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Good News (Megan Thee Stallion album)

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Good News
Megan Thee Stallion - Good News.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 20, 2020
GenreHip hop[1]
Length49:42
Label
Producer
Megan Thee Stallion chronology
Suga
(2020)
Good News
(2020)
Singles from Good News
  1. "Girls in the Hood"
    Released: June 26, 2020
  2. "Don't Stop"
    Released: October 2, 2020
  3. "Body"
    Released: November 20, 2020

Good News is the debut studio album by American rapper Megan Thee Stallion. It was released on November 20, 2020, by 300 Entertainment and 1501 Certified. Prior to its release, Megan had intended to release the project Suga (2020) as an album,[2][3] but instead released it as an EP after several record label complications.[4][5]

Good News features guest appearances from artists such as SZA, City Girls, Lil Durk, and DaBaby, as well as production from frequent collaborator LilJuMadeDaBeat, Mustard, and D.A Got That Dope.

Good News received critical acclaim upon its release, with most critics praising Megan's confidence and sex positivity. The album produced three singles: "Girls in the Hood", released on June 26, 2020, "Don't Stop" featuring Young Thug, released on October 2, 2020, and "Body", released alongside the album. It also contains a remix of the single "Savage" from Suga, featuring Beyoncé, which earned Megan her first number one the US Billboard Hot 100.

Background

In October 2019, the rapper first discussed plans about dropping her debut studio album in 2020 while promoting her EP, Suga. She further stated that she was "ready to settle down with an album".[6] A year later, in October 2020, she provided more insight into the album-making process, including posting pictures with frequent producer Lil Ju. At that time, she was awaiting two more features to finalize the recording process.[7] She also stated that she used the time during quarantine to write and record for her album.[8] About the recording process, she said: "When I'm by myself, that's when my creativity comes to me. The whole album was basically written in the living room, the shower, the backyard – just visualise it with me."[9] She officially announced the album through social media on November 12,[10][11] followed by the reveal of its tracklist on November 17.[12]

Composition and concept

On Good News, Megan Thee Stallion lyrically explores a variety of topics, such as the controversy surrounding herself and Tory Lanez, partying, sex, her personal life, and men who don't meet her standards.[13] One critic noted that despite being filled with "sex positivity and club-ready anthems", the album also contains "glimpses of that [serious] tone was first introduced with 'Shots Fired'".[14] "Shots Fired", the opening track, is built around a sample of the 1995 song "Who Shot Ya?" by The Notorious B.I.G. and has been described as a "traditional", "strong" and "scathing" indirect diss track with a "ringing, stark beat" aimed at fellow rapper Tory Lanez in response to his album Daystar, which itself was released in response to allegations that Lanez shot Megan in July 2020.[15][16][17]

The second track, "Circles", was described as "one of [Megan's] signature bad b*tch anthems", and sees her rapping over a sample of Jazmine Sullivan's 2010 single "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)", with lyrics that exhibit Megan's resiliency.[17][18] "Cry Baby" featuring DaBaby has been described as a "slow, tick-tock-ing" song with a "haunting backing track", revolving around Megan and DaBaby's active sex lives.[13][14] "Sugar Baby" was described as "bluesy [and] brassy"; a track that sees Megan "transcend sweetness" with lyrics that see her "imploring her cheapskate lover to save his money for the future".[13][19]

"Freaky Girls" featuring SZA was a highly-anticipated collaboration. It contains a sample of Adina Howard's 1995 debut single "Freak Like Me" and was described as "immaculate" and "a true highlight" that is "audibly rooted in 90s G-funk" with "catchy and sex-positive" lyrics.[14][17][20][21][22] "Body", the third single from the album, was described as a "crisp three minutes of bouncy beats and self-confident lyrics", seeing Megan "celebrating body positivity".[17][18] "What's New" was described as a "quintessential Megan record where she thrashes her haters for talking reckless about her",[18] while "Work That" was called "a fun, club-friendly track" that samples rapper Juvenile's 2006 single "Rodeo" and saw Megan "continue to boast about her sexual prowess".[14][18] "Intercourse" featuring Popcaan and Mustard was described as "island-tinged" and "syrupy" with "Megan [...] thriving on the dancehall sound" of the track,[13][18] and "Go Crazy" featuring Big Sean and 2 Chainz was called "lithe" and sees Megan "standing tall when sparring with Big Sean and 2 Chainz [...] with two punchy verses".[14][18]

