The RX is Uproxx Music’s stamp of approval for the best albums, songs, and music stories throughout the year. Inclusion in this category is the highest distinction we can bestow, and signals the most important music being released throughout the year. The RX is the music you need, right now.
It’s fun to do hood rat stuff with your friends. This 11-year-old viral meme appears on the second song of Megan Thee Stallion‘s hotly-anticipated new album, Fever (fittingly titled “Hood Rat Sh*t”), but it also functions as the album’s thesis statement of sorts: Megan isn’t here to be deep or reinvent rap’s wheel. She’s just here to have fun, do hood rat stuff with her friends, and look good doing it. In those goals, Fever certainly succeeds.
Megan first exploded onto the mainstream scene shortly after the release of her second mixtape, Tina Snow. So named for Megan’s favorite hometown artist, Pimp C (who hails from Port Arthur, Texas, as one half of the pioneering duo UGK, but was adopted by nearby Houston as one of their own), Tina Snow displayed a finely-honed delivery paired with a keen sense of self-aware confidence, setting Megan apart with sharp witticisms and machine-gun flows that proved she could live up to the high standard set by her spiritual ancestor.
She doesn’t only borrow Chad Butler’s brutally honest insights and straightforward delivery systems of Fever. She also shares with the late, great Houston icon the unique ability to turn plainspoken truisms about the transactional relationships between men and women into something like scriptures for adherents to “the game.” Where Pimp C would sprinkle his sometimes salacious observations throughout his rhymes — a favorite is “pimpin’ ain’t dead, it just moved to the website” — Megan flips the transaction on its head, reclaiming the power for enterprising women who put profit over pleasure.
“Damn, I want some head but I chose the dough instead,” she reflects on “Pimpin,” further expounding on the get-money-by-any-means philosophy that underpins the more uplifting aspects of her rhymes. It’s her willingness to take advantage of the thirst of men who won’t get offended if she calls them tricks (as she does on the spare, bass-heavy “Cash Sh*t” alongside fellow 2019 breakout rookie DaBaby) that creates the circumstances for the lifestyle she promotes — flossing new bags and going on trips is already enjoyable, but why not do it on someone else’s dime?
If it all sounds familiar to the overall tone of the wave of female rappers that has recently crashed into hip-hop’s nominally male-dominated shores, it should. It’s a mantra shared by Cardi B, City Girls, and a half-dozen other performers who’ve followed in their wake. Where Megan stands out is her bars-first focus — the only members of the new class of female rappers even coming close are Cardi B and Dreezy (with Queen Key sneaking up behind). Not only does Thee Stallion have an impeccable grasp of timing and rhythm, she’s got a wickedly sense of humor that twists her punchlines into one-of-a-kind one-liners that could only come from her.