Megan Thee Stallion has had a killer 2021. She kicked off the year with three Grammy wins and continued her hot streak with blockbuster brand collaborations, fan-favorite tracks with the likes of BTS and Lil Nas X, and Hot 100 smashes alongside Ariana Grande and Maroon 5. Megan has mostly moved on from Good News, her highly successful debut album which was met with mostly mixed reviews. While Good News excelled at showing off a large part of Megan’s versatility and her ability to craft pop smashes, the album lacked the fire and focus of her mixtapes. Now, with Something for Thee Hotties, Megan has returned with her first post-Good News project. It’s a stellar mixtape for her day-ones that finds Megan recalibrating. She’s pushing her pen and fine-tuning her flows with the fiery passion and cockiness that made up so much of her allure from her SoundCloud and Tina Snow days.
Nary a feature appears on this tape, a stark contrast to the 10 featured artists on Good News. This is a Megan-centric affair that compiles previously unreleased tracks, studio freestyles, and skits to celebrate Megan’s continued success, sexual empowerment, and her illustrious and storied hometown of Houston, Texas. Beginning with “Tuned In Freestyle,” Megan rips through a bouncy uptempo beat with a different disposition than most of her approach to Good News. Without any focus on crafting a catchy hook or pulling out all the stops within the first twenty seconds of the song, Megan feels so much freer on this track. She debuted “Tuned In Freestyle” earlier this year, but it still hits. “And when I show my wild side, make ’em doo-doo-doo / I got these niggas blushin’, lookin’ like they Pikachu,” she playfully spits. Only on a Megan song will you find a Normani-Pokémon bar! The following “Megan Monday Freestyle” is another previously released song; it’s also one of Megan’s best showcases of her natural knack for slinky earworm hooks. “It was the knees for him / The way that it squeeze for him / He done fucked a whole lotta bitches / But it was the me for him,” she sing-raps. Megan sounds so in her zone and so engaged on these freestyles that you can’t help but enjoy yourself.
There isn’t much that Megan holds back on Something for Thee Hotties, specifically when it comes to sex. On “Eat It,” she assumes her beloved pimp position and calls out men on their bluff as she raps “How many times have I heard that a nigga a dog but scared when he play with the kitten?” “Warning” finds her employing a “Slob On My Knob”-esque cadence as she shout-raps “Fuck me, I’m horny, feed me, I’m hungry / He love hood pussy, so he fuck me in my bonnet.” The explicitness doesn’t stop there, “Outta Town Freestyle” features this gem of a line: “Head game crazy, yeah, I don’t want no babies yet / So every time he bust, I tell him, ‘Aim at my esophagus’.” The beauty of Megan’s approach to pussy rap on this mixtape is that she remains completely in control. She channels the energy of Pimp C to swagger across these beats like the one true ruler of her domain. In the same way that men have spent decades making music about how disposable they view women and their bodies, Megan flips the script, and she can actually back it up because her bank account matches her bars. As a newly-minted A-lister with multimillion-dollar Popeyes and Nike brand deals, the Megan Thee Stallion of Something for Thee Hotties is very different from the Megan Thee Stallion on Make It Hot or Tina Snow. This mixtape is an exercise at nurturing the hunger of Meg’s early mixtapes and making it sustainable for her new status as a global superstar.
Something for The Hotties, by and large, has more consistent and engaging beats in comparison to Good News. “Megan’s Piano” earned Megan her first production credit thanks to the haunting piano melody that anchors the track. That piano line starts to slow things down after four consecutive rapid-fire freestyles, and “All of It” continues down that path with production that samples The Moments (“What’s Your Name?”) and evokes 2000s New York. The verse on this track is a bit clunky, but the chorus does most of the heavy lifting anyway. On the brassy and percussive “Kitty Kat,” Megan raps over what one would imagine a 2021 Blaxploitation-themed song would sound like. It’s a stacked track that features one of the most quietly devastating bars on the whole tape: “Trust me, I’m finna get free like Tubman / I’ll never let another label try to fuck me.” Megan’s label woes are no secret, but this project is her first since Fever where she doesn’t sound like that drama is weighing on her shoulders. Maybe that’s because Meg really is “God’s Favorite.” On the one hand, it’s a bit awkward that Megan decided to cuss on a song titled “God’s Favorite.” Nevertheless, it’s a light-hearted victory lap from an artist that truly deserves to take several. In addition to sex and victory laps, Houston completes the triumvirate of governing themes on Something for Thee Hotties. Houston legends Bun B, Paul Wall, and Lil’ Keke, make appearances on the mixtape via recorded messages that both cement Megan as a hometown hero and intentionally place her in the fruitful legacy of Houston’s rap scene. On “Southside Forever Freestyle,” Megan provides an ode to the people and places that keep her going — her mother, her grandmother, and Houston. Finally, “Thot Shit,” which has only gotten better over time, closes out the tape.
There are rarely any dips in quality on Something for Thee Hotties. If anything, the major drawback of the tape is that it tends to drag towards the end because some of the songs blend into each other. This is easily her strongest project since Fever, and, more importantly, a reminder that at her core — Megan is a rapper. Yes, she’s had outstanding crossover success and pop radio smashes, but this is still the same young woman that we fell in love with through cyphers and freestyles. Don’t you forget it.
Key Tracks: “Megan Monday Freestyle” | “Warning” | “Kitty Kat” | “Pipe Up” |”Let Me See It”