2020 is the year of Megan Thee Stallion. From her #1 Beyoncé-cosigned “Savage (Remix)” to her explosive #1 “WAP” collaboration with Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion has owned this year. Her Suga EP also yielded smaller hits like “B.I.T.C.H.” and “Captain Hook,” proving that her star power and talent will always overcome the worst of her circumstances. From her own “Girls In The Hood” to a BET Awards win and collaborations with Tyga and Normani, Megan has had incredible momentum all year.
As we move into first-round Grammy voting for the 20201 nominations, Megan has released her latest single, a collaboration with Young Thug titled “Don’t Stop.” Over an eccentric high-energy Buddah Bless beat, Megan and Young Thug trade verses about their fame, fortune, looks, and unapologetic approaches to life. Content wise, the song falls in line with the majority of both artists’ releases this year, but the focus is truly on the production and Megan’s flow. The production is an innovative blend of elements from electronica, house, trap, bounce, along with notes of ballroom. While this list of influences sounds clunky, Buddah blends them together in a way that is both palatable and genuinely interesting — there’s always a new layer to latch onto. Whether it’s the haunting twinkly trap loop in the background or the blaring bass in the foreground, “Don’t Stop” is a dynamic piece of music production. The influence of ball culture is apparent in both the production and the song’s excellent music video which features voguing and dancers (Honey Balenciaga and Makayla Lanvin) from HBO Max’s Legendary, a show on which Megan was a judge this year.
In terms of her flow, Megan has received (sometimes unfounded) critiques to change up her flow, and “Don’t Stop” offers some of her best and most seamless flow switches. The third verse, in particular, features some impressive delivery that makes lines like “People say I’m way too full of myself/You’re right, and I ain’t even made it to dessert” feel much wittier and more charismatic than they actually are. In addition, the cadence that she uses in the hook is reminiscent of how emcees rap over beats in ballroom; this makes for a more well-rounded song that pulls from different facets of Megan’s influences. Her chemistry with Thugger is solid, but it would have been nice to see them interact more on the track whether it was through ad-libs or bar-for-bar tradeoffs. What’s great about “Don’t Stop” is that its sound isn’t initially accessible in the way that “Savage (Remix)” or “WAP” were. The whirring loops and industrial feel can be a bit shocking on first listen, but it’s that willingness to play with unique sounds that makes Megan such an interesting and fearless rapper.