Fever

by: Megan Thee Stallion

Only months after her strong mixtape Tina Snow was released, Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion returned with debut studio album Fever sounding supercharged and evolved. Her rapping was already solid but reached its full potency on standout singles, while lesser songs were considerably less inspired. The mixed bag of energy and delivery that made Tina Snow inconsistent is transformed into a no-holds-barred attack on Fever. Her brazen attitude and graphically sexual lyrics are immediate standout characteristics of Megan Thee Stallion's approach to rap, but on Fever her technical abilities catch up with her larger-than-life persona. Her delivery is more precise, her flows more intricate, and her presence more powerful. If earlier material held traces of uncertainty, those are long vanquished on most of Fever's 14 tracks. The first half of the album finds the unfiltered rapper going especially strong, asserting her dominance on "Realer," confronting haters on "W.A.B.," and partying hard and looking for a fight on "Hood Rat Shit." Not until the sixth song, "Best You Ever Had," does she show any signs of slowing down, and then it's only for a lascivious and R&B-tinged sex romp. Only two other artists are featured on the album: Juicy J offers a verse to the high-energy "Simon Says" and DaBaby drops by briefly on the swaggering "Cash Shit." While the second half of the album doesn't hit with the immediacy of the front-loaded first half, even the less inspired tracks are high quality. With near-peerless levels of confidence, fearlessly bold lyricism, and relentless, expertly crafted beats, Fever establishes Megan Thee Stallion as a figure in Southern rap. As she grows into a command of her strengths and her personality, she creates songs that are wilder, more raw, and more instantaneously exciting than most of her contemporaries. ~ Fred Thomas

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