"Don't Rock Me to Sleep" features Megan singing about "moving on from a relationship" while "taking a shot at pop success".[17][18] "Outside" was described as a "fun, celebratory record" and a "sing-song tune in a nice contrast from [Megan's] harder-hitting tracks" that was backed by an "electronic piano motif" sampled from "Something in My Heart" from the 1989 eponymous album by R&B singer Michel'le.[21][18] "Savage Remix", which features Beyoncé, goes through "minuscule instrumental changes" from the original, with the remix being called "essentially an entirely new song, with the exception of the chorus which has remained the same", lyrically. Beyoncé's verse was noted to include subtle references to women's empowerment.[23][24][25] "Girls in the Hood" samples "Boyz-n-the-Hood" by Eazy-E and has been described as a "minimal 80s gangsta rap".[21] The album closes with "Don't Stop" featuring fellow rapper Young Thug, which is a hip hop track with a "punchy electronic beat", with sex-positive lyrics.[26][23]

Singles

"Girls in the Hood", the first single from the album, was announced on June 24, 2020, and released two days later. The song received a lyric video and features a prominent sample of "Boyz-n-the-Hood" by Eazy-E. The single debuted and peaked at number 28 on the Hot 100. Megan performed "Girls in the Hood" live during her debut live performance at the 20th BET Awards, in a medley with the "Savage Remix", and again during her first virtual live appearance, streamed live on Tidal on August 29, 2020.[27][28][29]

"Don't Stop" featuring Young Thug, was released along with a music video directed by Colin Tilley on October 2, 2020, as the second single from the album. It charted at number 61 on the Billboard Global 200. Megan performed the track with Young Thug during her Saturday Night Live debut on the season premiere of the 46th season of the show.[30][31][32]

"Body" was released as the third single alongside a music video directed by Colin Tilley on November 20, 2020, coinciding with the release of the album.[33][34] It was written while Megan was in quarantine and is inspired by her figure, and its music video features cameos from various celebrities, including Taraji P. Henson, Blac Chyna, and Jordyn Woods, among others.[35]

Other songs

"Savage Remix" featuring Beyoncé, was released on April 29, 2020. Commercially, the single has accumulated over 3 million units in the US. It became Megan's first number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.[36][37]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.2[38]
Metacritic86/100[39]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[40]
Clash9/10[19]
Consequence of SoundB+[41]
Earmilk4/5 stars[42]
Exclaim!8/10[43]
Evening Standard4/5 stars[44]
Gigwise10/10 stars[45]
The Guardian5/5 stars[21]
NME4/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[46]

Good News received acclaim from music critics upon release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 86 based on 12 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[39] Out of the total 175 albums reviewed by British newspaper The Guardian in 2020, Good News was one of only fifteen to be rated 5 out of 5 stars.[47] It was also one of only six albums to be reviewed 10 out of 10 stars considering the total 173 albums reviewed by British music site Gigwise in 2020.[48]

Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times deemed Good News the most impressive debut album of 2020 and described the rapper's voice as one of "the most authoritative voices in hip-hop," which ultimately "gives her music a rock-solid center that suits her fixed subject matter."[49] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian noted that the album highlighted that Megan is "phenomenal at what she does," and further described her talents as "a moveable feast".[21] Robin Murray of Clash wrote that "Good News is the sound of Megan Thee Stallion pushing against the boundaries and an album overwhelming in its creative intensity". Apart from hailing it a "late contender of the Album of the Year", Murray stated that "the album emphasises the riveting nature of her self-expression, and her canny ear as a cultural curator".[19] At Evening Standard, David Smyth attributed the album as "money, sex, single entendres, graphic imagery and a bulletproof self-confidence", adding that Megan has "amassed tonnes of both, and shared every vivid detail of the process in her sparse, old school songs".[44] A. D. Amorosi of Variety wrote that the album is "focused on fun while still being a proud statement on Black womanhood" and concluded that it finds Megan "moving confidently to the next level", though the writer noted "Outside" and other "uncluttered" tracks to be "more warm-blooded than most of Good News, one wishes there was more of that sound on her debut album."[13]

In a review for AllMusic, Fred Thomas claimed that "Rather than coast on her established success, Good News finds the rapper firing off at full power, decimating her haters, and delivering track after track of sex-positive, voraciously vulgar, yet stunningly clever rhyme skills."[40] Candice McDuffie's compliments also focused on similar elements in the review for Consequence of Sound; "Good News showcases Megan the Stallion’s creative depth, her euphonious inventiveness, and libidinous wordplay. She completely demolishes any track she appears on."[41] Keith Harris at NME gave similar praise, stating "Megan's own flow is musical enough to offer its own hooks without outside ornamentation."[14]

