Rapper Megan Thee Stallion released her new extended play “Suga” after a heated battle between her and her label.
Meg’s label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, delayed the release of her EP after the rapper attempted to renegotiate her contract with the label. Because of her label freezing her upcoming releases, Meg started the hashtag “#FreeTheeStallion” to raise awareness of her issues and clarified that she did not understand some of the verbiages when she first signed the contract.
After public support and a ruling from a judge, Meg acquired a temporary restraining order against her label. She is now able to release any music for a two-week period with no interference from the record company, leading the rapper to release “Suga” before it possibly gets delayed again.
Meg Thee Stallion is far from the first artist to experience struggles with a record company. Tinashe recently left her label after facing constant compromises to her artistic vision. It took Lil Wayne over four years to release “Tha Carter V” due to contractual disputes between himself and his label-head, Birdman.
With the music industry becoming more fast-paced and saturated, timing is everything. One bad album or one label-forced delay can make an artist’s career take a turn for the worse.
However, if the release of “Suga” means anything, it shows that Meg is here to stay.
The EP’s opening track, “Ain’t Equal,” opens up with the line “I lost my mommy and my granny in the same month.” Throughout the track, Meg talks about triumph over adversity and addressing the people who criticize her music and image.
The use of sword instrumentals for the song “Captain Hook” completely entrances any listener. Meg’s rapid-fire bars combined with the weaponized beats make for a standout track that will surely be popular with the dance community soon.
Another standout album track is the song “Hit My Phone” featuring Kehlani, which offers a nice change of pace. The slower tempo and the smooth performance of Kehlani works well with the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper’s bars.
Other songs such as the lead single “B.I.T.C.H.” and “Savage” both show Meg’s range and dynamic personality. The rapper stands out from the already-small crop of female emcees, but her gender doesn’t define her performance skills.
The first half of the project is full of standout tracks while the latter portion suffers from tracks that are a bit more forgettable. The use of auto-tune in “Crying in the Car” ends up hindering the rapper’s performance rather than enhancing it.
The EP’s biggest flaw is the brevity of the project as a whole. At 24 minutes and nine songs, a few songs feel incomplete or rushed for the sake of a quick release. Such is the case with the short and vapid “Rich,” which lasts a little more than 90 seconds.
While “Suga” will leave audiences desiring more, the EP is a good release for hip-hop fans and Megan Thee Stallion fans alike. If the lyrics or instrumentals don’t capture the public’s attention, her infectious personality and satisfying delivery will do the job.