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Shedding Her Skin: Megan Thee Stallion Unveils Her Raw Emotions On New Single "Cobra"


In 2021, Megan Thee Stallion asserted on "Thot Shit," 'Hoes tryna call me a snake, shit, I guess I can relate / 'Cause a bitch spit a whole lotta venom.' Fast forward two years, and this three-time Grammy-winning rapper continues to unleash her venomous rhymes, but this time independently under her label Hot Girl Productions.


In 2021, Megan Thee Stallion asserted on "Thot Shit," 'Hoes tryna call me a snake, shit, I guess I can relate / 'Cause a bitch spit a whole lotta venom.' Fast forward two years, and this three-time Grammy-winning rapper continues to unleash her venomous rhymes, but this time independently under her label Hot Girl Productions.


On Friday, November 3, Megan Thee Stallion unveiled her latest single, "Cobra," a song that not only shows an elevation in Megan's ability to be vulnerable on a track but is poised to usher in a new era for female rap. This powerful and thought-provoking song launches 'ACT ONE' of Megan's new musical era following her emancipation from her former label, 1501 Entertainment.

 




 

COBRA

When Megan Thee Stallion announced that she was forgoing signing with a major label and instead opting to release her new single, "Cobra," independently, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was concerned about the logistics of promotion, playlisting, and radio, all the stuff fans should not be worried about. But on the other hand, I was excited to see what Megan Thee Stallion would do with her newfound freedom and artistic control.



SONIC EAR CANDY

PRESS PLAY... A pulsing electric guitar surges forth, seamlessly blending into a piano sample of Chick Corea's live rendition of "After the Cosmic Rain," which perfectly sounds like a snake charmer playing his flute. This unique and unexpected intro to "Cobra" immediately grabs your attention and keeps it until the end, when the song ends with a captivating rock guitar solo.


Behind this sonic ear candy are the skilled hands of producers Bankroll Got It, Shawn "Source" Jarrett, and Derrick Milano, along with Megan, who donned a producer's hat to infuse her unique touch. Together, they've crafted a sound that surprises and invigorates, giving "Cobra" an unexpected freshness in Megan Thee Stallion's repertoire.



VULNERABLE VENOM

In addition to its innovative sound, "Cobra" also impresses listeners with its lyrical content. Instead of serving up the usual female rap formula of addressing haters, dissing anonymous opps or delivering another twerk anthem, Megan Thee Stallion chose to be vulnerable, rapping about her struggles with depression & anxiety, suicidal thoughts, drinking too much, missing her parents, and being cheated on. But "Cobra" is far from a pity party. It's more like Megan is giving us a peek into her diary, sharing her rawest and most honest experiences, like when she raps:


At night, I'm sittin' in a dark room thinkin'

Probably why I always end up drinkin'

Yes, I'm very depressed

How can somebody so blessed wanna slit their wrist?

Shit, I'd probably bleed out some Pinot

When they find me, I'm in Valentino, ayy


Megan's vulnerability is refreshing and relatable, and it's something that female rap has been missing for a while. "Cobra" is not pandering to female rap's loudest audience but catering to its most important one: WOMEN. It's our "Ex-Factor" à la Lauryn Hill and our "Love Is Blind" as delivered by Eve. "Cobra" weaves a relatable story from a woman's perspective while remaining highly replayable.


What makes this song even more powerful is that it comes from one of the top female rappers in the industry. Megan Thee Stallion is using her music to speak her truth and to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Her honesty and vulnerability could shift the entire direction of female rap towards greater diversity.


OROCHIMARU THEE STALLION

Megan Thee Stallion is a visionary when it comes to music videos. She consistently delivers cinematic visuals that are both thought-provoking and engaging. Her music video for "Cobra" is no exception.


The video opens with a striking image of Megan emerging from the body of a gigantic cobra. This image can be interpreted in many ways. On one level, it can be seen as a symbol of Megan shedding her past and embracing her true self. On another level, it can be seen as a reference to the anime character Orochimaru, who is known for his ability to transform into a snake. This reference suggests that Megan is like Orochimaru in that she is a powerful and dangerous force.



Directed by Douglas Bernardt, the "Cobra" video is filled with snake imagery. This imagery not only represents Megan's own transformation, akin to a snake shedding its skin, but it also serves as a metaphor for the industry itself—a place where Megan is the formidable Cobra surrounded by garden snakes.


The video seamlessly weaves together five distinct scenes, each complementing the song's essence. However, one scene that particularly stands out for me is Megan lying in a glass box within a greenlit showroom, surrounded by onlookers who are eager to capture her image. As snakes slither across the floor, Megan undergoes a transformation, shedding her skin, including removing her glam'd-up face to reveal a bare-faced Megan. This scene perfectly captures the intense scrutiny and objectification that female rappers face. It also symbolizes Megan's willingness to strip away the external layers that have masked her true self in front of everyone, including in this song.


The video seamlessly weaves together five distinct scenes, each complementing the song's essence. However, one scene that particularly stands out for me is Megan lying in a glass box within a greenlit showroom, surrounded by onlookers who are eager to capture her image. As snakes slither across the floor, Megan undergoes a transformation, shedding her skin, including removing her glammed-up face to reveal a bare-faced Megan. This scene perfectly captures the intense scrutiny and objectification that female celebrities face. It also symbolizes Megan's willingness to strip away the external layers that have masked her true self in front of everyone, including in this song.

Overall, the music video for "Cobra" is a stunning and compelling visual. Megan Thee Stallion's use of symbolism and imagery is masterful, and the video delivers a powerful message about self-acceptance and authenticity.



 

SIDE NOTE - MUSICAL GROWTH

In hip-hop, there's been a growing debate about the need for artists to mature musically, specifically Drake. Drizzy is a 37-year-old father who, musically, often seems stuck in a perpetual state of youthful toxic entanglements. It's as if he has a Peter Pan complex, rapping like the same 20-something kid who first burst onto the scene. He's a stunted rapper, one who hasn't fully evolved musically.

Drake Needs To Grow Up and Show Maturity In His Music Like Megan Thee Stallion Has On "Cobra."

What truly impresses me about "Cobra" is that I don't think we'll encounter that same issue with Megan Thee Stallion. At 28 years old, a single woman with no children, she's unapologetically living a life that reflects her age. It's entirely fitting for her to create music that resonates with the experiences of twenty-somethings who are club hopping. But Megan has also faced her share of painful moments, and she doesn't shy away from incorporating those experiences into her music. She's no longer just the carefree girl from Houston who dropped freestyles at radio stations; she's seen what lies behind the industry's curtains and the smoke and mirrors. As she continues to grow, learn, and evolve, her music is bound to follow suit.


Cheers to rappers who are not scared to grow the fck up!

 

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