FEVER by Megan Thee Stallion

This is easily one of the best rap albums this year so far.

I know some people find it commercial when a woman raps like a man, and prefer “woke” emcees like Jean Grae, but rap has a long and fine tradition of strong women pumping street smart rhymes, and Fever by Megan Thee Stallion is a powerful entry in this field.

Houston’s Megan Pete writes her own stuff and nearly every bar and hook on Fever is 100% her. There’s a few choice guest shots, notably by Juicy J and DaBaby, but the rest is all Megan. That’s gutsy. Ballsy. She’s not riding coattails–she’s bringing herself, and standing alone against all comers. “I’m the hottest in the litter. If she think she bad put her in, let me get her…”

She seemed to come out of nowhere–there was a 2018 mixtape under her alter ego Tina Snow, but other than that I’d never heard her before. “It’s fun to do bad things,” she raps, and that’s another exceptional part of this album: It’s fun. Lots of fun. And funny. “I don’t want your petty cash/I want what’s in your stash/Come over and get this ass/Dance/Make him blow them bands…” That’s from “Dance.” And she moves effortlessly from a club banger like Dance to a hardcore boast rap like “Realer,” to, well, “Sex Talk…” Megan does it all.

And it’s as hard as anything any man has put out this year.

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