Megan Pete is more resilient than most of her peers. As scarlet lights mark Thee Stallion’s arrival at her virtual concert, the stage is aflame with the in-demand lyricist announcing that it’s her first day back. “Hot girl summer is not cancelled,” she boasts over the icy instrumentals of 2019’s ‘Realer’.
The song’s lyrics serve as a perfect clap-back to an industry and wider community that’s failed Megan Thee Stallion over the last few months. The rapper was shot earlier this year, an act that saw her mocked online and facing a serious invasion of privacy. As she perches atop the multi-layered staging, bopping along to the line “fuck all the critics and fuck how they feel,” it feels like Megan is rejuvenated and ready to prove naysayers wrong.
The Houston, Texas native quickly undresses, revealing a diamante corset, suspenders and thigh-high boots, looking every bit the star as she etches her way through ‘Simon Says’, a team of dancers complementing the jaw-dropping live-airing. Megan Thee Stallion is truly the ring-leader here, showing no-signs of vulnerability.
She makes sure to pay strong homage to her hometown and Southern hip-hop too: before ‘Tina Snow’ favourite ‘Freak Nasty’, she provides a dance break to the iconic street-hit ‘Slob on My Knob’ by Tear da Club Up Thugs. Even better, it’s choreographed by JaQuel Knight, who gave us the iconic dance routines to Beyoncé‘s ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Formation’.
It’s testament to Megan The Stallion’s skill as a performer that she combines this glamour with more somber moments. At one point, she shows the audience clips of African American victims of police brutality. As the lights dim, names such as Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner beam across the screen before a banner asks ‘Why Is It So Hard To Be Black In America?’ The montage served as a stark reminder that the now-rising rapper carries her politics with her wherever she goes, unapologetically. This is a tasteful display of solidarity in the face of uncertainty.
Ultimately, Thee Stallion acts serves a beacon of hope. After providing a platform for team members such as dancer Ashley Seldon to deliver solo dance breaks near the one-hour mark, she performs fan favourites across her ‘Fever’ era. From her breath control to her consistency with the routines to her vocal projection as a rapper, it’s remarkable that Megan powered through the hour-and-a-half airing, only taking three brief breaks in between. Towards the end of her set she reveals she was unsure if she’d be able to deliver while still healing from the shooting.
Megan Thee Stallion is now a bonafide super-star. To see such an evolution as a performer during a pandemic is remarkable. Ultimately, though, Megan Pete’s secret weapon is that she embodies the spirit of the underdog achieving her true purpose.
Megan Thee Stallion played:
‘Realer Simon Says’
‘Big Booty; (Gucci Mane)
‘Hot Girl Summer’
‘RNB’ (Young Dolph)
‘Pose’ (Lil Uzi Vert)
‘Pole Dancer’ (Wale)
‘All Dat’ (Moneybagg Yo)
‘Big Ole Freak’
‘Girls in the Hood’