“Hot Girl” Megan Thee Stallion is back with a new album and she’s on fire. Traumazine is fierce, unapologetic, and just the type of music the industry needs. In her biggest musical project since dropping “Good News” in 2020 and graduating from Texas Southern University, listeners will finally get a side of the artist that she has never bared before.
The tracklist has 18 unskippable songs with a healthy mix of solo tracks and collaborations. She lined up features from other female rappers like Latto and Rico Nasty, male rappers like Key Glock and Future, and even pop and R&B artists like Lucky Daye, Jhené Aiko and Dua Lipa.
Recently, the Houston native opened up to radio personalities Justin Credible and DJ Sourmilk about just how the project gave her the space to reflect and grow. “To me, ‘Traumazine’ means facing your trauma, getting through it, and becoming the person that you were meant to be, and that you want to be on the other side of your trauma. It’s actually about dealing with yourself. With this album, I wrote it as a letter to me, a letter to my mom,” she shared, referring to her mother’s 2019 passing due to brain cancer. “I didn’t even write these songs like regular songs. I wrote them kind of like diary entries. This is the first time I put people in my business! It’s real personal.“
Megan Thee Stallion’s new album is giving her an opportunity to expose and heal wounds in far more ways than one. Prior to the album release she was vocally at odds with her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment and its CEO Carl Crawford. They have been tangled in an ongoing legal battle about whether her project Something for Thee Hotties can actually count as an album. If so, it would fulfill her contractual obligations with the label and allow her to finally move on. Megan Thee Stallion is the most successful artist on the label, so her early departure would be an obvious blow to 1501 financially. As the war wages on, Megan has since accused the label of leaking Traumazine tracks out of spite, and threw some shots at Crawford on Twitter. He responded by alleging that she was using the drama as part of her album marketing strategy.
In addition to this drama, she has been in a prolonged legal battle with Canadian rapper Tory Lanez, who she alleges shot her in the foot following a party hosted by Kylie Jenner in July of 2020. According to The Cut, she initially said she sustained the injuries “as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me.”
Although pending litigation has made it difficult for either party to further address the situation publicly, Megan Thee Stallion boldly threw shots about her experience in her eight song on Traumazine, titled “Who Me.” Played over the famous beat of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya,” Meg comes out with her own guns blazing. “I feel like Biggie, who shot you?/But everybody know who shot me, bitch,” she quipped. Torey Lanez has yet to formally respond since she dropped the controversial track. Regardless, “Who Me” is not the only attention-grabbing song on the tracklist!
In addition to the album’s release, Megan dropped a video for the hit single “Her.” Crafted by well-known music video director and filmmaker Colin Tilley, the video is a black and white masterpiece. Every blonde dancer in her crew compliments her moves as she reminds us that she’s that girl. “Just the other day, I heard a hoe say/Matter of fact, what could a hoe say?/ With a face like this and a bitch this paid/Shit, what could a hoe say?”
Featuring the intense knee-bending moves she’s known for, the choreography in “Her” pays homage to the LGBTQIA+-friendly voguing dance culture popping up in ballrooms, across social media, and even in HBO’s Legendary (on which she’s appeared numerous times as a judge). With the spirit of vogueing in tow, “Her” encourages listeners to keep that same confident energy when they look in the mirror. Giving it the rollout it deserves, Megan performed the song for the first time on the Good Morning America stage in New York for their Summer Concert Series.
The song goes in a completely new direction for Meg, and with perfect timing. “Her” was released on the heels of a house music wave being led by two unexpected global artists: Beyoncé and Drake. Drake dropped his surprise seventh studio album Honestly, Nevermind in mid-June with upbeat tempos that surprised many fans. Just a month later, Beyoncé dropped Renaissance, featuring her new hit “Break My Soul” in late July. Created by Black DJs from Chicago in the 1980s, the high energy beats and repetitive choruses of house music bring crowds together all over the world. House tracks are especially on heavy rotation in tourist destinations where partygoers who all speak different languages can still enjoy the vibe.
It can only be hoped that Traumazine will set a precedent that encourages artists to bare their soul. One of her most vulnerable songs yet is “Anxiety.” It’s ironically upbeat, perhaps to soften the blow of letting her feelings out. When speaking to Apple Music’s Nadeska and Ebro during an interview she admitted “the song was supposed to be a journal entry. I feel like this is finally an opportunity for me to put it in music.” She made it a point to remind us that even as their humanity gets stripped away in tabloids and rumors, celebrities are real people too: “Y’all don’t even know how I feel/I don’t even know how I deal/Today I really hate everybody/And that’s just me bein’ real.” But the chorus is just as real: “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday/Bad bitches have bad days too/Friday, Saturday, Sunday, bounce back/How a bad bitch always do.”
Since she began working on Traumazine, Megan Thee Stallion has continued to prove to herself that she can make a way out of no way. She recently even expanded into acting with an appearance on the hit STARZ show P-Valley. She also landed on the show’s soundtrack in a song called “Get It On The Floor” with series regular J. Alphonse Nicholson.
Hear Megan Thee Stallion’s new music for yourself, and stream Traumazine on all major music platforms today.