Looking for a respite from the gloomy cycle that has been 2020? Then Megan Thee Stallion's got you covered. “I feel like I had to name my album Good News because we've been hearing so much bad news,” she tells Apple Music. “It's like, 'Okay, look, Megan Thee Stallion finally coming with the good news.'” The Houston rapper's long-awaited (and, yes, aptly titled) debut album is a distillation of her best qualities punched up for maximum impact. It's skillful and clever, but not at the expense of style and levity. Hope you've done your stretches.
To start, she wastes no time addressing the controversy that had been trailing her, using the album's opening moments to put to rest any discussion about the shooting incident that left her wounded. It's brief, fiery, and filled with haymakers, as Megan takes aim at her perpetrator (who remains nameless on wax—“I know you want the clout so I ain't saying y'all name,” she declares) and any naysayers.
Never one to wallow, she spends the next 16 songs showcasing exactly why she's earned the respect and adoration of peers and fans alike. Songs like “Do It on the Tip” (featuring City Girls) and “Freaky Girls” (featuring SZA) are flirty, twerkable, and emblematic of the 'girls just wanna have fun' mantra that seems to rule her world, while others like “Movie” and “What's New” are all attitude and take-no-prisoners displays of the lyrical dexterity that makes her freestyles so charming. Elsewhere, “Intercourse,” which features Jamaican artist Popcaan, and “Don't Rock Me to Sleep” find her outside of her comfort zone, the former a dancehall-inflected romp and the latter a singsongy pop record. And for Meg, that kind of ambition felt right for the current moment. “When I started recording the songs for this album, I knew it sounded like album songs,” she says. “And I'm like, 'This is it. This is the time. Quarantine is happening, everybody's basically in the house. I have everybody's attention. Everybody wants new music and you can sit down and actually absorb it."
By the time the album wraps up with a run of previously released singles (including, of course, her “Savage Remix” with Beyoncé), it feels like we’ve glimpsed past, present, and future. The fan-favorite styles of old are now well-developed and existing alongside the possibilities of what may come next. Good News lives up to its name with ease—a tenacious effort that makes room for pleasure, dance, and feeling good (and oneself) despite contrary circumstances. And, really, who among us couldn't use just a little more of that?