Look at me showing up all late like I am Lauryn Hill to talk about Megan Thee Stallion earning her 16th Top 40 hit on Billboard's Top 100 Chart with her latest single, "Cobra." But, like Lauryn would say, "Y'all lucky I make it on this bloodclaat blog every night."
Megan Thee Stallion's new single "Cobra" debuted at #32 on the Hot 100 Chart. While top 40 hits are nothing new for Megan, I am sure this one feels differently because this song was released independently under her own imprint, Hot Girl Productions.
Cobra's first-week Billboard achievements:
Hot 100 - #32
Hot Rap Songs - #8
Rap Digital Sales - #1
Streaming Songs - #20
Rap Streaming Songs - #6
Digital Song Sales - #11
Hot R&B / Hip-Hop Songs - #10
Audio Courtesy of Thee Hottie Ranch on Stationhead
ACT ONE - THEE AUDACITY
Let's be crystal clear. Megan Thee Stallion's debut at #32 with a vulnerable rap song, no popular sample, and minimal radio play is a monumental achievement. Some might try to downplay it, but the facts speak for themselves. We've witnessed female rappers with 'Queen' titles publicly ranting over lack of radio support and claiming blackballing.
Is Megan being blackballed? Despite "Cobra"'s positive reviews, the video's prolonged reign at #1 on YouTube, and Meg's star power, her single barely gets radio airplay. But, she is still competing against major-label artists with full-blown radio promotions. To put things into perspective, according to Sound Charts, "Cobra" has only received 518 (US) plays so far, while other female rap artists are getting 8,000 - 12,000 plays. We know radio plays a crucial role in Billboard chart stability; that's how the system is rigged.
But, bump all that. We can delve into the potential fallout and retaliation against Megan later. Let's continue discussing Megan's accomplishment with "Cobra."
Megan Thee Stallion is doing what male artists are constantly praised for: going independent and owning her masters. She made a bold move by not simply signing with a major label and playing the industry's game. As one of the top artists in the highly competitive female rap genre, she could have chosen the safer route, but instead, she bet on herself. She's the HBIC, putting her money, creativity, and everything on the line in this new music era.
This audacious move could either lead to Megan securing one of the best record deals ever for a female rapper or her crawling to major labels with her masters in hand. But with the response to "Cobra," it looks like the only ones who will be crawling will be Universal, Warner, and Sony.
Meg's achievements thus far are undeniable: a top-notch video that had people questioning her independent status; competing with major-label artists and landing a top 40 hit; and receiving rave reviews not only for the original "Cobra" but also for her metal remix with Spiritbox. Hot Girl Productions is not here to play games. We've seen other artists announce labels for publicity stunts, but nothing substantial ever came to fruition. Megan Thee Stallion didn't establish this production company/label as a vanity project or a social media talking point. We can see that by the undeniable creativity and quality of Hot Girl Productions. Actions speak louder than words, and her excellence speaks volumes.
In the world of Megan Thee Stallion, every move is a power play, and "Cobra" is just the beginning. As we bask in the glory of her 16th Top 40 hit, the question lingers: What's next for the Hot Girl herself?
Well, Megan revealed that she plans on touring in 2024, so we will get to see what the stage performance of "Cobra" looks like and hopefully see her perform with Spiritbox. Now that I think about it, Spiritbox is nominated for a Grammy, and if they perform, I wonder if they will let Megan join them on stage.
While we wait to see, check out the behind-the-scenes making of the "Cobra" music video.
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