August 16, 2022

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“Girls in the Hood” by Megan Thee Stallion Review

So much of Megan Thee Stallion’s music is about retaking power from men, and she refuses to placate the fragile male ego. She has an alter ego (Tina Snow) that centers a woman as a pimp, and she is constantly asserting her sexual authority. She raps as if primacy is her prerogative—so it makes sense that she’d eventually rework Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood,” a testosterone-pumping problematic classic that is active in misogynoir. In the original song, there’s a lyric about grabbing a woman by her “nappy-ass weave” and slapping her “like a pimp.” “Girls in the Hood” rectifies this imbalance. It feels like Megan is leading a revolt of the women mistreated in rap songs. “I’m a rich nigga magnet/Pretty with a fatty/Thirty-inch weave with the long eyelashes,” she exclaims before interpolating the original’s most famous bit toward her own ends: “You could check the throwback pics, I been that bitch.” With her performance on “Girls in the Hood,” she challenges rap’s patriarchal canon.

Megan Thee Stallion doesn’t reinvent the wheel here, and she doesn’t need to. The IllaDaProducer and Scott Storch beat largely leaves Dre and Yella’s original masterpiece intact, giving it a bit more spring to suit her immense bounce and swagger. Unlike Freddie Gibbs and 03 Greedo’s “Death Row,” the song isn’t trying to reimagine a classic as something sleek and new. It instead tries to outright reclaim and repurpose the original for those it disenfranchised. There is an annoyance simmering just beneath the surface of her blasé bars about stolen boyfriends and dudes who are terrible in bed. They don’t deserve her, she implies, and she won’t make concessions for them, especially not at her own expense—she’s too busy being expensive. “Two watches, yeah, call me two-timin’/Skin like gold and my teeth like diamonds,” Megan raps, sounding impenetrable. In her version, the Eazy-E types worship at her altar, spend their incomes on her outfit, eat her out while she’s watching anime; put simply, she turns the tables on them. Her hood overrun with Hot Girls brings a redeeming perspective.

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