Megan Thee Stallion’s newest record, Traumazine, is not nice. An 18-track album stuffed with middle fingers to haters, her sophomore project is a primer on how to use hip-hop’s poetic tools to run circles around these hoes (gender-neutral). And for good reason: The Hot Girl claims her label, 1501 Certified, is holding her captive in an unfair contract, while Tory Lanez, the man who allegedly shot her in July 2020, attempts to discredit her. “Ayy, I feel like Biggie, who shot you?” she raps in “Who Me.” “But everybody know who shot me, bitch.” Plus her ex-best friend Kelsey Harris, who was present at the incident, has publicly remained silent amid the rumors spread by Lanez, practically goading Thee Stallion’s pen. The new album does many things — it’s both a self-assured follow-up to debut Good News and a master class in lyricism, telling a story about a rapper with unbridled ambition, references to abortion rights (“My motherfuckin’ body, my choice / Ain’t no lil’ dick takin’ my voice” on “Gift & a Curse”), the mental-health struggles that stem from the loss of loved ones and the people who hurt her, and, last but not least, her pussy (“This lil’ bitch the G.O.A.T,” she declares on the same track.)
But mostly, Traumazine is a labyrinth of humiliations that use surgical precision when they cut deep. “Whole lot of fake-ass, snake-ass, backstabbin’, hatin’-ass, no money gettin’-ass bitches (No money-ass bitches),” she says on “Ungrateful.” Below, all the best Traumazine lyrics that take aim at her opps. As she says on “Budget,” “get the cane, get the crutches.”
“Bitch, I kept your bills paid, you were sick? I paid for surgery”
“I’m out here cuttin’ up, at they neck like button-ups / Everything green like Buttercup, my Afro my Powerpuff (Yeah)”
“Ayy, y’all some dick-ridin’ ass bitches, lil’ bro-ass niggas / Y’all the same age, callin’ niggas big brothers just so y’all could take pictures (Lame)”
This stand-out track keeps its promises. “Not Nice” is hit after hit of clever insults pointed at Megan’s broke haters. It’s a Michelin-starred, 11-course tasting menu on how to tell the hoes to bag back in more ways than most pea brains could have ever imagined. These lines elicit so much joy for how they manage to slice and dice whoever’s on the receiving end.
“You a broke bitch, your pockets been a joke, bitch … / You got the roaches in your crib sharin’ snacks with your kids / Delinquent on your payments, ho, go and post this”
There’s something so beautiful about the imagery of Megan Thee Stallion’s enemies being so broke that they got roaches babysitting. Cinematic, even. Even their pockets are a joke, so funny, in fact, they’re delinquent on their payments and can only subsist by hating on social media. It’s so flat-out hilarious that it’s the first thing I told my dad when I woke up this morning. Could this line be directed at Megan’s “joke-ass label”? Either way, they might be among the most specific ways to murk a bitch by laughter.
“Dear fuck nigga, still can’t believe I used to fuck with ya (Fuck with ya) / Poppin’ Plan B’s ‘cause I ain’t plan to be stuck with ya / Damn, I see you still kick it with them opp bitches (With them opp bitches) / I’m the only reason that your goofy ass got bitches (Yeah)”
Out the gate, the album’s second single snatches edges and takes names. Aside from the classic flow and nods to diss tracks of yesteryear, “Plan B” points to her commercial success, the power of her religious and life-altering pussy (“He submerged in it, like a baptism / Hit this water, then he comin’ back a real nigga”), and some very real gripes she has with people in her life.
One of the subjects in question appears to be Tory Lanez and the alleged shooting that caused certain corners of this hell planet to disparage Megan online. Even 50 Cent, known DaBaby defender and early-aughts rapper, took it upon himself to share memes about the incident, joining in on the internet dogpile that plagued the Hot Girl in the weeks following the news of the incident, which included personality Draya Michele’s bizarrely comparing it to Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s abusive relationship. In response to all the tasteless reactions, Megan shared a statement on Twitter. “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized,” she wrote at the time. It seems that her hurt has metastasized to rage, per a verse that begins like a letter.
Another line simply eviscerates its object: “I had to block you, but you still gotta watch this shit.” There isn’t anything more embarrassing than being forced to watch someone succeed after you attempted to take them down.
“Sick of bein’ humble, ‘cause you bitches don’t respect that / And the next one of y’all hoes wanna get bold, I’m gon’ check that / And the next one of y’all blogs wanna spread lies, I’m gon’ sue you (Yeah) / And the next bitch that break my NDA, they goin’ for you too / Now listen to me, I’m givin’ you bitches a warning / You gon’ have to pay me forever tryna be corny”
Last year, Billie Eilish dropped a song that asks her partners to sign non-disclosure agreements, and now Megan has taken it upon herself to write bars about enforcing them. Though it’s hard to say who exactly the rapper refers to in the song, the song “NDA” makes it clear that those around her need to be checked and can’t be trusted. Take her ex-BFF Harris, for example, who has chosen to remain publicly silent on Lanez’s guilt. While Kelsey confirmed that she was present at the alleged shooting, she would not speak on the matter even after one fan accused her of getting “paid hush money” in a Instagram comment and signing an NDA to protect Lanez. “Na I ain’t got paid shit, I should though huh the way folks making shit up,” she told person who called her out on Instagram in since-deleted posts.
“This girl told me out her mouth,” Megan Thee Stallion claimed in a Rolling Stone cover story in June 2022. “‘He told me, “Oh, thank you for not saying nothing. Now let me invest in your business. Let me do this. Let me do that.’ And all I know was, from that day on, she never said nothing else about the whole situation online.”
“NDA” makes it obvious that Thee Stallion can use both her music and the court system to put anyone in their place. Or worse, she’s going to “be quick to check you pussy bitches like a Pap / Kill a bitch, all I need is a pistol and a pad,” she threatens. Imagine being on the wrong side of Megan Thee Stallion … dragged into songs that get million of streams with only your humiliation to keep you company. The Hotties might even join in on the dragging. And if her opps want to fight back? She raps: “Bitch, make a move or keep that shit up on the playground.”