The rise of Megan Thee Stallion is here.
Following a whirlwind year and a half in the industry, where we saw the rap-stress go viral with multiple freestyles — one of which, took place on a street corner — release her mixtape Tina Snow, and complete a degree (medical administration) at Texas Southern University,Thee Stallion stops at the height of spring to premiere her new project Fever.
Fever introduces us to Hot Girl Meg, which departs from her Tina Snow alter-ego, last seen on her last 2018 mixtape, which shares the same name. As “Big Ole Freak” continues to climb the Billboard Hot 100 (currently at #65), can the self-proclaimed Houston Hottie deliver more southern anthems?
As Fever begins, we’re instantly taken on a path of anticipation. As the bouncy backing builds to a point that only can be followed by a strong bass, Hot Girl Meg marks her territory. “N*gga, I don’t wanna talk // Meet me at the bank, show me what you really ’bout.” It’s very clear on “Realer” that this is not a drill: The Stallion knows exactly what she wants, and if we fail to deliver, it’s game over.
After taking some time to co-sign City Girls member JT’s release from prison, it’s back to business for Megan. Instantly, somewhere around the minute mark, it’s evident that Tina Snow is in hiding, for now, the aggression of her alter-ego ignites a flame, and if we can’t handle the heat currently on the mic, it’s time to press pause.
“Hood Rat Sh*t” follows and The Houston Hottie has honed in on her rebellious energy; this time, however, it’s directed at having fun, letting loose and grabbing some Hennessy and chicken wings. The chord-driven production guides the way and evokes scenes of forbidden territory. Step foot on Megan The Stallion’s turf and prepare to face the so-called Medusa MC and her gang of girls. The slightly underwhelming element of this track is introduced in its references to Wakanda —the Marvel owned fictional land —despite this brief moment of disappointment, Megan holds her own lyrically here.
Raunchy Stallion appears to wink at us as “Pimpin” takes the wheel. After being tempted by the prospect of getting sexually stimulated, the MC proclaims that there “ain’t no dick alive that could make me lose my mind,” as she centers her assertiveness yet again and has a message for all of the men in the industry. “Ain’t no n*gga put me on // Hoe I earned my own respect.” Echoing the sass of Trina with the charm to match, the rapper more than earns her title as the head pimp by the end of the synth-heavy three minutes and twenty-four seconds.
Despite putting men on blast, Fever’s only contributions come from male rappers. The Houston artist still loves a bit of fun with the opposite sex, and on the first feature on the LP, DaBaby does not disappoint. Taking things to a new level of intensity, the Ohio based rapper leaves no room for imagination when explaining his sexual intentions. Of-course Megan The Stallion has the penmanship to meet DaBaby in the middle and together the duo give Lil Kim and Sisqo’s “How Many Licks?” a run for its money.
Elsewhere, Juicy J joins Megan at the club (figuratively of course) and the pair collide for a song filled with diverse drum pallets and commands. Paying homage to the Memphis-based underground talent DJ Squeeky —through their choice of sampling of “Looking 4 Da Chewin'” — the pair race across “Simon Says”, keeping the effort all the way southern. Here the formula for Fever begins to manifest; heavy and aggressive production paired with loud and intentional bars and homage to geographical soundscapes are what Fever is striving to be known for, and finally this methodology is realised.
“Dance” again incorporates elements of the 305 and is calling out for a City Girls and The Baddest B*tch feature. However, Hot Girl Meg from a flow perspective sounds repetitive here. If there’s one element that Fever falls short on, it’s the lack of exploration with the delivery of the bars. Even where the rapper does try to implement these flow shifts, it feels as though there’s more experimentation to give.
Ironically, listening to “Sex Talk”, in the context of The Stallions debut album and its placement on it, allows it to stand out a lot more. Sure, it’s definitely in the same lane as “Big Ole Freak” stylistically, however, something about its placing on the project allows the song to give the listener that final dose of thrill to get us to the track 14 mark.
Fever is an ambitious effort. It has all of the sampling, co-signs, references, and confidence to give audiences that resurgence of the southern-sound that’s been missing in mainstream rap for a while. In places, Hot Girl Meg has the heart and ego of Pimp C, her idol. But somewhere throughout, a sense of there being missing components to the set starts to sink in. The album isn’t terrible, but it misses the mark slightly in isolated places. The 300 Entertainment signee does give audiences more than a few standouts, however, and clearly has both the cadence and penmanship to go far, she just needs to focus on developing a more diverse sound if her aim is to penetrate the mainstream fully.