself and separates her from her fellow female MCs.
All the best opening songs have one thing in common; they set the tone for the rest of the album by creating a world that the artist wants the listener to experience. “Realer,” does this and more as Megan sounds equal parts intimidating and confident, the LilJuMadeDaBeat production itself is equally boisterous. Koncept P and KC Supreme provide the somewhat spacier, but equally daunting beat on “Hood Rat Shit,” which lyrically is pretty like “Realer,” but Thee Stallion’s delivery is seemingly more urgent. The Juicy J-produced “Pimpin,” is somewhat more understated than the preceding pair of tracks but is mixed with a deft hand as the beat and Megan’s voice co-exist beautifully.
Standout “Cash Sh*t” is one of the simpler productions present on Fever but it’s forgivable considering that Megan and guest DaBaby trade bars about their wealth and lifestyles, in one of the strongest lyrical tracks in either artist’s discography. Project Pat gets a go on the boards on the bonkers “W.A.B.” a track that is equal parts Three Six Mafia and Hudson Mohawke, ultimately upstaging Thee Stallion’s verses. The similarities between Drake and Megan Thee Stallion’s tracks both titled “Best I Ever Had” begin and end with the name. The woman in Drake’s song seems to be insecure, whereas Megan Thee Stallion is empowered in her sexuality, and to paraphrase a Drake line, and “knows herself,” over a serene but hard-hitting DJ Chose beat. Juicy J returns on “Simon Says,” providing the beat that features a beautifully transformed Billy Paul sample as well as a verse on what is pretty much a standard dance song, in the vein Juicy J’s own Three Six Mafia.
LilJuMadeDaBeat again returns with a similar beat on “Shake That,” but what is different is Megan Thee Stallion’s catchy hooks and spitfire verses as she seems most comfortable under this producer’s beats. On “Money Good” reflects on how wealthy she is, claiming she could get people killed if she wanted, and how she won’t let money change her, as it’s always been her motivation. “Dance” is a lot less polished, more aggressive cousin to “Simon Says,” as Juicy J’s fingerprints are all over this track as well, and while it continues the energy of the project, it just feels like a re-hash of the rest of the project.
“Fever is a powerful statement to the hip-hop community, one that is dominated by men, and subsequently a lyrical male gaze that Thee Stallion turns in on itself and separates her from her fellow female MCs.”
“Ratchet” is a nice return to form for Megan, as this track is once again a simple LilJuMadeDaBeat production, but that seems to be where Megan thrives with her equally rhythmic delivery. Lead single “Sex Talk” was chosen as such for good reason as the DJ Willaye is booming and sparse, allowing space for Thee Stallion to deliver sexually explicit bars in a sultry voice that is sure to get any listener hot and bothered. Featuring a prominent “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” sample, “Big Drank” is probably the biggest outlier from that project as it pushes the boundaries of R&B and hip-hop equally. Thee Stallion tells a significant other about how she doesn’t like when they’re sipping drank over a lush beat that is the biggest departure from the usually raucous mood of the rest of the project.
Closing out Fever is “Running Up Freestyle,” which embodies everything Megan’s music thus far has been; it’s lyrically dense, self-aware, sexually confident, incredibly high-energy. Hopefully Fever is just the beginning of what should be a long and successful career, it helps when you have a sound that is still somewhat unique to the mainstream ear. However, there’s still a lot of room for growth; there are times where the Stallion sounds like the second coming of Missy Elliot and other times where her music sounds like something you would find on Triller or TikTok.
Listen to the whole project below here.