Track listing

Good News track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Shots Fired"Buddah Bless2:50
2."Circles"
2:50
3."Cry Baby" (featuring DaBaby)
D.A Got That Dope2:17
4."Do It on the Tip" (featuring City Girls and Hot Girl Meg)Lil Ju2:47
5."Sugar Baby"
Helluva2:26
6."Movie" (featuring Lil Durk)Tay Keith3:47
7."Freaky Girls" (featuring SZA)
Juicy J2:46
8."Body"
  • Pete
  • Mason
  • Christophe Petrel
Lil Ju2:51
9."What's New"
2:35
10."Work That"
  • Juicy J
  • Z3N
2:14
11."Intercourse" (featuring Popcaan and Mustard)
3:17
12."Go Crazy" (featuring Big Sean and 2 Chainz)
3:45
13."Don't Rock Me to Sleep"
  • Pete
  • van de Ende
  • Lennard Vink
  • Avedon
  • VYNK
3:03
14."Outside"
Juicy J2:31
15."Savage Remix" (featuring Beyoncé)J. White Did It4:02
16."Girls in the Hood"
2:34
17."Don't Stop" (featuring Young Thug)
Buddah Bless3:07
Total length:49:42

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal.[50]

Performance

Musicians

  • Cody Tarpley – bass (track 9), drums (track 9), keyboards (track 9)
  • Vincent Van Den Ende – bass (track 9), drums (track 9), keyboards (track 9)

Production

  • Buddah Bless – production (tracks 1 and 17)
  • Cool & Dre – production (track 2)
  • D.A. Doman – production (track 3)
  • Lil Ju – production (tracks 4 and 8)
  • Helluva (producer) – production (track 5)
  • Tay Keith – production (track 6)
  • Juicy J – production (tracks 7, 10, and 14)
  • Avendon – production (tracks 9 and 13)
  • Cody Tarpley – production (track 9)
  • Z3N – production (track 10)
  • Mustard – production (track 11)
  • J. R. Rotem – production (track 12)
  • J. White Did It – production (track 15)
  • Illdaproducer – production (track 16)
  • Scott Storch – production (track 16)
  • Suntman – additional production (track 5)
  • Rickstarr Didit – co-production (track 2)
  • Gyltryp – co-production (track 11)
  • Benjamin Lasneier – co-production (track 12)
  • Pooyandeh – co-production (track 12)
  • Vynk – co-production (track 12)

Technical

  • Mike Deanmastering (tracks 1–4 and 6–14), mixing (tracks 1, 3–7, and 11–12)
  • Colin Leonard – mastering (tracks 15–17)
  • MixedByAli – mixing (track 2)
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing (tracks 8–10 and 13–17)
  • KY – mixing (track 12)
  • Stuart Price – mixing (track 15), recording (track 15)
  • Ricky Reed – vocal mixing (track 7)
  • Sage Skolfield – mixing assistance (tracks 1–7, 11, and 12)
  • Sean Solymar – mixing assistance (tracks 1–7, 11, and 12)
  • Jacob Richards – mixing assistance (track 17)
  • Mike Seaberg – mixing assistance (track 17)
  • Source – recording (tracks 1–16), engineering (track 17)
  • Coach Brodie – recording (track 3)
  • Joshua Samuel – recording (track 6)
  • Rob Bisel – recording (track 7)
  • Nolan Presley – recording (track 12)
  • eMix – recording (track 15)
  • Bainz – engineering (track 17), vocal recording engineering (track 17)
  • Aresh Banaji ― engineering assistance (track 17)

Notes

  • "Recording" and "Recording engineering" are grouped together as "Recording".

Charts

Chart performance of Good News
Chart (2020) Peak
position
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[51] 77
Irish Albums (OCC)[52] 22
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[53] 22
UK Albums (OCC)[54] 46

References

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  2. ^ Daly, Rhian (March 4, 2020). "Megan Thee Stallion confirms details of debut album 'Suga'". NME. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  3. ^ Tesema, Feleg (November 2019). "Megan Thee Stallion Announces Debut Album & New Persona, "Suga"". Highsnobiety. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Holmes, Charles (March 3, 2020). "Why Megan Thee Stallion Sued Her Own Label". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
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  32. ^ Elizabeth, De (October 4, 2020). "Megan Thee Stallion's "SNL" Debut Included a Call to Protect Black Women". Teen Vogue. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
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  34. ^ Gallagher, Alex (November 20, 2020). "Watch Megan Thee Stallion's striking new video for 'Body'". NME. Retrieved November 21, 2020. shared the video for new single 'Body', taken from debut album ‘Good News’
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  39. ^ a b "Good News by Megan Thee Stallion". Retrieved November 23, 2020 – via Metacritic.
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  42. ^ Murphy, Kalen (November 20, 2020). "Album Review: Megan Thee Stallion — Good News". Archived from the original on November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020 – via Earmilk.
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  46. ^ Harris, Keith (November 20, 2020). "Megan Thee Stallion Keeps Remaking Rap in Her Own Image With 'Good News'". Retrieved November 20, 2020 – via Rolling Stone.
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  49. ^ Wood, Mikael (November 23, 2020). "Megan Thee Stallion's 'Good News' is best debut of 2020". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
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