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Announced with little prior notice, Texas rapper and Hot Girl Coach Megan Thee Stallion graced her fanbase with a fresh offering, Something for Thee Hotties: From Thee Archives. Predominantly composed of unreleased tracks from the vault, the mixtape also features freestyles held in high regard among Hotties (Megan’s fanbase), as well as “Thot Shit” released this summer. After a rocky rise to global renown, the Stallion’s latest mixtape feels like a victory lap, and a timely reminder of the reasons we fell in love with her in the first place.

“Megan...consistently proves herself as one of the best MCs out”

Replete with chewy basslines, bouncing beats and tongue-in-cheek bars, Something for Thee Hotties presents everything we’ve come to love about Megan’s catalogue. Opener “Tuned In Freestyle” immediately sets the tone with the rapper flowing over a frenetic beat, while the funky guitar licks and brass on “Kitty Kat” make it sound like something off a blaxploitation soundtrack, apt for Hot Girl Meg to brag about her talent, sex appeal and four (4!) Grammy Awards. What takes the project to the next level, however, is how it conveys the same hunger that the rapper showcased during her come-up. After all, it was freestyles in car parks which kicked off her ascent to superstardom, so it makes sense that a mixtape would be the best avenue for the Stallion to showcase her talents. Across the 45-minute runtime, the rapper gleefully rips into her detractors, flexes her achievements and centres her own pleasure with an agility which shows just how much Megan enjoys the sport of rap – and reiterated her heavyweight status. The “Outta Town” and “Megan Monday” freestyles, both released years ago and highly sought after by fans, drive home the project’s main point: she is a rapper: not just a pop star, fashion icon and social media personality; Megan Pete consistently proves herself as one of the best MCs out.

The energetic summer single "Thot Shit" began its life as a freestyle from Megan

Megan’s latest offering can easily be considered her most cohesive project. For various reasons (including, but not limited to: dodgy dealings on the part of her former record label; the pursuit of TikTok smashes; attempts to bump up streaming numbers with bloated tracklists), much of her 2020 output, like EP Suga and debut album Good News, left fans wanting more, even in spite of the hits they launched. Even “Thot Shit”, released in June to positive reviews, gave way to murmurs that she had sacrificed her grit and gone Hollywood. The mixtape does well to disprove this, chiefly by delving into the aspects of her music which resonated most in the early stages of her career.

Cuts like “Pipe Up” and “Southside Forever Freestyle” call back to the distinctly Southern sound at the core of the beloved Tina Snow EP which kicked off her ascent to superstardom. They don’t however, serve as a simple copy-and-paste, given that the now 26-year-old rapper’s outlook has shifted. In the past few years, Megan was shot by a former friend in a highly publicised incident, and has been vilified for sticking up for herself. She has processed the tragic loss of her mother and grandmother. She has also racked up billions of streams, completed an undergraduate degree and signed million-dollar deals with brands like Nike and Popeye’s. She isn’t the same woman she was when we met her, but the conviction in her delivery and refusal to rest on her laurels proves that she’s an even better artist. “Megan’s Piano”, built around a sparse instrumental that she played herself, has even given her a producer credit – the first in her career.

Fans eagerly awaited "Megan's Piano", as it became highly anticipated from its title

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Hotties, which has no featured artists, is especially satisfying as it irrevocably refutes the idea that Megan’s bars have suffered since she made it to the Billboard charts. “Bless The Booth Freestyle”, first released in 2019, sees Megan spit uninterrupted for two minutes, serving endless punchlines about her desirability and switching between four different flows. Even more subdued numbers are highly lyrical, like “Bae Goals”, which sees Megan describe her perfect man over a glittery beat. Even if the 20-plus tracks begin to drag in the middle (the gift of editing seems to evade most hip-hop artists of today, especially since stacking album tracklists is profitable), Something for Thee Hotties succeeds on every front: holding over increasingly impatient fans as they await her sophomore studio effort, and making some of her best verses available on streaming platforms. After a tumultuous few years, the mixtape sees Megan having fun again, and creating some of her best work in the process.